Tuesday, March 27, 2007

When He's Right...

ACD reposts and responds to a thoroughly ignorant posting at a blog I've heard of but never read. I think I won't bother! 

 The historic preservation movement in the United States originated with the demolition of Pennsylvania Station, a grand and glorious building, to make way for the current Madison Square Garden, a building that could most charitably be described as undistinguished. If I were in an uncharitable mood...well, anyway. Important Modernist architects such as Philip Johnson marched for preserving Penn Station. In general, unlike the 2blowhards, Modernist architects know something about where they came from and mostly recognize the great work of the past. 

 Is there bad or damaging Modernist architecture? OF COURSE THERE IS. I've seen the Barbican in London*; I've shuddered at those Le Corbu towers, so separate from each other and the cities around them, and seen how well badly that works as urban design. 

But, you know, there's crap in every architectural style. And plenty of Modernist architects in the U.S. live in Modernist houses. (For that matter, as I look over the comments at 2blowhards, I have to wonder if any of these people are aware of Joseph Eichler, a California developer of modest modernist houses derived from FLW that were built for and purchased by middle-class people of modest means. We're talking about houses that sold for $20K-$25K in the 50s and 60s. Eichler, a social as well as architectural progressive, integrated his developments at a time when that could get you picketed, boycotted, etc.) 

Updated with Eichler info, Tuesday.

* August, 2020: I've changed my mind, mostly, about the Barbican.


A.C. Douglas said...

ACD reposts and responds to a thoroughly ignorant posting at a blog I've heard of but never read. I think I won't bother!

If you never read that blog, how did you know to look for the "thoroughly ignorant posting" there?

Just curious.

(P.S. Would have eMailed this, but can't find your address on the blog.)


Lisa Hirsch said...

I used Google!

Oh, my address disappeared in the migration. Grrr. I will put it up again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa
God forgive me- I like the Barbican. We spend about a week there every summer at a friend's flat during Prom season. There are problems, but it is a interesting take on urban life.


Lisa Hirsch said...


I guess you've never gotten lost there. Within the last few days I wrote that if you're visiting the Museum of London, enter from the St. Paul's tube stop, not from Moorshead or Barbican.

In all fairness - I've never lived there, even for a few days, and it might be better to live there than to visit.

Lisa Hirsch said...

There is a mailto link up now, btw.