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Thread: Honoring community history: attitudes about architecture

  1. #11
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    Unfortunately there just doesn't seem to be as big a budget for "nice things" as there used to be.
    But you think about it and we have such better technology. You'd think that could be put to use. Years ago they never even had a car engine and they were able to build cathedrals.I don't know if people value craftsmanship the way they used to. Lewis Mumford wrote about "the prosaic mentality"--and I think he meant that these days there is no poetry in buildings or cities. They're just... buildings. I'm not saying I love Gothic architecture or yearn for gargoyles on my cabin, but I just think in many places there's an overall lack of appreciation for good planning from both a practical and aesthetic perspective.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    But you think about it and we have such better technology. You'd think that could be put to use. Years ago they never even had a car engine and they were able to build cathedrals.I don't know if people value craftsmanship the way they used to. Lewis Mumford wrote about "the prosaic mentality"--and I think he meant that these days there is no poetry in buildings or cities. They're just... buildings. I'm not saying I love Gothic architecture or yearn for gargoyles on my cabin, but I just think in many places there's an overall lack of appreciation for good planning from both a practical and aesthetic perspective.
    Would the cost today be a factor?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  3. #13
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Would the cost today be a factor?
    Well, you always find money for the things you value. I'm not sure. It's true that slaves built the pyramids and we have unions now, which is a good thing, but I think it's more of a question of what your priorities are. For example, part of what I'm talking about here is urban planning. I think that too often money is prioritized over benefit to the community. Take away a park or a boardwalk and sell it to a developer.

    In a way, maybe having money and affluence has actually disincentivized craftsmanship. I have to think this through, but you raise an interesting point. I think I have to dig out my old Mumford books.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    Well, you always find money for the things you value. I'm not sure. It's true that slaves built the pyramids and we have unions now, which is a good thing, but I think it's more of a question of what your priorities are. For example, part of what I'm talking about here is urban planning. I think that too often money is prioritized over benefit to the community. Take away a park or a boardwalk and sell it to a developer.

    In a way, maybe having money and affluence has actually disincentivized craftsmanship. I have to think this through, but you raise an interesting point. I think I have to dig out my old Mumford books.
    Or, don’t let developers in to “spoil” an Pristine area when they want to build dense housing for those who can’t afford palatial places with acreage.

    It works both ways.

  5. #15
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    So, the same organization that sponsored the Bowery webinar is doing one on Penn Station--the old one. Read the description--it talks about exactly what this topic is about--abandoning beauty and craftsmanship for the mundane. I might sign up for this one, too.

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pennsyl...EgeI5zJ1aHsFPs
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  6. #16
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    As someone who suffered the current Penn Station 1000's of times I may have to sign up for that. The new one (can something that's older than me really be called new...) is a gawdawful tragedy and the pictures I've seen of the old one always just look so... gorgeous.

  7. #17
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    I think a lot of gorgeous old city buildings were probably destroyed during the days of "urban renewal." Was that the 1960s?

  8. #18
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkytoe View Post
    I think a lot of gorgeous old city buildings were probably destroyed during the days of "urban renewal." Was that the 1960s?
    Yes, that's right.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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