Tag Archives: Louis Sullivan

Rybczynski on concert halls

I have not spared the architecture critic Witold Rybczynski my critique of his dithering on the greatest architectural questions of our time, but his latest piece, “The Concert Hall, Reimagined,” in Architect journal on the removal of concert halls from … Continue reading

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Didn’t quite get Gaudi

Ayesha Khan’s essay on the Spanish Catalan Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) in the Wall Street Journal, “How a Gaudi Building Won Over a Strict Minimalist,” doesn’t quite live up to the headline. It is not clear that she really likes Gaudí … Continue reading

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Still, his buildings were fine

Reaching the end of Louis Sullivan’s Autobiography of an Idea, I could only wish that his place in architectural history was judged more by his buildings and less by what he wrote about architecture. Most of the book consists of … Continue reading

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More on form and function

Here is the first lengthy passage in which Louis Sullivan, writing in his Autobiography of an Idea, unpacks “form follows function,” which has become a mantra of the modernist movement. It had to be misinterpreted for that to occur. So … Continue reading

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Sullivan on the classical

About halfway through his Autobiography of an Idea, Louis Sullivan begins to discuss architecture. He is at MIT, circa 1872. He writes in the third person. Here he receives the received wisdom on classicism: Louis had gone at his studies … Continue reading

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Form, function and Sullivan

Am plunging into a 1956 softcover copy of Louis Sullivan’s The Autobiography of an Idea, first published in the early ’20s. The introduction to this edition by University of Illinois architecture professor Ralph Marlowe Line, written with the well-known forward … Continue reading

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Movie news of the century!

Return of the White City! World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 recaptured in celloid! Beaux Arts classical architecture writ large as the silver screen! Sex, violence, megalomania and beauty? That too! Nothing excites me more than news from Curbed.com that one … Continue reading

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The satisfactions of Satie

Erik Satie is a French composer of whom I know little, but am very familiar with one of his pieces, the first of his three “Gnossiennes,” which I suspect most readers will recognize as well. It is the first video … Continue reading

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