A Return to Beauty

The good doctor castigates a modernist architect’s unconvincing and self-serving response to an executive order from President Trump that makes mandatory the classical style of architecture for all new federal buildings.

What the building projects is not enlightenment, but total inhumanity, a tendency to dictatorship, a deeply skewed scale of values, a total lack of aesthetic discrimination, and a surrender to a self-generating and perpetuating clique. As Thom Mayne, one of the leaders of that clique, put it, he would like to build only for other architects, the only persons qualified to judge and to admire what he does. Yet surely even he has an inkling, at some level in his mind, that he has made the world a little worse than he found it.

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