Linking Around for the Long Weekend

Technically this isn’t a blog roundup post, since it covers mostly out-of-state newspaper and other journalistic sources, so just consider it a way to catch up on some interesting reading during your long weekend.

  • Here’s a story from Architectural Record about Steve Jobs that will make all of us who own Macs or iPhones or iPads a little less happy with our choice: Steve Jobs, the Demo Man.

Too many planners think that Death and Life was about planning, about them. Although Jacobs opened that book with “This is an attack on current city planning and rebuilding,” that seminal work is really about understanding how cities work, the importance of observing the city on the ground, and recognizing how everything is connected, always changing, always organic and much too fluid to be readily reflected in a Plan. Jacobs’ condemnation was of a field wedded to theories of how things should be instead of how they were and in the process denying the essence of urbanism itself.

  • The Wall Street Journal’s “Come In, We’re Open” tells of us of the growing trend of cities holding Open Houses, opening landmark buildings to the public at certain times of year. The article neglects to mention that little garden club ladies in Natchez and other small Southern towns back in the 1930s were the forerunners of this hip urban idea.

Despite falling into a state of neglect and disrepair over the past century, Port-au-Prince’s beautiful, ornate ‘gingerbread’ houses were unlikely survivors of last year’s earthquake. As the Haitian capital recovers, these once-grand houses are setting a foundation for its cultural and economic restoration.

  • Bad news from Norman, Oklahoma about Bruce Goff’s Bavinger House. (Bruce Goff also designed our own Gryder House in Ocean Springs.) Apparently it was damaged in a recent tornado/storm and the owner has gone back and forth about tearing it down–in fact he claimed to have already demolished it, but aerial photos reveal the building still standing. Read the strange saga in several installments:
  • If you have Modernist tendencies and you’re looking for something longer to read, you might be interested in a book about New England’s Modernism Tomorrow’s Houses (Rizzoli, 2011). Read a review at Boston.com.
  • And if you’re in NYC between now and October 30, check out the exhibit about the Colonial Revival style, “The American Style,” at the Museum of the City of New York. The ten-day forecast for New York City includes highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s, so now would be a good time to go.

Happy Independence Day, y’all!



Categories: Historic Preservation

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