“It used to be that D.C. architecture consisted of graceful Georgetown mansions, neoclassical federal buildings — and, of course, the monuments. When the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was founded in 1910 to guide Washington’s architectural development, it reviewed designs such as those of the Lincoln Memorial and the Federal Triangle. Over the seven years I’ve served on the commission, however, an increasing amount of time is spent discussing security-improvement projects: screening facilities, hardened gatehouses, Delta barriers, perimeter fences, and seemingly endless rows of bollards. We used to mock an earlier generation that peppered the U.S. capital with Civil War generals on horseback; now I wonder what future generations will make of our architectural legacy of crash-resistant walls and blast-proof glass.”
– Wittold Rybczynski, Meyerson professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more:
“The Blast-Proof City,” Wittold Rybczynski, Foreign Policy
“I Came, Eyesore, I Conquered,” Witold Rybczynski, Slate
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