Friday, August 14, 2009

I vote for tearing it down

The NY Times asks,
IS the 1955 Donnell Library on West 53rd Street a rare piece of midcentury Modernism? Or an empty suit of expressionless masonry?
You have to ask?
Writing in his column in The New Yorker in 1956, Lewis Mumford likened it to the careful, ordered facade of a high Renaissance palazzo, but one “cleansed of ornament.” For Mumford that was not necessarily a negative, but he found the “cheerless” Donnell a design of “assiduous anonymity.” The library, he wrote, “has very little to say, and is content with not saying it.”
I hear it saying, "go away, you insignificant mortal, and live out your brief existence in misery."

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