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Today’s News - Monday, April 9, 2012

•   Sam Hall Kaplan (he's back - yay!) explains why this really is "the best of times for the planning profession," considering that the "planning and design consciousness" of more people and communities is "discernibly on the rise."

•   Hume might take issue with that, as he takes on the "sell-off" of the public realm to the private sector: "we might want to think twice about our unseemly haste...But it may already be too late."

•   Lackmeyer might disagree as well: while he cheers plans for Oklahoma City's Core to Shore park, and its impressive shortlist, he bemoans the final selection process that won't include a city planner or the city's park department "because that's always the way it's been done."

•   Rochon finds inspiration in Lebbeus Woods, who "offers hope amid the globe's ruin and rubble."

•   Quirk offers an elegy to architectural criticism - sort of: "criticism hasn't died...It's just been changed beyond recognition. And frankly, for the better."

•   Lewis calls for a rethink of the Eisenhower Memorial, having "nothing to do with aesthetic style": an open, national competition would be one way to go (though perhaps "unfeasible economically and politically") - or ask Gehry "to come up with scheme B to correct the flaws of scheme A."

•   Kamin reconsiders Graves's Humana Building and postmodernism in general: it "deserves a more sophisticated reappraisal, one that carefully separates its masterpieces from its mediocrities and clarifies its contributions to the long-term arc of design."

•   Brutalism (and Rudolph in particular) in the spotlight: Pogrebin ponders "architecture's ugly ducklings" that "may not get time to be swans" ("It's one of the great public relations failures of all time," says Bergdoll).

•   Arieff, Brown, Renn, and Vasudevan debate: Are Some Buildings Too Ugly to Survive?

•   Jana chimes in with her own take, asking "when is a landmark building too ugly to preserve? While taste and historical context does matter, ultimately, economics may matter more."

•   While Warren and Mahoney "were the vortex around which the modernist movement...the Christchurch Style - swirled," many of their buildings are either gone (by earthquake) - or going (via a wrecking ball): "It was a brave world, but it wasn't a pretty one," but "the fashion of the period is coming back."

•   Dvir on the sad state of Israel's own 1930s Glass House (an apartment building, actually): "it reflects a rare architectural avant-garde," and even though it's been declared a conservation site, "the Haifa municipality isn't rushing to fix the problem."

•   Hinshaw minces no words about what he thinks of "messing with a park designed by a landscape master" with "a clunky intrusion of sculpture meant to honor a donor."

•   On a brighter note, new renderings of the SEPTA Spur phase of Philly's Reading Viaduct could be a High Line moment in fundraising and "a make-or-break opportunity to complete the larger project."

•   A good reason to head to Chicago this week: the Architecture and Design Film Festival Chicago will present over 31 films from 13 countries.

•   Calys (making us blush!) reports on ArchNewsNow's 10th ANNiversary fete last week (we'll be posting our own pictorial report shortly).


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