Category Archives: Renovation

On repurposing old factories

At least where I live, this has been all the craze for the last ten to twenty years. New England is full of old brick factories and mills — buildings just classical and decorated enough to be considered charming enough for renovation and yet unconventional enough to give their repurpose-rs the idea that they’re doing a wonderful and holy service to humanity be renovating an old mill.

An old factory in Boston, MA.

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The Way(s) Forward for Urbanism, Part II

In this second installment of the series, we move to New Orleans with an article published earlier this year by my favorite critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff.

The piece is particularly relevant now as the article was published as Washington rushed to avert a federal shutdown, and currently Washington (or at least the sane part of it) is rushing to avert a federal default. The point is that seemingly faraway government issues actually affect millions of people on a very immediate level.

Plus, it brings forward some very interesting ideas about urbanism. Read past the break for the article.

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Baltimore’s Morris Mechanic Theater

Once in a while, something just really irritates me. Here is a good example: Melvin Greenwald, a Baltimore developer, recently purchased a now-closed Morris Mechanic Theater, and would like to do everything in his power to modify it or tear it down. He says, “They call it Brutalist architecture, I call it a mistake. It’s ugly. I don’t know anyone that likes it. The building was obsolete when they built it.”

I cannot stand uneducated, ignorant pronouncements. More of my rant, and more pictures, after the break.

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Dealing with Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center, the large cluster of travertine-covered performing arts buildings in New York City’s Upper West Side, never had very much architectural integrity. Most of the buildings rely on classical forms and geometries, while still trying to be acceptably modern. At the time the complex was being designed, the late 1960s, full-on Modernism was still not very popular with the public (it never really was), and so it was decided that all the buildings would be covered with travertine and lined up axially.

The Main Plaza at Lincoln Center.

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