Sunday, November 16, 2008

Architectural Eras

By chance the NY Times has two architectural slide shows up right now, one featuring Frank Gehry's renovation of the Ontario Art Museum and the other on the 19th century architecture of Buffalo.

And this has been wondering again: why doesn't anyone build pretty buildings any more?

Compare this facade, from Louis Sullivan's 1895 Guarantee Building:

With the facade of Gehry's latest:

Or compare a staircase by Gehry with two by Daniel Burnham:

I look at these, and all that comes to mind is that my own age has somehow gone completely insane. I hope they do manage to preserve Buffalo's most beautiful buildings, because we have lost the ability to build new ones anywhere near as lovely.

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