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The best Halloween costume this year, by far.


Oct 3, 12 10:47 pm
Sarah Hamilton

You know, I kinda feel bad for the lady. I picture her as the little old woman that was just trying to help. Poor thing.

Oct 4, 12 8:30 am

the "were not here to make architects rich" quote from the local politician though stings a bit.


same stupid mentality that thinks that teachers get paid too much.  I think maybe it has to do with how school projects are funded there - in the states there are set budgets and if the district wants more money for the project they have to sell it to the local residents (usually through voter-approved increase in municipal millage rates).  this process is unfortunately unfair for students in poorer districts, but at least there's no restrictions on form and material - just cost.

Oct 4, 12 10:17 am

anyway - my point is that if you create policies that enable people to needlessly spend a lot of money, they're going to spend a lot of money.  making the architect (and forms??) out to be the bad-guy is completely unproductive.  what architect isn't going to keep pushing the client for bigger budgets and higher fees?  how the hell do we make any money?  the government has to push back - that's how it works with any client.  contract negotiation 101.

Oct 4, 12 1:56 pm

Mittens (Mittler?) completely destroyed Obama last night. Funny thing is, Obama is not very left, and Romney is not very right. They are the same person. I expected them to star making out at some point. 

The discourse was shallow and dumb, but for the first time in long time Romney insulted my limited intelligence less than Obama did. Well done republicats.

Oct 4, 12 5:10 pm

Also, according to Donna, halloween has already come and gone. fuck. I remember when my childhood summers lasted forever. 2012?!? the hell happened here

Oct 4, 12 5:14 pm

romney said his tax cuts are revenue neutral.  this is going to work because he's going to offset lower tax rates by eliminating deductions.  he has not been specific about which deductions, or if he's going to get rid of them all, but that's fine.  he will have plenty of time to iron out small details like that.

romney has a website for his campaign.  you can find a tax plan on his website.  i have been unable to find anything in that tax plan that suggests he is offsetting tax cuts or trying to create a revenue neutral tax plan.  all i saw was a bunch of cuts.  it's not just a lack of specifics.  he is only cutting taxes in front of crowds that only want tax cuts, then he's revenue neutral in front of crowds that want the deficit cut.  it's not like when he changed his mind with the pro-choice/pro-life thing.  he seems to be changing positions on a daily basis now.

on his website, he has 5 bills for day one and 5 executive orders for day one.  he does not say he is going to sit down with democrats to work towards bipartisanship on day one.  he said in the debate he was going to do that.  i guess he changed his campaign strategy again and just hasn't updated his stated position yet.

i feel romney insulted my intelligence to a rather significant degree with this one.  either i'm unable to find his real position or he has absolutely no integrity whatsoever (or a third option I haven't considered).  obama mostly just wasted my time.  this post should have probably gone into one of the threads sheltered from people who don't want to read this kind of stuff.

Oct 4, 12 5:34 pm

"romney insulted my intelligence to a rather significant degree..... obama mostly just wasted my time"

golf clap.

Romney has been all over the map. Last night was his first attempt at honesty. A hail marry pass. I think he feels guilty for pondering for months to the dumbest of republicans. He is not Bush or Reagan, that's for sure. I like people who don't believe in anything. I still want him to lose though. 

But yeah, I agree, this is not the forum for this.

Oct 4, 12 6:05 pm
Sarah Hamilton

I like when these discussions show up here in TC. Within the sanctity of TC, honorable, intelligent discourse can happen, and flame-throwing stays out.


The debate mostly just confused me. I my ears were perked by Romneys tax plans, but having begun researching the programs they want to cut, and especially the education plans, I know Romney was lying about some of it.

Oct 4, 12 6:37 pm

Oh my god please stop talking about the debate.  You're harshing my buzz.

I saw Billie Tsien speak tonight at the IMA.  She's so fucking amazing.  Her WORK is so fucking amazing and she presents it so beautifully and quietly.  In fact the name of the talk was Keeping Quiet and it was perfect. Perfect in every way.

TWBTA's work is SO strongly based in materials.  Not even "materiality" just material.  Everything grows out of some material,  raw initially then assembled carefully, craftsmanly.  And nothing is overly precious, it's left very close to its original state.  Everything is so physical, which immediately reminds us that we live in a body that is material too.  What else can we need architecture to be, but physical and quiet and considered.

OMG.  I was full of joy during the whole dang lecture.  And this is the second time I've seen her - first was probably 20 years ago? - and the work just gets better and better. Afterwards I forced my way into the room where the after-dinner was taking place just to shake her hand and say "I love everything you do and thank you for doing it!!".  Gushed like a schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert!  But it was so amazing. SO sublime.

Oct 4, 12 9:43 pm

(Sarah please note I was writing this before you posted about the debates.  Of course everyone can talk about the debates, but I'm not lending the election any of my attention for the next many hours as I float on the archi-joy.)

Oct 4, 12 9:44 pm

i had the same reaction when she was here. 10 (?!) years ago, i think? consistent goodness. 

i hope she was received well. possibly a lot of anti-barnes-move folks in that crowd? but then hoosiers are awfully polite... 

Oct 5, 12 6:05 am

One polite question about the Barnes controversy, which Billie answered humbly, without casting any aspersions at anyone.  She just admitted it's hard to work on something so controversial (paraphrased quote analogy: "That much light: it illuminates and it burns") and said they felt their task was to respect the ARTWORK as much as possible in the building they made.  Her very simple explanation of the main parti addressing the galleries was lovely, so graceful.

Then, Steven, your friend and mine SP asked an excellent, wonderful question, asking her to comment on the importance of 1. time to develop such beautiful ideas and 2. patronage that accepts and values that kind of time.  Billie's answer wasn't as strident as I might have liked, lol, because I basically wanted her to tell the enthralled crowd "Architects can do amazing work when they have SUPPORTIVE clients!" but she did answer, of course, very elegantly and mentioned that they have been developed their work via jobs they have not taken as well as those they have - that one needs to choose clients carefully.

Oct 5, 12 8:46 am

donna - their work is crazy good. i really wish someone could convince them to produce a comprehensive works monograph/series of monographs for those of us who can't get out to see them all in person. 


she came to speak when i was at auburn - in many ways, i enjoyed her alone more than when i saw her and tod both present later in grad school. 


in fact, since i'm feeling a little reckless this morning, i'll put on the public record an opinion i've shared with most of my students before: their neurosciences institute is, by far, the better complex (in person) than the salk. by far. (well, ok, they're different animals so it's not fair on some level). at least, i enjoyed and connected to the neurosciences building way more than the salk. which wasn't what i had expected. 

Oct 5, 12 11:12 am

Would you guys have taken on the Barnes commission, if you could turn it down and be okay financially?

I also love TWBTA and don't judge them for doing it. Just seems like the last firm I would have expected to work on that job.

Oct 5, 12 11:29 am

i don't think i would have had a problem taking the commission.  are you saying it would be difficult because you would have to keep the exact dimensions of the interior galleries?  or because you would be afraid of Mr. Barnes's ghost haunting you? 

if i had taken the commission, there is a real possibility the end product would not have been as good.

Oct 5, 12 2:24 pm

miesian - i would have (especially if i was in twbta's shoes): look, the foundation was going to make this move. this isn't like working for some kind of human right's abusing dictatorship - yes, it's controversial, but in a more rarefied air.


so, if it's going to be done, why not get the best firm you can to do the work? would you rather have the really great architects all agree to pass on ethical grounds and ultimately have an over-matched local firm end up doing the job and it turn out to be a mess all the way around? i'm glad it didn't turn out to be kitsch - yeah, it's got some issues that all contemporary art museums face (how much is given over to 'art' vs. how much is given over to gathering spaces), plus there's a foundation housed in there... in the end, the main quibble i have is how it relates to the surrounding urban fabric - it seems caught in a no-man's land to some degree. but the building itself? amazing.

Oct 5, 12 3:57 pm

Mr. Walker, were you at the most recent lecture she did a couple years ago at Auburn, or was this a previous event before my attendance?

Oct 5, 12 4:05 pm

Yes, that's definitely one way to look at it, and it looks like TWBTA dealt with it as good as anyone could. I guess I was just so infuriated after seeing the movie, it made me ponder where I would draw the line.

Oct 5, 12 4:58 pm

speaking of SP, donna, i've just confirmed that i can come to archi-bourbonpalooza! 

Oct 6, 12 10:03 am


miesian, I hate that the move happened, and I say that as a 10-year resident of Philly who went to the old Barnes and knew quite a bit about the controversy going way back.

But.  I would have taken the commission, I think. (We're in fantasyland here, but it's a good ethical situation challenge.) I think most architects feel confident that they/we can do good work and for the sake of the art would not want the commission to go to someone who would just eff it up. The problem is, most architects *do* feel like they would do a good job, and yet the vast majority of architects, certainly compared to TWBTA, are talentless hacks. 

I think I even posted here when they were announced that I can't imagine a better selection.  If the move MUST happen, then they were the best choice, IMO.  And I think that's what many architects feel about controversial commissions: if it MUST happen, if the battle for the first best choice is already lost, then if I get the job at least I know I will tackle it with respect and not make a bad situation worse.


Sorry for the multiple voice changes in the above.  My writing's not so clear this AM.

Oct 6, 12 12:25 pm

i think that the issue I have with any architect taking the Barnes commission is that it speaks to many of the issues that we as architects care about.  It seems very similar to the idea of building preservation in a way...

HYPOTHETICAL example: Let's say that the Kaufmann's put in their will that they wanted Fallingwater to be remain as a museum for the forseeable future and left money for that to happen as well as money for the restoration and upkeep.  For some reason then the community of Mill Run decided that the house should be moved downtown because the location was too remote... and broke the will for a number of arbitrary reasons...would we not be up in arms?

This is even worse since it was specifically known that Barnes NEVER wanted his art to move to Philly and that if anyone tried that the collection should be broken up.

I think it sets a bad precedent that a highly respected architecture firm that has ties to the art community took the commission and essentially became party to unscrupulous political maneuvering stomping on a man's wishes. 

But then we'll all be shocked the next time a developer wants to tear down a library by Breuer or a house by Wright.  IMO you can't have it both ways.  The Museum and Philly deserved to have the worst hack architect make an absolute mockery of their sham of a new museum location.

Oct 6, 12 12:49 pm

You can teach a lesson where there's likely to be a second act. But not in a singular all-or-nothing situation.

In this case, what benefit would there be in a Barnes failure? A bad big building in Philly? The breaking up of an amazing collection? I can think of no good that would come out of anything but the best architect doing the best possible project. Spite is seldom a good motivation for a professional.

Architecture is hard. Ethical decisions are also hard but, in this case - and with these thoughtful architects - the result was likely to be better than if they had declined. It's hard to be judgmental of that decision. Their are inherently difficult programmatic and siting issues that it sounds may not have been resolved as well as some of us hoped, but the initial decision: not so bad.

Oct 6, 12 3:52 pm

I guess I'd hope that those same 'thoughtful' architects would have maybe proposed some updates to the original edifice maybe?  but i guess that ship had sailed before they got there...

I think 'best architect creates best possible outcome' argument is weak.  We're essentially now taking the role of the developer/politician/whomever that we as a profession rail against.

I don't mean to be spiteful, but the Barnes DID fail...and because it did it should have been split up and spread all over the world.  Ethically a man's last will and testament should mean something.  No 'better good' is being served here IMO.  Why is it better that the collection stay together in a setting that the man expressly didn't want it in?  The light is different, the approach to the museum, the setting, materials, paint, wallpaper, mold, smell, touch, etc is all different.  This is a farce to simply make the galleries the same size in the same's now basically one of the period rooms in the Met (why is it important that the paintings hang in the same locations in these recreated rooms now since these rooms actually don't really exist in any more than dimension).  Millions more people would be able to see these paintings because they'd be in larger museums around the world...personally i think that'd be the right thing to do... I do have the opposite feeling about the Gardner museum where the paintings were actually stolen and the trust kept it together in the actual house (which is itself a work of art) even though major works were missing (stolen).  The Frick is an amazing collection as well due to its setting.

I guess I just hate the whole idea in general..and I think it's a shame the works didn't stay in their original setting.  The fact that a 'thoughtful', detail oriented, well-intentioned, etc firm took on the commission is irrelevant to me...and I do think we've weakened any argument we as a community can make against keeping works of architecture from hitting the wrecking ball because we as a community are essentially saying this basically illegal act by the city of Philadelphia is 'ok' because an architect made a nice faux house to replace it.

Oct 6, 12 5:30 pm

easy to judge from outside.  the story is political not ethical in spite of all the hype, or at least that is what it became.  times change, wills lose their context and decisions need to be taken.  in this case some questionable ones (on the heels of questionable actions sure nuf) but it was not really about a man's will in the end... jeez loueez, anyone who wishes a whole city to be shat upon as a karma payback kinda thing is definitely in trouble with the karma police ;-)  such luxury problems anyway.  hard to work up sympathy for any side of the story after looking at the state of the rest of the world.  don't you feel just a bit like Nero fiddling as rome burns when getting upset over this sort of thing?

Oct 6, 12 7:05 pm

there are bigger problems in the world so why are you upset about this one... really?  That's your argument?  You could then say that about anything other than the biggest problem in the which one loses? cancer, poverty, war, etc?  I'm being slightly facetious, but cmon... surely you can do far better than that. :{ )

Nothing changed about the will..and it was about a will in the end.  The city of Philly ignored it and moved a collection that was either never to be moved or was to be broken up.  i'm not wishing ill will on Philly..i may even move there and my sister lives there.  I do think though that they shouldn't profit from this move either...but that's just my opinion.

i think that potentially the Barnes collection could possibly gain from being split up and seen in an entirely new light.

I'm kind of shocked that i'm in the minority here...  but i guess we're only talking about art and not architecture.....because art is just luxury and architecture is..... hm i guess that's a conundrum.  so why get upset about anything then i guess.

Oct 6, 12 8:50 pm

I think both opinions are valid in this case, that's what makes it an interesting question. The tactics they employed to move the collection were flat out wrong. The guy put in his will that he didn't want those people to have the collection, and in the end that's exactly what happened (according to the movie, anyway). But, if it was going to happen anyway, then why not someone who cares and would be respectful to the legacy of the collection and the collector? And Lars, I was just as upset when I first saw the movie. Ultimately, as useless an opinion as this might be, I think I would conclude that Barnes should have foreseen that the move is inevitable and at least ensure that it happened on his own terms instead of being so stubborn about it. 

Like Herb & Dorothy did. I would have definitely taken on a commission to design a home for their collection. It's a must see if you haven't already seen it.

Oct 6, 12 9:21 pm

Barnes died in 1951. His wishes were honored for 60+ years. That's a lifetime-ish. Whole new world and his collection and name are preserved with dignity. I don't get the outrage.

Speaking of outrage. Nets stadium down the street opened. It's rusty (yaaay!) and has lasers on top. THe grand opening looked great! A lot of the neighborhood is still up in arms though. I think all the resistance served its purpose of putting pressure on developer to deliver quality architecture. Done. Still lots of folk grasping at straws as to why this is the worst building ever. Traffic? Atlantic Ave. has always been a clogged highway of sorts. And now there's an actual destination, as opposed to a thoroughfare. 'I got mine' is one of the shittiest human traits.

Oct 6, 12 10:43 pm

"This is a farce to simply make the galleries the same size in the same order."

about THIS i completely agree with lars. a function of a parsed legal decision with no consideration of the ridiculousness it would require in implementation. i'm not usually a black-and-white person, but this needed to be an either/or decision. not a sort-of-halfway let's-pretend-nothing's-changed decision. 

but then, that wasn't on the architects either. remember when, in architecture school, professors would dream up these crazy projects with completely trumped-up unrealistic and mostly goofy programs? that's what this project was, in real life. the conditions had already been established. how could architects not try their hand?!  

Oct 7, 12 8:40 am

"Why is it better that the collection stay together in a setting that the man expressly didn't want it in?" Because what the will actually says is that the number one priority is keeping the collection together. The thing that really pisses me off about the whole thing is that people watch that damn movie and get their panties in a bunch about the move. The movie was a propaganda piece! It was intended to get people pissed off about the move. It just doesn't bother to give people all of the information from both sides of the argument.

Oct 7, 12 8:52 am

well stated Phillip.

Oct 7, 12 10:45 am
Tinbeary There there

Good morning!

i r giv up is telling someone to get some people skills on another thread. Heeheeheeheehee.

Oct 7, 12 12:05 pm

Phillip, aren't ALL documentaries propaganda pieces, really?

I could see both sides of the implications of a move, and still have mixed feelings.  But the sleazebag, backdoor, political games that facilitated the move are pretty well-documented int hat movie and not really open to a lot of interpretation. The small bit of personal interaction I had with some of the players in the move reinforced the image of them portrayed in the movie too - greedy, nasty people.

But still, overall I'm not sure it was a net loss or net gain to move.  The new building looks amazing, and the stress on the neighborhood is relieved (though many neighbors were totally fine with all the activity).

Oct 7, 12 9:43 pm


Loved that movie..of course they had so much art that it was impossible to see it in their apartment...but it was also a tiny place.  I think that the building could have been restored is my point and that adequate parking could have been provided as it has been in many other museums in houses...if the city had allowed for it and the foundation really had not wanted the place to deteriorate so that they could move it...i dunno i could be wrong.  But in the end many other museums could have benefited from the Barnes disolution.

Rusty -

Isabella Stewart Gardner died in 1924 yet her wishes have also been maintained.  I'm not that outraged necessarily, but for the fact that the man's wishes could very easily have been kept.

the traffic on Flatbush is a lot worse than Atlantic..but if there's something to be outraged about it's the mall across the street really.

SW-glad we agree on part at least... it seems silly to make the rooms the same size especially since the number of people now going through the 'house' will be far more than it was intended to accomodate.


fair enough...i am interested in learning more... probably in the end i'm most upset at myself for not getting to the original location before it had to move.  i will go visit the Barnes the next time i'm in philly though just to see the building... i just like museum/houses... Gardner, Frick, Rodin, etc were interesting experiences because they weren't originally museums.  I'm also probably sensitive because of growing up in Boston and the Gardner debacle that almost took apart that collection... the location is almost more interesting than the art.

Oct 7, 12 9:49 pm

as far as house-museums go, if you're ever in london be sure to visit the soane museum... you could also buy the book on the soane house-museum written by my good friend helene furjan, which i helped edit... (big green head... why can't we post links and stuff from ipads like we can in regular browsers?)

Oct 8, 12 11:41 am

Saw the touring exhibition of paintings from the Barnes Foundation at the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Saw the touring exhibition of paintings from the Barnes Foundation at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Privately saw the newly restored giant site-specific Cezanne wall painting of the Barnes Foundation “out of site” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The site for the Barnes Foundation on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway has just been chosen--site of the present Youth Study Center (euphemism for juvenile jail) -- across 20th Street from the Free Library of Philadelphia, designed by Horace Trumbauer and soon to be appended by a Moshe Safdie addition. The proposed Calder Museum by Tadao Ando on the south side of the Parkway will be across from the Barnes. [I'm pretty sure the radio newsman said that a "replica" of the present Barnes Foundation (a design by Paul Cret) will be built on the Youth the Study Center site of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Gosh, just what the Parkway needs, another reenactment.]

Barnes celebrated his birthday yesterday, 2 January, and he loves all the new attention. He’s trying the influence a whole new arrangement of his art, he’s thinking: “It should be even more confounding. The Youth Study Center (juvenile jail) building should be kept, and all the art should go in there. Now that would make an impression.”

[Spent Sunday morning at the Barnes Foundation.
First time there—no coat check, no headphones,
had most of the galleries to myself,
best way to see the place.
The Cret design is a keeper.
It shouldn't be seen as a move,
just getting the additional space that is desperately needed.
Was right about the Matisses,
and didn't know I could correctly guess a Rubens before.
The furniture quickly began to intrigue, as did the hardware.
I heard the old lady tour guide say plastic means was part of the goal.
After years of near rigor mortis,
the Foundation deserves plastic means.]
Barnes himself is presently existing among the dozen odd homeless that "live" along the base of the Youth Study Center.
"I'm really into site analysis."
[In the afternoon at home, I remembered the "Parlor of the Turn-of-the-Millennium Collector" at Venue December 1993.]
Barnes now-a-days dreams of collecting Venue artists.

Make that Philadelphia, the premier US center of reenactionary architecturism.
Let's hope that someone important enough realizes that the present Paul Cret designed gallery building of the Barnes Foundation should still be used as a (new?) art gallery once the art collection moves the downtown Philadelphia. Plus, to reenact the Cret interior downtown would just be stupid. St. Catherine de Ricci, Louis I Kahn and Albert C. Barnes made all this clear in their paper "The Bilocating Barnes Foundation."

Have no immediate plans to see the new Barnes Foundation. [It may well be that I never see it, unless, of course, I learn how to bilocate.]

Oct 8, 12 11:45 am


In case there is some confusion, the original Barnes Foundation was not a house museum. The Foundation was a gallery building designed by Paul Cret specifically for the Barnes collection.


Oct 8, 12 11:49 am

Overheard at the local family-owned hardware store (owner of store to a regular): "My son wants to go into Architecture so I might as well kill him. Daughter hasn't decided what she wants to do in life, so there's still hope for her".

Kids, say no to architecture unless you want to git filicided.

Oct 8, 12 1:46 pm

my point wasn't that there are bigger problems out there so it didn't matter, only that it is not such a simple issue (that documentary was a bit iffy with the facts)... and when it comes down to it at least no one died.  if we are gonna go down the black and white, if you're not with me you're against me, path,  i think the default question needs to be did anyone die?  anything else is pretty much a let-down.  In this case we are ahead of the game.  seriously, politics is a game of silly buggers all round.  Wading into it as architect is dangerous sport ;-)

Oct 8, 12 5:59 pm

hi all, traveling in Wisconsin for work again. Just had a chance to catch up on that Radical Pedagogies new post

must say i agree with toasteroven the posts by newguy were great. although his and Thayer-D discussion didn't really stay on topic...

Oct 8, 12 7:56 pm

@nam - and as usual I go off the deep end in the beginning, realize just how nuts I sound, then backpedal.  usually how my conversations in real life pan out.

Oct 9, 12 12:52 am

@toast just to clarify i was reffering to newguy with the "his". But yeah i feel you. I have been trying to be more slow and thoughtful recently though in line with this quote "how slowly (and carefully?) he crafted his responses, often for seemingly the most “universal” encompassment" reflecting on a recent William Gibson lecture.

afternoon all. Wisconsin is cold (in a good way) but really windy (not in a good way)....

Oct 9, 12 2:36 pm

toast, that's my biggest problem - going off the deep end very quickly. Actually, maybe it's my second biggest problem, my first being procrastination.


Listening to Louis CK's audio of Tig Notaro.  Louis CK is some kind of human genius.  I love every single thing he does.

Oct 9, 12 8:37 pm

donna you got a link?

Oct 9, 12 9:29 pm

Tig's set is so worth five bucks (it's worth five times that), as was the live show of his own standup Louis put up there a year ago.

Oct 9, 12 9:35 pm

every single thing he does, i loved his lucky louis show. his support of tig is awesome!

Oct 9, 12 10:21 pm

donna thanks for the link, i heard (maybe in a CK interview with Bill Simmons?) that that Tig's show that night was awesome. very cool is decided to help her out.

also anyone have any thoughts on the recent Usada report on Armstrong?  as i have said elsewhere, I do admit to feeling let down a bit but knew all along that he likely had... my question is why hasn't/doesn't he just admit as so many other dopers (in MLB for instance) have. maybe because he became unlike them such a "cause"?

Oct 11, 12 3:20 pm

Hi All,

Just to share - this is what I did in June -


Oct 11, 12 6:48 pm

I'm sorry I've been so quiet. I've been working on a couple things (lots of things actually). But one of them has worked out and I'm supposed to be giving a lecture at Florida A&M University at the end of this month. Nam I expect to see you there... mustache and all.

Oct 12, 12 1:28 pm

well done dia.  your project looks great.

Oct 12, 12 1:50 pm

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