The campaign against degeneracy

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
Post Reply
Tom
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

peterm wrote:What ever happened to the less government, less regulation, lower the deficit crowd? Imposing a style mandate, especially a reactionary, regressive one is the most anti-libertarian move imaginable. It’s perfectly unAmerican.
I see it still as part of the resuscitated "culture wars."
I don't think the President has built a classical building in his entire career.
He probably has no interest in this himself, but it supports a section of his base:
- those who think "politics is downstream from culture."
The Christian Evangelical Right was loosing steam politcally until Pence was chosen
and came to power on Trump's coat tails.
If I had to bet I'd say conservative Christian Evangelicals of the right wing are behind this.
It just seems like something they would want to do.
That's my suspicion at least.
(Friends in Indianna tell me Pence's career was over before he was chosen V.P.)

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10121
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Tom, have you ever looked at the buildings those Evangelicals build? Not a hint of classicism. Just massive areas.

Perhaps "mistake" is the wrong word. "Inconsistency" would be more accurate. The founders designed the Republic to be small, then, without a second thought, apparently, built the principal image of it big, and along the way, through the 19th century, bigger, topped by a monumental cast iron dome pretending to be stone. At the very least, DC could replace that silly, over scaled wart with one like the glass Reichstag in Berlin, where people can walk up ramps to take a look out over the city.

(What convinces me that Pelosi et alia never meant to get rid of Trump is that he would have been replaced by Pence! and then what would they have done?)

Tom
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

I was born in DC and all those buildings are parts of the magic of my childhood.
So until now it has never occurred to me to consider them from a critical perspective.
The idea of replacing "the wart" (pretty funny) with a walkable glass dome sounds great to me. I'd be all for that.

Don't know what you mean about the buildings Evangelicals build and the massive areas.
But my small slice of experience with this is as follows:
In architecture most of the conservative Christians I know follow the "new urbanism schools of thought"
and Leon Krier is the sort of fountainhead father of it all.
Wether one likes his work or not Leon Krier, in my judgement, is a massive talent.
I saw his show decades ago at MOMA in NYC. That guy can draw!

Finally, in my judgement, it should be obvious by now to everybody that the Democratic party is in trouble internally.
They do not substantively oppose the Republican Party.
Schiff's opening remarks on impeachment were chlling:
"we've got to fight the Russians in the Ukraine so we don't have to fight them over here."
From a Democrat? Insanity.
... and what do you think Mr. FLLW would have said to that!

The establishment Democrats do not understand the populist anger in this country.
Or they are trying to play around it - like Trump is but with "identity politics"
and nothing that will really meet our need.
In my judgement, simply "Beating Trump" means nothing.
Reminds me of the line from The Who's 'Won't Get Fooled Again': "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
I'm done with that and the "lesser of two evils" voting logic.
I say this as someone who was raised in a hard core Democratic Party family.
My Dad thought Bobby Kennedy would have been the best President this country ever had.
My mother stayed up until 2am to watch McGovern give his accepetance
speech in the primary in '72 - cussing like a sailor at the reception and fooling
with the antenna - we were camping outside of Boston.
I still think McGovern would have been one of the best Presidents this country ever had.
Try not to laugh.

Apologies for the rant.
Tried to keep some sense of conciliatory tone.
Someone else will need to criticise the Republicans - they're not my people.
Finally, I am one of the members here who does believe we should be able to do this in the forum.
It's substantive. I think it honors Wright, he cared about the country.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10121
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

...should have been "massive arenas."

There's a difference between "Conservative Christians" and "Evangelical Christians." For the most part, those who would consider themselves conservatives keep their mouth shut. Evangelicals SPREAD THE WORD!! Conservatives may shop in Leon Krier's store, but evangelicals drool over all those enormous sporting venues, like those Billy Graham used to fill.

Needless to say, I shall be voting for Trump, but if the impeachment had gone through, I would not have been upset if either Klobuchar, Buttigieg or Delaney were to win.
Bernie Sanders would be a disaster for both sides and everyone in between.

Tom
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Got it.

.... and by massive arenas, I think you must be talking about the Mega-Church phenomena. and so yes - not classical in any sense.

Tom
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

... what you said about Klobuchar, Buttigieg and Delaney, reminds me of something I've been thinking about.
Those people should be in the Republican Party.
I think Obama should be too, as well as Hillary.
I think it would be good for the Republicans and the Country as a whole.
Why?
First, because substantively they ARE Republicans.
Second, it would reduce the need in the Republican Party to consolidate power
by going to the extremes to differentiate themselves.
Third, it would help the Democrats know themselves. They don't now.
We would all benefit from that.

Paul Ringstrom
Posts: 4309
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:53 pm
Location: Mason City, IA

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Column: How should Trump make federal architecture great? By ignoring the ideologues who speak for classicism and modernism.

Blair Kamin, Chicago Tribune Architecture Critic


Feb 11, 2020 | 2:41 PM


Casting a critical eye at banks that resembled Roman temples, the great Chicago architect Louis Sullivan famously wrote nearly 120 years ago that their bankers should wear togas and sandals, and conduct business in Latin.

To Sullivan, Roman Revival banks were architectural fakes, their columns and pediments mere drapery that had nothing to do with their underlying construction.

Yet today, it’s hard to stroll down Chicago’s LaSalle Street financial canyon without admiring the banking temples along the street. They may be stage-set architecture, but they’re stage sets for the ages � their proportions, materials and details powerfully communicating a message of financial stability.

I bring up Sullivan and the LaSalle Street banks because the debate over a profoundly misguided proposal, which would establish classical architecture as the preferred style for many federal buildings, already is devolving into a superficial style war � a new front in the culture wars roiling Donald Trump’s America.

Predictably, left-leaning opponents of the plan are portraying classicism as reactionary, arguing, as a Chicago Sun-Times editorial did last week, that the plan would take us “back into a bygone era when women wore bonnets, men wore tricorn hats and the only acceptable design for a federal building was a knockoff of a classical Greek or Roman structure.�

The view from the right is equally warped. Writing on the City Journal website, the critic Catesby Leigh opines that modernist federal buildings fail to “speak to the aspirations of ordinary citizens.� How does he know?

Chicagoans rightly admire the modernist design of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Federal Center, but Leigh puts down its handsomely proportioned, elegantly detailed high-rises as “boxy,� trashes its transparent low-rise post office as “squat� and deems the entire complex, including the vibrant plaza highlighted by Alexander Calder’s bright red Flamingo sculpture, as “not exactly a tour de force.�

The people who live here know better.

Here’s the point: Style wars invariably fail to address the underlying characteristics � including function, security, sustainability, accessibility and compatibility with a specific site, climate and culture � that render architecture and urban design worthy or not. No style, classical or modernist, has a monopoly on quality. The problem with the proposal in question isn’t classicism. It’s the imposition of classicism and other traditional styles from a single central authority, a move that would undercut the very democratic ideals that classicism is supposed to represent.

As the Chicago-based Society of Architectural Historians and other organizations wrote in a letter to Trump Monday, joining opponents of the plan such as the American Institute of Architects and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, “we ... remain convinced that the dictation of style – any style – is not the path to excellence in civic architecture�

The controversial plan, a draft executive order now circulating in the Trump White House, would overturn guiding principles for federal architecture � courthouses, agency headquarters and the like � that have been in place since 1962. The forward-thinking principles have been a touchstone for the General Services Administration, the agency that commissions federal buildings. In 1994, it created a Design Excellence program that has tapped the talents of such Chicago architects as Carol Ross Barney, designer of the Oklahoma City federal building that replaced the one that a truck bomb destroyed in 1995, killing 168 people.

Written by future New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the principles, critically, are neutral on the question of style.

Federal buildings “must provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American Government," the principles say. But they add, pointedly, that “the development of an official style must be avoided. Design must flow from the architectural profession to the Government, and not vice versa.�

In other words, officials styles were for the totalitarian governments American was fighting during the Cold War era of the 1960s. The principles, in contrast, equated democratic freedom with architectural pluralism: Federal buildings should reflect regional architectural traditions and, by implication, the diverse character of the American people.

That is very different from the stereotype of one-size-fits-all, steel-and-glass modernism.

The organization spearheading the draft executive order is a tiny Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, the National Civic Art Society. In 2012, Philanthropy magazine reported that its chief funder was Chicago investor Richard H. Driehaus, sponsor of the Driehaus Prize for traditional and classical architecture.

Anne Lazar, executive director of Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, confirmed Tuesday that personal contributions from Driehaus to the group are ongoing, but she declined to answer what Driehaus thinks of the draft executive order, which carries a title, “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again," that riffs on Trump’s slogan to “Make America Great Again.�

The National Civic Art Society’s position, however, is quite clear: Modernism is a plague on our collective house, a rupture with the evolving classical tradition that began with the Greeks and Romans; flowered during the Renaissance via such masters as Italy’s Andrea Palladio; informed the Founding Fathers, especially the architect-President Thomas Jefferson; and inspired the celebrated “White City� ensemble of Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

“The public finds it ugly, strange, and off-putting,� the group says of modern architecture on its website. “It has created a built environment that is degraded and dehumanizing.�

Wiser classicists know better: Modernism, now well over a century old, is, like it or not, a part of history whose impact cannot be wished away. And while modernism’s glassy, transparent volumes boldly departed from the solid masses of classically-inspired buildings, its masters, like Mies, simultaneously learned from that tradition and enlivened it by placing their buildings and urban spaces in vivid counterpoint to it. A sterling Chicago example, chiefly designed by Jacques Brownson, is the Richard J. Daley Center, the muscular courts high-rise whose bridgelike beams relate directly in scale to the monumental Corinthian columns of the City Hall-County Building across Clark Street.

There are few better examples of what the Yale architectural historian Vincent Scully called “a continuing dialogue between the generations which creates an environment developing across time.�

That development doesn’t degrade our cities. It enlivens them. We would all be poorer without it.

Both sides in the federal buildings debate need to take off ideological blinders. There is nothing inherently regressive about a classical federal building, just as there is nothing inherently progressive about a modernist one. The spectrum of classical design ranges from the transcendent excellence of the Parthenon to the megalomaniacal vision for post-World War II Berlin drawn up by Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer. So, too, with modernism, which spans the gamut from the rigor and refinement of the Mies-designed Federal Center to the coarse concrete of the Brutalist FBI headquarters on Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue, by Chicago architects C.F. Murphy Associates.

I do not quiver at a trend noted by a New York Times editorial on this subject that the General Services Administration has begun to construct more buildings in a classical style. If local communities and their leaders choose in coordination with the federal government to build in that style, and it can serve functional needs in a reasonably economical way, those communities and leaders have every right to do so. The point is the choice, and maintaining the ability to choose.

While it’s true that the federal government once set aesthetic standards for federal buildings, opting for a streamlined version of Art Deco during the Depression, the nation has changed markedly since then. We are more diverse, not just demographically but architecturally. Pluralism reigns, just as our national motto (“E pluribus unum,� Latin for “Out of many, one�) suggests it should. Our buildings should reflect that diversity, not mask it.

bkamin@chicagotribune.com

Blair Kamin has been the Chicago Tribune's architecture critic since 1992. A graduate of Amherst College and the Yale School of Architecture, he was a fellow at Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Kamin lectures widely and appears on television and radio. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

Yeah, what he said.

Thanks for posting this Paul.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10121
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I wonder how the supporters of Classicism would like it if the Parthenon, as it existed when new, with it multicolored paint job for columns and statues alike, slathered over every square inch of stone, became the go-to style.

"Federal buildings must provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor and stability of the American Government...."
Dignity? Vigor? Stability? Following that rule would wind up with Hoovervilles writ large. Enterprise, yes, that DC has, perhaps more than it should.

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

I wonder how the supporters of Classicism would like it if the Parthenon, as it existed when new, with it multicolored paint job for columns and statues alike, slathered over every square inch of stone, became the go-to style
Didn't we try this with some examples of PoMo in 1980's ;) ?

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10121
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

When it comes to carrying on public debate about anything, an episode of "Firing Line With Margaret Hoover" (Herb's great granddaughter, and ideological heir to William F. Buckley) on PBS would be elucidating.

"Guests: Dr. Cornell West Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University; Dr. Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. ...the ideological "odd couple" discuss the importance of civil discourse in this era of polarization. Leftist West and conservative George are friends who teach together and travel the country to demonstrate their commitment to free speech. They explore their opposing views on several policy areas, respectfully disagreeing as well as finding common ground."

Tom
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Didn't know about this.
Will definitely put it on my list:

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/firing-line/

Tom
Posts: 3147
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

From Wiki:

The Driehaus Prize[edit]
The Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, established in 2003 but doubled to $200,000 in 2008, is presented annually through the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture to honor a major contributor in the field of traditional and classical architecture.[8][13]

In his 2012 interview with Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus gives his inspiration for establishing the prize: "I believe architecture should be of human scale, representational form, and individual expression that reflects a community's architectural heritage. There is a delight, proportion, and harmony in classical architecture that I wasn’t finding in the contemporary buildings coming up around me in Chicago."[14] The Driehaus Prize is often compared to the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which typically encourages modern design.[6][15]

“The prize [...] represents a partial counterbalance to the rejection of classical forms by elite architecture that prevailed for much of the last century,� notes James Panero, an American culture critic.[6] The Driehaus Prize is typically awarded around the same time, has similar terms, are both commemorated by a bronze award (the Pritzker is a medal and the Driehaus is a miniature Choragic Monument of Lysicrates), and, until 2008, both were the same monetary prize amount.[16]

The first recipient of the Driehaus Prize was Léon Krier, who helped lay the theoretical framework for New Urbanism and designed the Prince of Wales' model town of Poundbury in England.[6][16] The first American to win the prize was Allan Greenberg in 2006, who redesigned the interior of more than 30 rooms of the U.S. Department of State.[15] The award has been given to architects associated with postmodernism, such as Michael Graves (2012) and David M. Schwarz (2015).[citation needed]

DRN
Posts: 3942
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

One wonders if the National Civic Art Society is accredited by the American Dentil Association, whose director when I last looked was Mr. Egbert "Egg" N. Dart.

SDR
Posts: 19291
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

:roll: Heh-heh . . .

S

Post Reply