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... some of the basic architectural history books on apartment buildings--if there are any.

There are thousands. But no amount of research is going to make design review any more sensible. It's still going to be the view of one group over another, beholden to fashion, mixed with personal preferences, and caught up in definitions of style, and dragging on with ever-changing demands. How is that any better than letting the developer and her architect do what they like with a set of simple, proven rules that allow for originality within proven constraints. In most of the city formal design is not one of the government's interests.

As far as this design is concerned, it's fine. Its flaws show a pitfall of thinking with style. Sure, we'd agree that both this and the existing building are "Art Deco," but the architects who built in that style had different roots and were trying to accomplish different kinds of architecture. The massing and patterning are more classical than the buildings from that period, so the art deco lines that emphasize linear motion, like in the existing building, don't exactly match, to my mind.

The line of pylons at the property edge add a nice rhythm to the street and contain the outdoor restaurant. That's something new to the area, and it's definitely the kind of detail that review boards love to kill.

Let them build it, and let's learn from it.

by Neil Flanagan on Feb 26, 2013 6:49 pm • linkreport

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