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Executive Order for Classical Architecture

  • 1.  Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 13 days ago
    This is hard to believe. The AIA released a statement that I do not think goes far enough in rejecting this ridiculous idea. Perhaps the College of Fellows should do something more. 

    https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/14466-will-the-white-house-order-new-federal-architecture-to-be-classical#AIA

    Guy Geier FAIA, FIIDA, LEED
    Managing Partner
    FXCollaborative Architects LLP
    646.292.8120 p
    917.596.8224 m


  • 2.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 13 days ago

    If this GSA draft is codified as official policy, Classicism's revival, which yesterday could credibly be defended on both artistic and intellectual grounds, is morally and mortally wounded. Modernists and Classicists should be equally outraged. 

    Unfortunately, this right-wing hijacking has been in the making for some time, though mostly under the radar. No more. From here on out, there will be no way to separate Trumpism from Greco/Roman forms and details. It's a literal kiss of death.



    ------------------------------
    Richard Buday FAIA
    Archimage, Inc.
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 12 days ago
    Edited by Gregory Ibanez 12 days ago

    Shouldn't this also apply to the "wall." Which classical order is most appropriate for that structure? Yes, it will add cost, but don't worry- Mexico is paying for it.

    Where is Albert Speer when you need him?



    ------------------------------
    Gregory Ibanez FAIA
    Principal
    Ibanez Shaw Architecture LLC
    Fort Worth TX
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    Yes Greg. Exactly!

    ------------------------------
    Charyl McAfee-Duncan FAIA
    McAfee3 Architects, inc.
    Dallas TX
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    Hi> Just want to make sure that everyone sees today's NYT article about this CRAZY and damaging  idea:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/arts/design/trump-modern-architecture.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share
    One of the proponents is a Fellow who sits on the Commission of Fine Arts - Alex Krieger (see https://www.cfa.gov/about-cfa/who-we-are)
    There's also another AIA member James C. McCrery, II
    The other group behind this according to the Times is the National Civic Arts Society which has overlap with the Commission especially through Justin Shubow, a lawyer.
    So I agree that something from the Fellows is important at this time. Does anyone know if AIA is directing this effort with the Fellows?

    thanks.
    Mary Ann



    ------------------------------
    Mary Ann Lazarus FAIA
    Architect/Consultant
    Cameron MacAllister Group
    Saint Louis MO
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 12 days ago

    I understand that there are some federal judges behind this effort that wrote the draft. They now have a sympathetic ear in the White House.

     

    Ted Kollaja, FAIA

    Principal

    D: 214.775.6155  |  C: 214.478.2841

    tkollaja@omniplan.com

     

    OMNIPLAN

    1845 Woodall Rodgers Freeway

    Suite 1600 | Dallas, Texas 75201

     






  • 7.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 12 days ago
    From Arch Record: 

    President Trump's first appointment, in November 2018, was Justin Shubow, the president of the National Civic Art Society, which is devoted to furthering classical architecture. Its website contends that "contemporary architecture is by and large a failure," and states the organization's mission is "to help architecture return to its pre-Modernist roots." Much of the language in the draft document echoes the website for Shubow's organization; it also draws heavily from an article that appeared in City Journal last summer, "Why America Needs Classical Architecture," by Catesby Leigh. Leigh is listed as the 2018-2019 research fellow of the National Civic Art Society.

    Shubow became well known for his dogged opposition to the proposed Eisenhower Memorialin Washington, designed by Frank Gehry (which is finally opening this May). President Trump's two most recent appointees to the Fine Arts Commission, made this past December, are James C. McCrery II, AIA, a founder and board member of the National Civic Art Society, and the Indiana-based architect Duncan G. Stroik, AIA, whose work is "informed by the timelessness of classical architecture and the humanism of traditional cities," according to the Commission's website. The terms of the four other members of the Commission expire next December.



    ------------------------------
    Gregory Ibanez FAIA
    Principal
    Ibanez Shaw Architecture LLC
    Fort Worth TX
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    Dear all
    This is horrible and will set architecture back several generations. I could not believe at first, thought it was a joke.  We must protest.
    What are needed are buildings that are 0 carbon footprint, relates to climate change and uses renewal materials as a prototype for the future.
    If we do not protest, then they can write us off.
    Jan Wampler

    ------------------------------
    Jan Wampler FAIA
    Jamaica Plain MA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    If every president becomes the arbiter of federal architecture for a four, sometimes eight-year term, then we will have chaos, not democracy. There are many in our profession with a deep understanding and love of classicism. For one thing, it is the basis for the history of architecture.

    I studied with Lou Kahn: he once said, "Study history, going back through the human story, reading all you can until you get to History Book Zero: the reason people do what we do."

    In this case, the lust for power to have architectural control is being misdirected in a manner not matched since Hitler in the 30s.

    Vote in November.

    ------------------------------
    Nicholas Peckham FAIA
    Peckham Architecture
    Columbia MO
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago

    It is a good thing for us to communicate with one another over this outrageous mandate from the White House. I agree with Guy Geier that the College of Fellows as a collective group should do something more. But individually each of us, every member of the College of Fellows could and should contact their Congressmen and Senators over this issue. I plan to contact my representatives as well as my local chapter of the AIA and Texas Society of Architects to voice my concern. The more of us they hear from the more impact we will make.

     

    Matt Morris, FAIA, LEED GA
    Partner

    LAKE | FLATO ARCHITECTS
    311 Third Street
    San Antonio Texas 78205
    p 210.679.2351


    Web | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

    ARCHITECT 50 01
    #1 U.S. Firm in 2019 ARCHITECT 50 List

     






  • 11.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    I agree with all of these comments. Who wants to draft a letter? And does anyone know the following architects. They need to be contacted:
    Alex Krieger, FAIA
    James McCrery II, AIA
    Duncan Stroik, AIA
    https://www.cfa.gov/about-cfa/who-we-are
    Thomas Luebke, FAIA (see: https://www.cfa.gov/about-cfa/who-we-are/thomas-luebke-faia)

    I
    'm ready to sign and have already reached out to my Senators (both Republican).
    thx.
    Mary Ann

    ------------------------------
    Mary Ann Lazarus FAIA
    Architect/Consultant
    Cameron MacAllister Group
    Saint Louis MO
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    I suggest that the letter be sent from the Chancellor of the College

    Guy Geier FAIA, FIIDA, LEED
    Managing Partner
    FXCollaborative Architects LLP
    646.292.8120 p
    917.596.8224 m
    ggeier@fxcollaborative.com




  • 13.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago
    Unfortunately there is nothing that we can say as a group of Fellows or as an organization to a president that does not respect or pay his architects that will sway this ridiculous excutive order. The only thing that will matter is if we use our energies, our influence and our resources to defeat this president in 2020. I'm sorry to make this political, but standing up for our Constitution and our professional integrity is more important than almost any issue I can imagine.  As architects we wake up every day with the resolve that we can make today and tomorrow a better day. It's that positivity that defines the value of our profession. It's time that we find a leader that will take us to that better day.
    Michael Epp FAIA
    Jamaica Plain, MA

    ------------------------------
    Michael Epp FAIA
    Boston MA
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago
    I agree with Michael Epp. However, if we cannot turn this policy change now, the effort to make the change in November will be too late. The policy will need to be overturned by the next administration. We must find a way to derail this type of ill-advised policy.

    Work for the change we need, but keep the pressure on now.

    Jud Kline



    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone






  • 15.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 7 days ago

    Our role as citizen architect is precisely to be heard when our voices are not anticipated.  It is not a matter of politics but a matter of policy. While it is unfortunate that the former unevenly affects the latter, the offices to which the policy critique are directed are trained to listen.  Do not hesitate to sing out for fear.  Instead join one voice with another until the song is so loud that it cannot be ignored.  Should the sound fall on deaf ears in the current situation, it is on record and easily played again and again.

     

    Let us not "sin by silence".

    Elizabeth Corbin Murphy

     

    Elizabeth Corbin Murphy
    FAIA, LEED® GA

    Principal

    Chambers Murphy & Burge
    A Studio of Perspectus Architecture

    CLEVELAND
    13212 Shaker Square | Cleveland, Ohio 44120
    (o) 216.752.1800 (w) www.perspectusarch.com
    (c) 330.351.5200

    AKRON
    43 East Market St., Suite 201 | Akron, OH 44308
    (o) 330.434.9300 (w) www.cmbarchitects.com






  • 16.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 6 days ago
    Addressing a threat or broken system takes good vision, determination and patience...working openly: vocally and on-record.   Good words, Elizabeth!

    When I visited Cuba in 2002 with a group of US citizens attending Biennale, one in the group encountered a well-educated professional from Santiago de Cuba who plead, "I can handle the truth. When will Bush start dropping bombs?  We hear things on the radio,"  The reply by a visitor was, "That isn't going to happen."  To which I added, "We wouldn't let that happen."  The come-back: "Who?  The People?  Not let that happen?! You people can't even get the person you elect to be President!"!!   

    Can we separate the person from the policy? 

    If you question idolizing "Starchitects"?  How about crossing the line in favor of empowered "Czarchitects"?!  It's always a good time for Architects to stand up and weigh in.  Our standing as ethical practitioners from local to global contexts can't afford to cede Design-Control over to such broad Style-Control.  What?  Answering to a higher authoritarian-loosing more professionally-driven weight?  And if the system's broke...FIX IT! 

    On the other hand, if you're comfortable with a "one style fits all" schema for great civic architecture...how much do you weigh?  And how comfortable should we be?  I grew up in Washington, DC.  I love good Classical Architecture, but I am not at all comfortable with the Executive Order.

    James W. Rhodes, FAIA
    139 North River Drive
    Beacon, NY 12508
    Tel: 845-765-1612





  • 17.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 5 days ago

    here's a link to the piece I ghost wrote for our NOMA president, Kim Dowdell, in response to the pending executive order about Federal buildings and classical styles, and is up on the website: https://noma.net/special-statement-on-executive-order/



    ------------------------------
    R.Steven Lewis FAIA, NOMA
    Principal
    ZGF Architects LLP
    Altadena CA
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago

    Please remember to thoughtfully critique the policy and not the people whose job it is to enforce it-those would be our architect brothers and sisters.

     

    Elizabeth Corbin Murphy
    FAIA, LEED® GA

    Principal

    Chambers Murphy & Burge
    A Studio of Perspectus Architecture


    CLEVELAND
    13212 Shaker Square | Cleveland, Ohio 44120
    (o) 216.752.1800 (w) www.perspectusarch.com
    (c) 330.351.5200

    AKRON
    43 East Market St., Suite 201 | Akron, OH 44308
    (o) 330.434.9300 (w) www.cmbarchitects.com






  • 19.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago
    Yes thank you Elizabeth for that reminder. it is my intention to focus on policy, not people. 

    Sent from my iPhone





  • 20.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago
    Here's a worthwhile read on the topic: http://architecture-lobby.org/project/t-a-l-statement-on-trumps-executive-order-affecting-federal-architecture/

    A quote:

    "In response to the news of an executive order under consideration by the Trump administration dictating that "the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style" for Federal projects, the Architecture Lobby is stating its unambiguous opposition to the attempt to enshrine architectural classicism as a national style. Seizing on architectural styles is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes. The particular appeal to classical architecture often uses the nostalgic appropriation of style by fictionalizing national heritage and manufacturing an ideal subject to marginalize and other, while simultaneously claiming moral superiority. The Lobby wants to draw attention to the larger ideological implications of this executive order..."

    ------------------------------
    Richard Buday FAIA
    Archimage, Inc.
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 9 days ago
    Elizabeth,
    Thank you for your gentle reminder - those of us who work in the public sector do not always choose the courses of actions we execute on behalf of our elected officials.  In David's case, he took a stand and was able to move to another agency where his expertise will be valued and hopefully not subject to the political winds.  I was one of his coaches when he submitted his application for FAIA - he epitomizes the role of citizen architect and I am proud to call him my colleague.
    Best to you,
    Ed

    ------------------------------
    Edmond Gauvreau, FAIA
    Washington, DC
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 7 days ago
    Michael Sorkin's review of Leon Krier's book on Albert Speer (The Nation, May 21st, 2013) is instructive in this regard.

    --
    HUBERT MURRAY FAIA | 204 ERIE STREET CAMBRIDGE MA 02139
    T | 617.492.3532     M | 617.794.4600





  • 23.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 12 days ago
    Finally, after all the incredible BS this administration has thrown at us, we get this simply incredulous round of ignorance, incompetence and arrogance.Who is the Albert Speer in their camp who will follow these orders?! Surely not us! Can we suggest this guy get rid of his cars and planes so we can buy him a horse and buggy?

    ------------------------------
    William Sabatini [FAIA, FACHA]
    Principal
    Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
    Albuquerque NM
    FAIAFAIA
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 12 days ago
    Sent from my iPhone




  • 25.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago

    Please be careful to criticize the policy and not our hard-working, passionate and talented AIA members who work for the federal government. 

    Elizabeth Corbin Murphy
    FAIA, LEED® GA

    Principal

    Chambers Murphy & Burge
    A Studio of Perspectus Architecture


    CLEVELAND
    13212 Shaker Square | Cleveland, Ohio 44120
    (o) 216.752.1800 (w) www.perspectusarch.com
    (c) 330.351.5200

    AKRON
    43 East Market St., Suite 201 | Akron, OH 44308
    (o) 330.434.9300 (w) www.cmbarchitects.com






  • 26.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    I think it is important to note in this context, the last time an official architectural style was deployed was under Adolph Hitler and Benito Musolinni. It was promulgated to emphasize their political imperatives. The style of Fascist architecture was developed by architects of fascist societies in the early 20th century. The style gained popularity in the late 1920s with the rise of modernism along with the nationalism associated with fascist governments in western Europe. The style resembled that of ancient Rome. However, the fascist-era buildings lacked real design, and were constructed simply to reiforce a political ideology.  Both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler utilized this style of architecture (variations of Rationalism, and Stripped Classicism respectively) as one of many attempts to unify the citizens of their nations, mark a new era of nationalist culture, and exhibit the absolute rule of the nation.[1]

    Once Hitler came to power in 1933 and transformed the German Chancellory to a dictatorship, he used fascist architecture in the form of Stripped Classicism as one of many tools to help unify and nationalize Germany under his rule. Hitler had plans to rebuild Berlin after the axis powers won World War II under the name Germania, or Welthauptstadt Germania (world lead city) . Hitler had his favorite architect, Albert Speer, design this new metropolis using fascist architecture design.[2]

    It did not turn out to well for those societies. Establishing a "state" style of architecture would be neither good design practice nor American in philosophy.
    (2) "Welthauptstadt Germania". Archived from the original on 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2012-02-12.

    Judson A. Kline, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP
    President CIVITAD Services, LLC
    3959 Orangewood Drive Orange Village, OH 44122
    www.civitadservices.com  





  • 27.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    Thank you Jason!!! Definitely a teachable moment.

    ------------------------------
    Charyl McAfee-Duncan FAIA
    McAfee3 Architects, inc.
    Dallas TX
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    The Society of Architectural Historians is way ahead of us:


    Let's get our own letter out soon!

    Andrea P. Leers FAIA, Principal
    Leers Weinzapfel Associates
    Architecture and Urban Design 







  • 29.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago
    Agree. This proposed dictum is unacceptable. A joint letter makes perfect sense. 

    Scott P. Kelsey FAIA
    Managing Principal
    CO Architects





  • 30.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago
    Does this country really want to be regarded as an outpost of the Greek or Roman Empire? Enough already.

    ------------------------------
    James O'Brien FAIA
    New Brighton MN
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  • 31.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 10 days ago
    Dear Colleagues,

    Abraham Lincoln said “To sin by silence when they should protest, makes cowards of men”, so I write these thoughts to you.

    The figures in history who promoted classicism as the style of the state were Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Prince Charles; a Communist, two Fascists and a man in direct line to become the King of England. We have democratic republic and such power is not vested in the President or at least I didn’t notice it when last I read the Constitution. It is yet another culture war battle ground designed to inflame hostility toward us, now cast as elites.

    While I am exhausted by the lies and reprehensible policies this administration has adopted, I am not surprised by this latest proposal. It continues down the path toward authoritarianism. It is another example of the abuse and vulgarity of power inappropriately applied.
    Thank you.
    Diane Georgopulos



    Sent from my iPhone




  • 32.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 7 days ago
    We also need to consider that the AIA has not done enough to instill a desire of creativity in architecture by the public.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Ellinger FAIA
    Partner
    Cadco Architects-Engineers, Inc.
    Abilene TX
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 7 days ago
    Steve:

    With all due respect, this proposed order isn't coming from the public, but rather from a small group of classical fetishists that have found a sympathetic ear in this administration. Secondly, I do think that over the years the AIA has put forth a strong effort to promote the value of good design, through print ads, commercials, highly publicized design awards, the Gold Medal, Architect and Architectural Record magazines, etc. And lobbying on behalf of the GSA Design Excellence program. From my experience serving on public commissions, I agree that it seems as though the "public," or at least those that attend meetings, have a low level of art, architectural, and cultural literacy. Where the blame for that falls is another discussion altogether...

    all the best, Greg

    ------------------------------
    Gregory Ibanez FAIA
    Principal
    Ibanez Shaw Architecture LLC
    Fort Worth TX
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 6 days ago
    Thank you Gregory.  You make a good point.  I do hope that someday, the public in general will demand creativity in all architecture, not just public buildings.

    ------------------------------
    Steven Ellinger FAIA
    Partner
    Cadco Architects-Engineers, Inc.
    Abilene TX
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 6 days ago
    Greg and All,

    I believe there are many important, related but different issues tangled up in this mess:

    1. misuse of power by an autocratic administration [whatever happened to the idea of small, unobtrusive government, one of very few things I ever appreciated from conservative values?]. I don't think Trump cares about style, he just sees this as another way to feed his ego by asserting power, another way to attack his perceived enemies [anyone who doesn't worship him, particularly progressive, environmentally aware design professionals that he stiffs while claiming he really was the designer], and another way to support his loyal followers [I suspect those judges who are champions of this edict were appointed by him].

    2. the evil power of propaganda [by these 'classical fetishists' as you call them -love that turn of phrase] who intentionally confuse words like beauty and style to push their agenda. it isn't hard to find numerous examples of ugly classicism and beautiful modernism. I don't think Fallingwater or Kimbell [LK pavilion] or Thorncrown Chapel or Mount Angel Library [Aalto] or any number of others 'failed us'. 'Design', and 'beauty' and 'style' have very different meanings, and they are used incorrectly [whether intentionally or not] all the time.

    3. I tend to agree that we [AIA] do make efforts to promote the value of good design, but I question whether those well meaning efforts are effective. Like many I have been in a 4 decade inquiry into architecture's relevance and how to explain it. There is an thread of thought that runs through Churchill [we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us] to Aalto [Humanizing Architecture 1940 essay]; to Ecological Psychology [Affordances] to Phenomenology [Merleau Ponty] to more recent developments in cognitive and neuroscience [as summarized in part in Goldhagen's book] and some of the 'well-being' ideas embodied in recent 'standards' [not a fan of design by checklist]. For me this is not an issue of cultural education but an issue of quality of life [to get Americans to listen we have to make it pragmatic and urgent, and avoid the stench of elitism that can be 'outed' in terms like cultural literacy].

    So, should we untangle these issues to be able to combat them more effectively? I think we 1] call out those architects behind this for their overreach and blatantly non-conservative [thus hypocritical] and autocratic behavior as well as the autocratic politicians supporting it; 2] point out the difference between style and beauty with examples of beautiful modernism and ugly classicism as well as point out that classicism is elitist by definition, and 3] focus on better explaining to the public why everybody needs and deserves beauty in their life, but only the 1% can afford Corinthian columns.

    ------------------------------
    F. Jeffrey Murray FAIA
    Sr. Vice President
    Cannon Design
    Sewickley PA
    ------------------------------



  • 36.  RE: Executive Order for Classical Architecture

    Posted 7 days ago
    Now you have gone and lit my fuse! We are MUST be more engaged! This policy decision needs to be the call to arms on to become more connected to our communities in being the influence for good design through participation. We need to be more connected in K-12 programs to build an appreciation for the built environment in children. We to participate in government, as decision makers elected to office where we can influence design thinking in our communities. 

    I know there are countless architects across the country leading K-12 programs and there are a number of real "Citizen Architects" serving their communities as elected and appointed officials, volunteers and contributors of their talents. However, as a profession, there are too few of us. Therefore, each one of us counts significantly in how we can be involved.  I have had clients tell me "I can't spell aesthetic, so I don't need it". That is where our job starts.  We must all be educators and leaders within our communities, as well as, architect practitioners. 

    Pick an area and make a difference. I have and we all can pick up the mantel of architectural leadership to build the future we wish to see, not the one that will be thrust upon us. In our world Design matters. Let's do something about changing the trajectory of that future. 

    Hon. Judson A. Kline, FAIA, NCARB, LEED AP
    President CIVITAD Services, LLC
    3959 Orangewood Drive Orange Village, OH 44122
    www.civitadservices.com  

    Councilman, Orange Village, Ohio
    Adj. Professor of Architecture, Kent State University
    Advisory Bd. Chmn., John Hay High School of Architecture and design