As buildings from the postmodern eon continue to age with their residents, questions about historic significance and aesthetic relevance start to surface, leading to often heated debates whether the structures we used to love so much already merit magisterial protection or should give way for the...
Let me share a secret with you. Even those who love the Gothic extravagance that is the Victorian Palace of Westminster know that great swaths of it are out of date. [...]
In 2015 the urgent question is again what to do about it. [...] options ranging from staggering on as usual with make-do-and-mending to a new 21st-century building on a new site, possibly far from London. — theguardian.com
Islamic State militants ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artefacts that are thousands of years old, in the group’s latest rampage which threatens to upend millennia of coexistence in the Middle East.
The destruction of statues and artefacts that date from the Assyrian and Akkadian empires, revealed in a video published by Isis on Thursday, drew ire from the international community and condemnation by activists and minorities that have been attacked by the group. — theguardian.com
The Chinese government has promised to protect a rural mountain village that contains some of the country’s oldest temples and residences. [...]
Despite designating Banpo as a protected heritage site in 2007, the Jincheng city government nonetheless allowed the Shanxi Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group to displace the village later that year. [...] Nearly every building was destroyed and those that remained were left in ruins. — theartnewspaper.com
On December 21, 2014, the Berkeley Art Museum permanently closed its iconic Modern building in preparation for a move to a nearby new building in 2016. Considered by many to be the Bay Area’s most remarkable example of Brutalism [...]. Although the building is a local landmark and listed on the National Register, its intricate concrete forms pose seismic safety risks, leaving a future for the building unclear. — docomomo-us.org
It’s easy enough to blame economic forces for the postwar destruction of slave markets, but not for the persistent concealment of their history. One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, the South has no shortage of memorials to the Lost Cause, while memorials to the slave trade remain few and far between. [...]
After the Civil War, Johnson says, “the price of moving forward for the white United States was the forgetting of slavery.” — citylab.com
The United States is pleased to announce the nomination of a group of 10 buildings in seven states designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for inclusion on the World Heritage List. The UNESCO World Heritage List recognizes the “outstanding universal value” of the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet. — U.S. Department of State
The nomination of ten buildings by the influential architect represents the first World Heritage nomination by the U.S. of works of modernist architecture. Entitled "Key Works of Modern Architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright," the list includes:Unity Temple in Oak Park, IllinoisFrederick C. Robie...
“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
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