“Penn Station did not make you feel comfortable; it made you feel important.” [...]
Unlike McKim’s monument, today’s Penn Station — where many visitors, both domestic and international, encounter New York City for the first time — certainly does not make you feel important. Comparing the vanished terminal with this tawdry replacement, the Yale architectural historian Vincent Scully once wrote, “One entered the city like a god; one scuttles in now like a rat.” — nytimes.com
At the heart of the plan will be the idea that downtown Yangon should retain its vibrancy rather than become another sanitized zone that appeals to well-to-do tourists impressed by expensive hotels and tony cafes, Mr. Thant Myint-U said — NYT
Jane Perlez reports in from the old colonial capital, where groups like Yangon Heritage Trust are working to preserve the distinctive charm of a now crumbling, British ostentation. Previously noted by Alexander Walter; here, here and here
Paul Keskeys examined the the state of residential development across The Pond, and asks the question: How can we rock the status quo? Therein he diagnoses the root cause "They will tell a tale of mass production, of value engineering, and of misguided nostalgia...It is economic pragmatism gone...
This process is cheaper and faster than restoration, and allows developers to make cosmetic improvements as they see fit. Moscow, you are a fake and a fraud. — NYT
Masha Gessen penned a "Dear John" letter to Moscow. Exploring the city and its love affair with anthropomorphic monuments, she laments the "barbaric destruction" and hipsterization of the city’s historic architecture and public spaces.
Alexandre Gady, conservationist, historian of French architecture and professor of modern architecture at the Sorbonne, argues that changing or “renewing” Paris diverts from its real need to look outwards. Paris, he says, is a “finished” city that does not need improving or anything more doing to it. “It’s not that we should be doing this or that – we should not be doing anything in central Paris ... any plan is a diversion from the need of the city to grow outwards,” [...] — theguardian.com
The British Museum’s round Reading Room might not fully reopen until 2020. One of London’s grandest interiors, it was used by generations of scholars, including Karl Marx, when it housed the British Library. The historic reading desks are currently covered by a platform built in 2007, when the room was temporarily converted into a space for the museum’s major exhibitions. — theartnewspaper.com
In a young city predisposed to wrecking and rebuilding, impressive works of architecture can sometimes be discarded as effortlessly as last year’s runway accessories.
But Miami Marine Stadium, a bold structure on Biscayne Bay that sought to jolt the city into the future back in 1963, may prove a rare, stubborn exception. Abandoned and shuttered more than two decades ago, the Modernist stadium is in the midst of a turbulent, nearly seven-year effort by a nonprofit group [...]. — nytimes.com
Through six decades of assault [...] the apartment building on Upper Pansodan endured, its graceful arches and colorful patios sacrificing little of their elegance and charm to the torments of time, nature, and repression.
Then in 2013, three years into Myanmar's unprecedented political and economic opening up, the building succumbed to a force that proved too great to resist: development. — news.nationalgeographic.com
Some of the damage could be repaired, he said. Still, “it won’t be the same,” he said. “Once you have blown down a building, it is blown down.” — NYT
Graham Bowley draws attention to the list of cultural treasures in Syria and northern Iraq, that have been; destroyed, damaged or looted, as a result of three years of war. For more information, see previous coverage here, here and here.
"I know the progress is great...This is my hometown, and I love to see it grow and expand. But I’d sure hate to see Music Row not be Music Row 20 years from now" - Pat Holt, 61 — NYT
Richard Fausset reported on the looming loss of Studio A (RCA Victor Nashville Sound Studios), the 49-year-old studio recording room, that is steeped in music history and scheduled for demolition to make way for a luxury condominium project. It is but the latest example of how a booming real...
Six years ago the then-mayor launched an ambitious plan to reconstruct the lost walls, watchtowers and Ming-style homes of the city – resettling tens of thousands of residents and transforming Datong into a tourist site. Now few want to live here — theguardian.com
Since the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts by Studio Pali Fekete Architects (SPF:a) broke ground in 2010, the new arts building continues to gain recognition, most recently at the 31st California Preservation Design Awards. Situated in the heart of sunny Beverly Hills, California, the Wallis Annenberg Center complex also includes the restored and renovated historic 1934 Beverly Hills Post Office building. — bustler.net
The dominant architectural site in [Mecca] is not the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic focus of Muslims everywhere, is. It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel, which, at 1,972 feet, is among the world’s tallest buildings. It is part of a mammoth development of skyscrapers that includes luxury shopping malls and hotels [...] The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures — an amalgam of Disneyland and Las Vegas. — NY Times
Buenos Aires has not traditionally been concerned about preservation. Only a handful of buildings remain from the colonial years after the city's founding in 1536 in what is now the old San Telmo tourist district. The Parisian architecture of the early 20th century has also been shrinking because of the property boom that accompanied a renewed spurt of economic growth in the last decade until 2013. — theguardian.com
For the sake of preserving the holy modern architectural canon (and some), The Getty Foundation officially announced today the first 10 projects to receive grants of their Keeping it Modern initiative. In a race against time among other challenging factors, the philanthropic effort aims to...
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