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architecture


  • The Cold War New and Old: Architectural Exchanges Beyond the West

    by Łukasz Stanek

    Until today, many urban landscapes in West Africa bear witness to how local authorities and professionals drew on Soviet prefabrication technology, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe.



  • The battle for Notre Dame

    by Philip Kennicott and Aaron Steckelberg

    As the cathedral rises from the ashes, a tug of war over its transformation and history. 



  • Rome’s start to architectural hubris

    Granted that Rome was not built in a day, the unresolved question among scholars has been just how long did it take. How early, before Julius Caesar came, saw and conquered, did Romans begin adopting a monumental architecture reflecting the grandeur of their ambitions?Most historians agree that early Rome had nothing to compare to the sublime temples of Greece and was not a particularly splendid city, like Alexandria in Egypt.Any definitive insight into the formative stages of Roman architectural hubris lies irretrievable beneath layers of the city’s repeated renovations through the time of caesars, popes and the Renaissance. The most imposing ruin of the early Roman imperial period is the Colosseum, erected in the first century A.D.



  • Frank Lloyd Wright's NY showroom a memory

    A small landmark of New York City architectural and automotive history disappeared recently, almost without notice. The theatrical auto showroom designed by Frank Lloyd Wright at 430 Park Avenue, at 56th Street, had displayed a number of European brands over the years, notably Mercedes-Benz from 1957 to 2012.The space, with a spiral ramp and turntable interior, was designed in 1954 for the pioneering auto importer Max Hoffman.In early April, the Wright interior was demolished by the owners of the building, Midwood Investment and Management and Oestreicher Properties. Debra Pickrel, a preservationist and co-author of “Frank Lloyd Wright in New York: The Plaza Years, 1954-1959” (Gibbs Smith, 2007) wrote about the showroom’s destruction in Metropolis magazine....



  • Fifty years of the MetLife Building

    THIS MONTH MARKS the 50th anniversary of the completion of Park Avenue’s Pan Am Building, later renamed the MetLife Building, an occasion that a cursory Google search indicates is receiving no particular celebration. What is to be marked, really, is a half-century of evinced distaste, though some of it waning under the grip of nostalgia, for a building that existed as an assault on Grand Central Station, its visual foundation bifurcating and marring views of Park Avenue and casting dark shadows on crowded streets beneath it. The enmity actually dates back further. From the moment designs for the building were presented, the response in the architectural press was one of displeasure and reproof. Long in its development phase, enormous, expensive, controversial, denounced, the building became, in a sense, the city’s structural “Ishtar.”...



  • Glossop battles over fate of town's historic gothic hall and new library

    It is probably the only town in Britain campaigning against a new library. But many in Glossop, nestled on the western edge of the Peak District, are very attached to their old one, Victoria Hall, a grand gothic revival hall purpose-built in 1888 on land donated by Francis Edward Howard, 2nd Lord Howard of Glossop.The hall, which is in need of major renovation after years of neglect, including to its unused upper floor with its retro-sprung dancefloor, is now at the centre of a complex and entrenched battle over a £4m pot of public money waiting to be spent.High Peak borough council is trustee of Victoria Hall but leases the ground floor for free to Derbyshire county council, the library service authority....



  • Are mod. buildings worth preserving?

    Even with its glistening emerald-green glass, the boxy 1960s-era Zalco Building in downtown Silver Spring is hardly noticed by many passersby, let alone thought of as a historic structure.The very idea makes John Cranston, the building’s engineer, chuckle. “I don’t think George Washington slept here or anything,” he said.But to Clare Lise Kelly, a historic-preservation planner for Montgomery County, and to other architectural experts, the office building at Georgia Avenue and Cameron Street is a shining example of International style. It’s time, they say, for it and other “mid-century modern” buildings and homes — those with sleek, boxy designs from the 1950s and 1960s — to be considered for historic preservation....



  • Insurance When Your Home's a Piece of History

    A home in Massachusetts has been in the same family since it was built in the 1600s -- less than 20 years after the Mayflower landed. Though nearly four centuries have passed, one room in the home remains just as it was in the 1600s, with the same hand-hewn floorboards. There are special -- and more expensive -- historic-home insurance policies to protect houses such as this. But they vary in what they'll pay for. You might be able to replace 1775 windows with something close to the real thing, or just historic look-alikes....