Today’s News - Wednesday, March 4, 2020

●  Sad news: We've lost Henry Cobb at 93, "the bold Modernist architect" whose work with Pei Cobb Freed & Partners "earned the firm a special place in architectural history as purveyors of some of the most iconic (and tallest) towers of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s." (Kimmelman tweeted the news last night).

●  Catesby Leigh continues his campaign supporting the proposed "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" executive order: "What a fabulous idea - it is not perfect. Even if the kinks aren't ironed out - it represents a much-needed shock to a rigged system."

●  Baskin begs to differ: "While there is much to appreciate in classical and neoclassical buildings, admirers have long included authoritarians" who "want to use architecture to inspire a kind of superiority" ("Trump is not an obvious champion of 'classical'" architecture - his properties tend to look more like cigarettes wearing body armor than replicas of the Parthenon").

●  Plans for Western Sydney's new, $1.5 billion Powerhouse Museum seem to have "a major design flaw - it has no entry for visitors" - but there are assurances that it will be a "highly connected and accessible museum."

●  Koziarz reports that the heights of SOM's plan for two towers on the former Chicago Spire site are being scaled back: "It seems a real shame that downtown Chicago's most prominent development site has waited this long for a plan that may be more 'thoughtful' than its predecessor, but is certainly less significant in its scope and ambition."

●  Meanwhile, "if you needed further evidence of Austin's boomtown status," here are eyefuls of "37 towers in the works for downtown. Will all of them rise? Time will tell" (with most of the architects named - what a concept!).

●  Wainwright delves into "how God is getting into construction" as "cash-strapped churches are inviting developers to build pricey flats on their turf. Is this the promised land for faith buildings - or a deal with the devil?" (a show of 23 such projects is on view in London 'til Saturday impressive, even "a cynical atheist" can't deny "that faith buildings have a useful future in them yet").

●  DLR Group's 21-story, 450-room Dream Las Vega luxury hotel on the Strip will be a "welcome addition to the Sin City skyline" (and a neighbor of the iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign).

●  Jersey City is about to get a two-tower apartment complex to include a pedestrian connection to a nearby light rail station and a new park on a 17.5-acre former brownfield site.

●  Filmmaker and CEO of the FLW Revival Initiative Michael Miner has bought Wright's Pappas House in west St. Louis County with plans to turn it into museum after "a few major repairs - it will need some TLC for FLW."

●  Olson talks to P+W principal and director of global diversity Gabrielle Bullock: "By addressing diversity and inclusion, she is amplifying her message and others' while making the field more receptive" (while working on some cool projects!).

●  Moore x 2: He offers a plan, "which I offer for no fee, would make a gigantic super-airport" ("Mooreport"?), while "a visit to Abbey Wood station makes me wonder if any project involving trains and tunnels should ever be attempted in Britain again" (and musings on "Parasite" and skunks).

●  He catches up with Herb Greene: "Now 90, he reflects on his work and that of his fellow 60s renegades. You can't talk to or about him, without also talking about the dazzlingly original Bruce Goff."

●  Bollen profiles Scarpa, whose "reimagining of ancient public buildings made him an Italian icon - today, his message - that true beauty endures, transcending global tumult and uncertainty - has never seemed more germane."

●  A bit of history is always good: Brussat brings us a (fab!) video of Manhattan in 1911: "Some of today's most recognized buildings slide by - there's even a stretch that conveys a strong sense of the Manhattan skyline of the era."

●  Kohlstedt of 99% Invisible delves into setbacks, "the century-old NYC mandate that shaped modern skylines" across the U.S. (fab photos!).


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