Today’s News - Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A win and a few losses in the preservation and adaptive reuse world:

●  James Russell: "The new Moynihan Train Hall is a light-drenched effort to recapture the glory of a lost architectural masterpiece. It doesn't fully succeed - but it's a good start."

●  Ian Volner: "New York's new train hall has arrived, more than 20 years behind schedule but somehow right on time. It's a place, and it's ours - and its opening, despite all the challenges of the pandemic, is fairly stunning" ("perhaps most distressingly, portions are being leased [to] Facebook").

●  David Brussat: On the Moynihan Train Hall: "Entering the Farley Post Office Building, designed by McKim Mead & White, is as god-like an experience as one could wish" - though it "does not in the least do away with the need for the proposal to rebuild Penn Station using the original design."

●  On the other side of the Big Pond: Wainwright minces no words about plans to demolish Coventry's town center - a "radical" post-war "urban vision" - and replace it with a shopping mall topped with 1,300 apartments (none affordable). "It shows such a lack of imagination."

●  Rowan Moore has a similar take re: Coventry: "No true 'city of culture' should dishonor the bold ideals of its postwar rebirth" and "its pioneering mid-century reconstruction - the proposed redevelopment is generic, could-be-anywhere stuff."

●  Paul Rudolph's 1972 Burroughs Wellcome building in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park is being "pulled apart" with pieces being hauled away "by the truckload" - United Therapeutics promises a "Paul Rudolph Foyer" in whatever building replaces it (aren't we lucky).

In other news:

●  Classical architect Christine Huckins Franck explains why she opposes the "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again" executive order, and resigned from the board of the NCAS: "It will backfire spectacularly and only reinforces the incorrect notion that classical architecture is authoritarian. I wish I could have done more to stop this unforced error from happening."

●  Duo Dickinson parses "the end of the 20th century in architecture - we have been alone in our rooms in 2020. Rather than the 20th Century juggernaut of a design elite judging from the top-down, more designers, architects, and most importantly, clients, are basing their aesthetic on their values, rather than what is 'Correct.'"

●  Laura Lee looks at how the "Black Lives Matter movement has forced us to take a hard and honest look" at the landscape architecture industry, and how the black landscape architect's network, BlackLAN, along with ASLA, the NALP, Landscape Institute and others "are making inclusivity and diversity a priority."

●  Jennifer Hahn cheers the Design Museum's Beazley Designs of the Year 2020, led by Rael San Fratello's Teeter-Totter Wall - the pink seesaws that straddled US-Mexico border - winners and finalists on view in the Design Museum's (cool!) virtual exhibition.

●  One we couldn't resist: Grace Farms Foundation and Herman Miller launch limited-edition face masks to "support eradicating slavery in the built environment - with sales supporting Design for Freedom, a multifaceted initiative formally launched by Grace Farms last October."

●  ICYMI: ANN feature: Dave Hora: Nature of Order #3: Nos. 9-15 of Christopher Alexander's 15 Fundamental Properties of Wholeness: In contrast with the first eight, something feels more primal and elemental in these properties.


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