Today’s News - Thursday, March 4, 2021

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tomorrow, Monday & Tuesday will be a no-newsletter days. We'll be back Wednesday, March 10.

●  Design and disability scholar Elizabeth Guffey wanders Roosevelt Island, "named for a disabled president. I am very sorry to report that even a self-consciously forward-looking project [Cornell Tech] can still be insidiously inaccessible. Is this the best we can expect from 'the future'?" Never mind that Four Freedoms Park, "the memorial to a disabled president, was not ADA compliant" when it opened.

●  William Morgan reports that it's gown-vs.-town - again - when it comes to Brown University's plans to build "a massive block" of dorms - partly in a historic district in Providence: "Deborah Berke Partners is a firm with a good track record of academic work. Sadly, Brown has a record of hiring good architects and underutilizing their talents."

●  Zach Mortice reports on the ongoing battle to save a 1939 National Register-eligible African American housing project in Buffalo, New York: Housing Agency: The battle is being waged by "the largely white preservation community'" - why devote "resources to maintaining a giant monument of segregation when we could be making beautiful new housing?' For Preservation Buffalo Niagara, that's a false choice."

●  Frank Edgerton Martin takes a deep dive into the fascinating history and $158-million restoration of SOM's Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado: The "Cadet Chapel's bold expression of lightness and form soon became a global symbol of America's vision and technological promise - the planning and design team became a virtual who's who of 20th-century American culture."

●  Eyefuls of Populous's $500 million sports or entertainment venue on Toronto's waterfront for OverActive Media (it certainly lives up to client's name - put on your sunglasses!).

●  USGBC expands LEED Earth to include homes, communities and cities, "designed to bring LEED to countries where green building is still emerging."

●  One we couldn't resist: Eyefuls of the "world's first space hotel to begin construction in low Earth orbit in 2025 - complete with restaurants, cinemas and rooms for up to 400 guests" (we'll take a room with a balcony, please).

Deadline reminder (deadline looms!):

●  Call for Applications: Places Journal Inaugural Critics-in-Residence in Architecture and Landscape Architecture - includes a stipend to write four major critical essays.

Weekend diversions:

●  Matt Shaw takes a thoughtful dive into MoMA's "Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America.": "The damaging impact architecture has often had on communities of color is explored along with ideas of how to move forward. The histories of the laws and ideologies that administered racial oppression through urban space are mostly left out of architectural discussions" - but not here.

●  Jared Green brings us eyefuls of "Illuminate," a new free public art exhibition that brings "world-class light and interactive art" to a two-mile stretch of Coral Gables, Florida (looks fab!).

●  Welton parses "Gustav Stickley: American Craftsman" - a 68-minute-long documentary that opens virtually tomorrow: "He'd bet the farm, because he'd found something that resonated with a large middle class. World War 1 came along. 'He was hot - and then not.' Though he died forgotten in 1942, his name is now a near-household word."

●  Akiva Blander's Q&A with Mariana Mogilevich re: her book "The Invention of Public Space: Designing for Inclusion in Lindsay's New York," in which the architectural historian discusses how Mayor John Lindsay's "attention to public spaces and diverse communities has left an unmissable mark on the city's public realm."

●  Welton talks to Kundig re: "Tom Kundig: Working Title" and his "artistic eye": "Art is the filter through which he assembles what's around him into a coherent whole - this is a 10-inch-by-12-inch case history of what that process yields."


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