Category Archives: Urbanism and planning

Le era (er, error) de Corbu

Here is what Alistair Horne has to say about Le Corbusier in his book Seven Ages of Paris. It is on page 330. In my opinion, he lets the guy off too lightly. … [A]fter 1919 most new building shifted … Continue reading

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Chace plans downtown digs

When it was announced several years ago that Providence developer Buff Chace would purchase the Journal Building and the parking lot across from it on Fountain Street, he expressed the hope of erecting a new building on the latter site. … Continue reading

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More from ‘7 Ages of Paris’

Here are a couple more passages from Alistair Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris: The first two are from his section on the Second Empire: With so much borrowed from the past, was there (leaving aside the new apartment blocks) any … Continue reading

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Haussmann’s urban removal

Preservationists and architects should be enemies: the preservation of any old building postpones work designing a new building to replace it. Baron Haussmann’s demolition and rebuilding of much of old Paris in the third quarter of the 19th century created … Continue reading

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Modernist fundamentalism

Soon after I posted “General Motors’ America” yesterday, I yearned for a deeper understanding of the reason why GM so avidly embraced modernist concepts of design and planning. So it was good to receive from architectural theorist Nikos Salingaros a … Continue reading

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General Motors’ America

How did modern architecture boot classical architecture from its control of the design and planning establishments in America so quickly? After all, it took only about 30 years from the time modernist design hit the streets and the time, about … Continue reading

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Amtrak’s R.I. rural removal

If the description by two Charlestown, R.I., town council leaders of Amtrak’s plan for an alternate route through that town are accurate, the proposal must be stopped. It is no less than “rural removal,” same as the old “urban removal” … Continue reading

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Krier on cities’ skyscraperitis

According to the headline writers at BD magazine, Britain’s leading journal of architecture, the takeaway from Leon Krier’s new essay there is “It doesn’t matter if skyscrapers are designed by world-class architects or hacks – they’re destroying our cities.” I … Continue reading

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When there’s no there there

The headline on this post is supposed to refer to Gertrude Stein’s famous line about Oakland – “There’s no there there.” The Huffington Post has an essay that tries to show, rather absurdly, that Stein did not mean to denigrate … Continue reading

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A visit to East Greenwich

The other day I paid a brief visit to East Greenwich, one of Rhode Island’s most lovely towns. Main Street has long been a charming rendition of civic life, ever a pleasure to drive through or, better yet, stop and … Continue reading

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