Modernism vs. the World

David Brussat, of the editorial board of the Providence, Rhode Island Journal writes

Americans prefer traditional design but the American Institute of Architects has worked for decades to thwart that, to stack the deck against the public’s tastes – it’s about time its members started listening.


Of that crazy list compiled by the AIA of “the people’s favorite buildings in the U.S.” he writes

“No buildings by the pioneer of the glass box, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, made the list. Perfecto!”

He quotes classical architect Nir Buras, “The statistics still hold. People prefer/remember/recognize traditional 10 times better than modernist.”

“I would say that modern architecture fared far better than it had any right to expect.”

“No buildings in Providence made the list, although at least half a dozen of our old buildings are superior to all of the modernist buildings that did make the list.

Mr. Brussat, with all due respect, stay in Providence. Doesn’t the name of your city mean “G’d s will, as expressed through events on Earth?” Maybe you find it in classicism. I do too when the classicism is well done; and yes you have some fine structures in you little lost-in-time town. But I also feel “G’d s will, as expressed through events on Earth” in a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe lobby.

I tell you what Mr. Brussat. You’re a smart man. Come to Chicago and let me show you around. I think you’ll love it. And you’ll see, you just have to do Modernism right.

Best regards,

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