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« Reinventing College | Main | Little Architecture History Lessons »

April 08, 2009

Architecture Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* John Massengale gives a mixed review to the Yankees' new stadium. A video tour can be watched here.

* Steve Sailer is sensibly funny and disparaging about an expensive new L.A. high school. Many commenters make witty jokes too. The good show left me wondering about something I've wondered about before: Given how much mockery of conventional politics the web has set loose, why aren't we seeing more populist mockery of bad, pretentious architecture? My sad hunch: Most Americans barely register their physical surroundings, at least once outside their own homes.

* MBlowhard Rewind: I mused about the roles of utility and evolution in the development of the arts.



posted by Michael at April 8, 2009


Here's a truly spectacular stadium. Amazing:
Berlin 1936.

Posted by: dave.s. on April 9, 2009 7:02 AM

My sad hunch: Most Americans barely register their physical surroundings, at least once outside their own homes.

Michael, if we were to use something like the New Urbanists to gauge interest in architecture and urban design, then I would not say that America is any less, or more, interested than any other Western Nation.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 9, 2009 10:13 AM

It's like Michael Pollan points out about food. (North) Americans obsess about development more than almost anyone else, but just keep getting more and more lost.

Posted by: Desmond Bliek on April 9, 2009 12:19 PM

Pupu thinks the L.A. high school would look much better without the swirling ribbon around the airplane tail. To avoid unnecessary waste, they could lay the ribbon on the ground and use it as a sculpture or a slide of some sort.

The building across the street is terrific looking.

Posted by: Pupu on April 9, 2009 4:09 PM

"My sad hunch: Most Americans barely register their physical surroundings, at least once outside their own homes."

What other choice is there? Most of the built landscape in this country makes you numb if you have any sense of beauty.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher on April 9, 2009 5:08 PM

Wow, that high school is atrocious.

Posted by: JV on April 9, 2009 7:28 PM

From the outside, at least, the Mets' new Citi Field is more attractive than the new Yankee Stadium. The Mets chose to go with reddish brick which gives their stadium a classic old timey baseball feel. Also the roman arch window openings (I don't know the technical term) that march around the outside of Citi Field are slightly wider, less cramped feeling, than the similar windows around Yankee Stadium.

Michael, I'm pretty sure you're not a snob, so I don't understand the statement about Americans' insensitivity to their physical surroundings, or the general ugliness of those surroundings. In terms of domestic architecture there is nothing to compare to the beauty of the older established suburbs, that's right, suburbs, in the northeast corridor of the nation. Drive through Westchester and it's equivalents: miles and miles of classic clapboard and brick unattached homes set back from the road and from each other on beautiful old growth acreage.
I've been to Europe and I can tell you that the old grey stone everywhere gets pretty tired after a while.
Plus, a lot of the hodgepodge mixed industrial, commercial, residential landscape in America has a dynamism that is positively invigorating. Jersey, that's right, north Jersey is one such area. Would I want to live there? Maybe. All I know is that everytime I drive through north Jersey on my way in or out of the city the visual stimulation is intoxicating. No joke.

Posted by: ricpic on April 10, 2009 2:10 AM

$242 million arts high school in downtown Los Angeles.

Clearly education is underfunded.

Posted by: slumlord on April 10, 2009 5:52 AM

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