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Today’s News - Wednesday, August 6, 2014

•   Jacobs pens one of the most thoughtful pieces we've read about Ground Zero, the 9/11 Museum that "does what it's supposed to do, diligently and surprisingly well," and the transit hub that "might turn out to be the transcendent space that the WTC badly needs" - it "has the audacity to look like New York."

•   Cuozzo, on the other hand, minces no words about what he thinks of the transit hub rising from Ground Zero, and "the embarrassing ugliness of this $4 billion boondoggle. What happened to the 'bird in flight' we were promised?" (it's called value engineering).

•   Pogrebin reports on the new Congressional report re: Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial - is it really "just another Washington boondoggle"?

•   Pedersen, on the other hand, takes issue with "a few glaring omissions in Pogrebin's story," but "that this whole episode sadly mirrors the larger paralysis gripping Washington should come as no surprise."

•   Hockenberry waxes practically poetic about "a resurgent street culture emerging" in NYC, "using spaces that would have been graffiti-covered concrete emptiness just a few years ago - people have found a Moses workaround."

•   Steuteville parses a Pew study and "why 'place' is the new American dream" in both cities and suburbs.

•   Wyeth cheers "growth and change" in Melbourne as "both a beautiful and inevitable thing," but "the conversation needs to change away from selfish and counter-productive protectionist sentiments, and towards making the city's growth inclusive."

•   In China, "the urbanizing population is starting to demand a better quality of dwelling" that "is stirring even the Chinese housing dragon," and for a new generation of designers, a chance to have "a greater say in the country's changing urban face."

•   Capps pens a "requiem for a nightmare" that is the FBI HQ building, "maybe the most despised structure in Washington, D.C. As Brutalism edges toward extinction, cities should take stock" (and whatever replaces it "will be regular, orderly, safe, and worse").

•   Farago offers a small, international round-up of "buildings we love to hate" (including the FBI HQ).

•   Lubell reports that Neutra and Alexander's buildings and Eckbo's landscape at Orange Coast College are under threat as well.

•   Saitta says the Aspen Ideas Festival doesn't offer a lot of compelling ideas for improving city life, "but it has its moments."

•   O'Toole files two reports from UIA2014 in Durban: it gets a bit better after the "congress opened in lackluster fashion": Architecture is a "scarce skill monopolized by whites" + "Presentations on earthquake readiness and slum settlement solutions highlighted contributions to human dignity."

•   An impressive shortlist in line for the LEAF Awards 2014.

•   Call for entries: Springburn Winter Gardens open ideas competition to bring the gardens back to full use (deadline looms!) + Sinclair launches the Dead Prize, "a sort of Razzies for architecture" (or Carbuncle Cup with an enviro bent).

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