Archive for the ‘Kansas City’ Category

If Barack Obama were a building…


what building would Barack Obama be?

I was inspired to ask this after appearing on Frances Anderton’s Design and Architecture on KCRW radio to talk about Barack Obama and design. Since, well, you know, this.

One Beautiful! reader suggested

Steven Holl’s addition to the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City.
I like the comparison. This is contemporary, yet well rooted. Shining forth. Full of culture. Energy efficient. Holds many ideas and is capable of doing many things at once. Works with nature. Very open.
Another reader suggested something like this

If so, I hope it’s high-speed rail, well-designed infrastructure, plus broadband and alternative energies.

Would he be

a Louis Sullivan? Every inch “a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exultation” as Sullivan wanted his tall buildings to be? Sullivan, a transplant to Chicago, like Obama, certainly gave us optimism and the highest American democratic ideals. But his late nineteenth-century work came at a time of prosperity; and he wanted his tall buildings “without a single dissenting line.” Not sure that’s Obama.

How about

Unity Temple
Frank Lloyd Wright
Oak Park, Illinois

Historic, new, original. A hybrid of two cultures, east and west. Tall, looks outward, radiates energy outward across the land. Radical, yet rooted. Modern yet traditional. Like Sullivan, Wright proclaims Emersonian American ideals. Seems to keep a lot to itself, kind of cool on the outside, a heck of a lot going on in the inside.

Let’s compare Obama to a more contemporary building.

What building do you think Barack Obama would be?

— Read part two here. —

A few months ago, I wrote about Obama and columns.


Like Obama? Like Frank Lloyd Wright?


Combine “Left” and Wright

here, with this.

I’m sure the evening will look like

By the way, what is Obama’s arts and culture policy? Or McCain’s?

More photos of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Clarence Sondern house here, (where the top two are from also.)

Yesterday I was at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ravine Bluffs development in Glencoe, Illinois; there’s bad news and there’s lots of good news.

Tomorrow morning I’ll visit Wright’s Barnsdall Residence (Hollyhock) and his Freeman Residence, both in Los Angeles. Photos will follow.

Steven Holl takes you around the Bloch.

Click here for an enlightening video.
It gets really good as it goes along.


Steven Holl takes you around the Bloch.

Click here for an enlightening video.
It gets really good as it goes along.