ruminations about architecture and design

Sunday, April 26, 2015

it's a living

Towers of Ilium would like to make note of a recent article in Urban Omnibus that features an excerpt from a new book by Nicolas Dagen Bloom about the history of the New York Public Housing Authority. He points out, quite appropriately, that successful management of public housing is possible, and is being carried out--at least in New York. Elevators get fixed more speedily, improvements are made to public space, and tenant maintenance needs are responded to.

But, what of the underlying quality of the space of this housing? The pejorative term "projects" still reads very clearly in the visual display of many of the high rises that make up urban public housing stock. The decisions made by the original design team (old white architects, brimming with the energy of modernist zeal, and chain-smoking bureaucrats) still defines the spiritual message of these buildings.

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