Paul Rudolph threatened with demolition: when I see #&*! like this I just want to give up.


Orhan! I need your help! Didn't you post a gorgeous picture of the extruded aluminum sections on Wyly Theater here once?  I need that image for a class tomorrow!

Apr 9, 12 10:59 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

Donna- Thanks for the kind words. Appreciate the compliment. Here's what you said about San Giorgio Maggiore: "When I finally saw this church in person last summer, it was breathtaking.  Awesome in the sublime sense of that word.  Made me aware of my breathing and my body in space and time.  Magnificent, confident, calm…really perfect." Are you saying that this was no visceral response at all, but simply an intellectual one based completely on what you had been taught by others? That whatever emotion you felt there was the result of cultural indoctrination?

Apr 9, 12 11:27 pm

Well, I learned to swoon over bourbon eventually, right? ;-)

To answer somewhat circumspectly: Love is both emotional AND intellectual.  I do believe this. 

Apr 9, 12 11:30 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

Then we agree. :) And my predilection for scotch is something I most definitely learned from my parents. :)

Apr 9, 12 11:56 pm

all those styles were discarded at one point EKE.  gothic was out just in time to disappoint pugin.  st paul's was considered an atrocity, etc.  as steven points out victorian homes were being knocked down at one point and as this recent article in ny times reminds us art deco buildings in florida were so hated there was a line to rip them down.

there was a really great but horrible quote in the news not so long ago complaining about "the intellectual limitations of a settled perspective".  it's probably never fair to say that about anyone but the sentiment rings true to me.  architects scientists poets magicians, we should all be open to the possibilities instead of stubbornly settling into what we know is true.  otherwise we will miss all kinds of great things and great opportunities for no better reason than we refuse to see them.

Apr 10, 12 1:55 am

are you guys reading some of the comments here?

a gem;

Joseph FinsterwaldCambridge, MA

Let's face facts. Le Corbusier was a hack who made ugly buildings. His contribution to architecture was based on his brand, not on the quality of his work.
April 9, 2012 at 4:02 p.m

Apr 10, 12 2:42 am
Erik Evens (EKE)

I agree about the limitations of a settled perspective. i'm not the one who has settled on a perspective that some languages are no longer to be permitted as relevant. I'm for both/and rather than either/or.

Apr 10, 12 3:24 am

Amen, EKE. My education taught me to appreciate different things too. That was what most of it was about.

Apr 10, 12 9:57 am

orhan - IMO - that's a overly strong reaction, but Cantabrigians have to live with the carpenter center.  It's an interesting building that is marginally successful functionally (there are some parts of it that really don't work), but for local architects it's one of those modern temples that you cannot criticize.


However this building is part of an era when the city and the commonwealth were tearing down entire neighborhoods and communities to put up highways and these brutalist concrete buildings.  This is why, at least in Boston (and the surrounding areas), people hate these buildings because they are the visual representation of a very misguided period of our urban history.  I think for architects to not recognize the political and psychological implications associated with this style is completely ignoring our role.  We were on the wrong side (like corbu during the war)- and it's time we come to terms with it.

Apr 10, 12 11:16 am

I think one of the things that many of you are glossing over about historical architectural styles is that the styles themselves were not important.

The styles, however, were the framing of a very significant visual pictographic language.

Even though much of Rome was literate, in both Latin and Greek, during the height of it, extremely complex cultural and philosophical values were frequently conveyed through visual allegory: fables, history of battles, bibliographies and superstitions.

Literacy rates, as those seen within the Roman empire, didn't return to the West for close to 1400 years. Architecture, prior to the 19th- and 20th-centuries, was not just an aesthetic pursuit but was a canvas on which mass amounts of information about culture, economics and law could be spread through pictographs and symbols.

And art in architecture wasn't just there for purely communicate purposes, either. Many architectural adornments were also used as acts of divination; to increase the chance of plentiful food, to ward off evil spirits, to cast spells and to prevent illness.

Apr 10, 12 12:45 pm

 At one time (not too long ago) wolfs were being intentionally eradicated from N. America because people saw them as pests, dangerous, etc...even though there has never been a single proven death by a wolf.

Most "values" are formed in a group think kind of way.   At the time, most people agreed that wolves needed to go.  Now, most people would probably disagree with that.   However, I would bet that most ecologists, biologists, zoologists etc.. had the same opinion then as they do now because their opinions are based on reason..."wolves are an important part of the ecosystem and are harmless to humans."   There is no rational reason to respect the opinion of the person who says "kill those evil ugly wolves" or the person who says "tear down that ugly building"  I respect their right to be stupid, but I do not respect their opinion because it is based on ignorance, and to respect it is to respect ignorance. 
If we give an equal platform to all opinions (informed or non-informed) then we will never be respected and considered an authority by the public. 

Apr 10, 12 7:28 pm

respect my authoritah!

Apr 10, 12 9:56 pm


Apr 11, 12 10:02 pm

I'm pretty sure that was aliens and not wolves. 

Apr 12, 12 2:15 am

There is no rational reason to respect the opinion of the person who says "kill those evil ugly wolves"

I agree with snook_dude.  I think in this case, jla may not have thoroughly researched both perspectives of the issue.  I guess the lesson is, perhaps do a better job of listening to the people who think the building is ugly and want it torn down.  If you tell them you have no respect for their opinion (or them), why would you expect them to have any respect for you or your opinion?

Apr 12, 12 9:50 am

curkram, I hear you and I agree in part, but the answer to "Why should I listen to your opinion?" needs to start with an explanation of one's credentials and experience that brought them to that opinion.  If in my doctor's opinion I should get chemo for my cancer, I know s/he has a level of expertise that makes the opinion more than whimsy.  If Tom Cruise says I should use vitamins to cure my cancer because Xenu said it would work, there is no reason to respect that opinion.

I think we ALL , as a community and country, need to show respect for the opinions of people who have specific credentials.  Listening equally to every voice regardless of how uninformed gets us nowhere as a culture.

Apr 12, 12 12:33 pm

Donna, that's like, just your opinion.

Apr 12, 12 12:44 pm

And I'm celebrating Free Margarita Morning at Staples, so what do I know?

Apr 12, 12 12:48 pm

actually, i think donna's right. if we take everyone's opinion or thoughts equally, we end up with stupidity prevailing. this is because in gerneral, people are uninformed and not very bright (especially americans - see fuax noise or the re-emergence of the creationist movement)

Apr 12, 12 12:58 pm

Donna,, well said.  We should not disrespect people, but we also do not have to respect them.   I have no respect for racism, because racism is breed from ignorance.  I have no respect for people who deny global warming, because they have no real logic to back up their beliefs.   M.L.K was a master at arguing what's right without alienating the opponent and straight out saying that they are wrong.  In this particular time in history we really need to change the way people think about the  (built and natural)   environment if we are ever going to make any real impact out there. 

Time is of the essence!  Anyone see this study?




Apr 12, 12 1:34 pm

Yeah, I saw MIT study last week.  But it is somewhat irrelevant as the looming financial collapse/economic crisis is going to make it difficult to push the earth's resources to the limits in the next 18 years anyhow.

Also, racism isn't always breed from ignorance.  To give just one example, if you had been a native american one or two hundreds years ago you might very well have had a racist hatred of white people and ignorance likely would have had nothing to do with it.

I'll echo that "time is of the essence,"  sign the petition:

And if you've already signed it, then make up a new yahoo, gmail, hotmail, etc. account with an alias and sign it again.  And agin, and again!


Apr 12, 12 3:40 pm

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