What they weren’t trivializing or coarsening with commerce, railroad executives were simply neglecting. Whether desperately or cynically, they seemed to understand that redevelopment of their money-losing, nine-acre station would be more palatable if the public could be made to forget the glories of Mr. McKim’s original design. Pink granite walls were allowed to turn gray. Straw-colored travertine looked nicotine-stained. Jules Guerin’s murals disappeared under veils of grime. — nytimes.com
The destruction of Old Penn Station in favor of its soulless, uninspiring replacement has garnered an ample share of outraged pixels—but what if the long-accepted narrative has a twist? Apparently, the inspiring sweep and elegance that is so often attributed to Penn Station had fallen victim to...
Bank buildings have become bars. Football grounds have been turned into prestige housing. All things must pass. Buildings that have outlived their purpose have no right to be preserved perpetually in a Prince Charles-style attempt to stop the clock on history. Sentimentality about an imagined past is a British disease. For all that, the emotional link between a building like the Washington Post’s and the people who once worked there will live on, for years to come. — theguardian.com
More pieces on the cultural history of demolished or renovated structures:Saving Buildings with Social Media (Or Not)The Folly of Saving What You Kill"Historic Status" won't protect against demolitionInteractive Decay
While some residents may be more concerned about their overflowing rubbish bins than maintaining ancient monuments, for many the survival of modern Rome will depend on the preservation of the past. — The Guardian
As Rome moves forward without a mayor, the city is taking on the restoration of both the Colosseum and the Porta Maggiore basilica while updating the modern city.More about Rome on Archinect:Was Rome really a "City of Marble"?A breakneck tour of contemporary architecture in RomeContemporary Art...
Alongside the companies shortlisted for the management services, four of the UK’s largest architectural practices have been shortlisted to provide architectural advice. The companies shortlisted are Allies & Morrison, BDP, Foster & Partners and HOK.
[...] The report, produced by Deloitte Real Estate, Aecom and HOK, stated that the major works would cost between £3.5bn and £5.7bn and take between five and 40 years to complete. — construction-manager.co.uk
College officials say 1950s-era buildings that are peppered across the Costa Mesa campus — many of them designed by renowned architect Richard Neutra — are no longer able to accommodate the school's rising population. [...]
"We appreciate the Neutra buildings for what they were and what they meant to the campus, but times do change," trustee Mary Hornbuckle said. "We have to be responsive to the needs of the 21st century student." — latimes.com
There’s the legacy of Brutalism being such a negative term. It begins the conversation with negativity about these buildings, and this falls into the misreading of them as harsh, Stalinist, or some other kind of monstrous, mean architecture. The name plays into that mischaracterization that’s grown around a lot of them. I think “Heroic’” is a better title for what their actual aspirations were. The architects had a real sense of optimism. They were developing architecture for the civic realm. — citylab.com
Related news on Archinect:Brutalism: the great architectural polarizerArt college professor suggests makeover for brutalist Boston City HallFuture of Paul Rudolph's brutalist Orange County building still uncertain
The systematic destruction of Saudi Arabia is under way—in silence. Historic mosques, tombs, mausoleums, monuments and houses: more than 90% of the old quarters of the holiest cities of Islam has been razed to make room for a new urban landscape of hotels, shopping centres and apartment blocks. [...]
Construction works have already transformed Mecca and Medina into cities without a past, dominated by skyscrapers. — theartnewspaper.com
Built in 1780 and leveled in 2002 for the construction of the Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel complex, the Ottoman Ajyad Fortress is just one of many historic sites that are being destroyed and replaced by hotel towers, condo skyscrapers and parking lots. Related news on Archinect:More than...
Built in 1962, the People’s Bank has distinct glossy, off-teal bricks and a sawtooth, vaulted rooftop. The building is not only one of the finest remaining examples of Googie commercial architecture in Kentucky — it is one of the finest examples in the nation. However, after years of neglect, locals are working to ensure that the building isn’t leveled into a movie theater parking lot. — hyperallergic.com
Related in the Archinect news:Only one vote left before Marina City can become official city landmarkL.A. City Council Officially Votes Norms Restaurant as "Historic and Cultural Landmark"Has preservation become too conservative and elitist?
[On Thursday, November 5], the Commission on Chicago Landmarks unanimously voted to recommend Chicago Landmark status to the Marina City complex. [...]
A resolution will be drafted and will head to the Chicago City Council in December for a final vote. — chicago.curbed.com
This seems like a done deal. As quoted in Loop North News, Commission on Chicago Landmarks chairman, Rafael Leon: "everybody recognizes those buildings around the world, that the moment that they see it, they see Chicago. I’m so glad that we have gotten to the point of designating these...
It’s a reminder that decommunisation is a project which might actually be physically impossible to execute in full, which hopefully begs the question — if Soviet Ukraine can't be wished away, what should be conserved, and what should be rejected? [...]
The nationalist purging of any traces of socialism from the landscape is a fool’s errand at best, gross historical revisionism at worst. — calvertjournal.com
Related on Archinect:Owen Hatherley on the mass housing history of Moscow’s suburbsMoscow skaters reclaiming hidden spaces on top of Soviet-era buildingsParadise lost? The enduring legacy of a Soviet-era utopian workers’ district
Julia Ingalls highlighted the work of Design Build Research (DBR), based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Currently a non-profit institute led by architect Michael Green and creative entrepreneur Scott Hawthorn, one of the earliest projects was building a theater when TED headquarters’ moved...
I would like to argue that a more potent threat to the ongoing political viability of historic preservation is the perception that the preservation industry has become a conservative, indeed revanchist force; that it is elitist and sometimes even racist in its abetment of gentrification.
How did this happen?
Historic preservation in New York, according to the favored creation myth, was born in the postwar era as a progressive grassroots movement... — Places Journal
"One of the problems with house museums is you keep kind of circling back to the same people who come….Eventually they are going to die and there's going to be no one coming to your parties," [says Franklin] Vagnone [the executive director of New York City's Historic House Trust].
He wants nothing less than to revive interest in the house museum.
Museums don't need to think about "changing the color of their garment…what they need to do is completely change their outfit..." — Curbed
I confess that I feel the sort of ambivalence toward the James R. Thompson Center as I did toward Prentice Women's Hospital: I do understand why people want to raze it, I don't find it pretty, I understand the functional problems.
But all the same, I believe the Thompson Center should be saved.
[...] Chicago remains full of examples of money and vision coming together to create wonderful buildings. — chicagobusiness.com
Marina City residents support landmark designation because it would help upgrade the complex's concrete exterior through the city's "Adopt a Landmark" zoning provision [...]
The measure lets developers build more floor space in return for funding improvements to official city landmarks.
Landmark status would allow the Commission on Chicago Landmarks to regulate changes to the exterior of Marina City — chicagotribune.com
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