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Federal Buildings Proposed to be Built in Greek Federalist Style as a Default

Terrel L. Shields

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May 2, 2002
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Certified General Appraiser
State
Arkansas
The proposed order, called “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” favors classical design for buildings in Washington. It has drawn opposition from architects probably for no other reason than it came out of the Trump White House.

Actually it makes sense to me as too many government buildings look more like Communist block buildings and further seem to have fairly short lives. The post offices are pathetic around here - barely last 40 years. But the ones built 120 years ago out of stone and structural brick are still in use repurposed to restaurants, shops, boutiques, etc. Same with old churches. Many are elegant large sturdy buildings, but so not modern. But architects often complain about the city skyscape with its glass and metal buildings....? so? What say ye? Glass and metal cages or classic?

 

jay trotta

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Feb 8, 2004
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Connecticut
The proposed order, called “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” favors classical design for buildings in Washington. It has drawn opposition from architects probably for no other reason than it came out of the Trump White House.

Actually it makes sense to me as too many government buildings look more like Communist block buildings and further seem to have fairly short lives. The post offices are pathetic around here - barely last 40 years. But the ones built 120 years ago out of stone and structural brick are still in use repurposed to restaurants, shops, boutiques, etc. Same with old churches. Many are elegant large sturdy buildings, but so not modern. But architects often complain about the city skyscape with its glass and metal buildings....? so? What say ye? Glass and metal cages or classic?

Classic, I am old school (did not read either) NYC has some great old/ interesting buildings, maybe Trumps instigation for design.
 

ucbruin

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Mar 11, 2014
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Massachusetts
"“Classical and traditional architectural styles have proven their ability to inspire such respect for our system of self-government. Their use should be encouraged.”"

Now I can better understand why this administration had presented this proposal.... Haha
 

Renee Healion

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Feb 21, 2004
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Connecticut
Yet for some reason his own hotels, or buildings hosting his licensed name, are not Greek temples.

Here is such a building. It sat empty for decades. I found the door open one day and wandered in. The woman who ran Redevelopment had opened it. I talked with her as pigeons walked the floors. The brass postal boxes and woodwork were intact. No one had ever wanted to tear it down (in a place where Urban Renewal destroyed hundreds of properties) A man acquired it to repair for reuse. He died suddenly; his family decided to complete his effort. Since then a restaurant and award-winning microbrewery has been very successful. I don't know what the OP is suggesting--to build new buildings so they can be saved and reused?

1581600084226.png

Here is the PO used since this building was abandoned, a couple doors down. Utilitarian. But then how loud the outcry if money were spent on better design?
1581600228077.png
 

Mark K

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Jan 27, 2004
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Indiana
Personally I prefer a classic style of some type. Hopefully these buildings will last a long time and you don't want to look at them in 50 years and go "what were they thinking?"

Architects want to insert their designs as an extension of their egos; of course they want a free hand with no concern about functionality or design obsolescence in the future. One of our state office buildings has an atrium large enough to grow redwood trees and hallways wide enough to drive a pair of semi-trucks down without touching the ceilings or walls. The wasted space is amazing. These are offices for apathetic drones, not some high-powered law firm.
 

WestMichiganCG

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Sep 4, 2014
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Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
I wouldn't be for it. I worked at an architectural firm and completely disagree. While I understand the rationale I'm against hampering creativity. There's nothing to say that a local government couldn't ask for a Federalist style but a blank mandate could lead to stupidity. Creativity is one of the things that makes America great.
 

CANative

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Jun 18, 2003
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State
California
Space Force for the young voters / Greek buildings for the elderly voters.

Classic... errmmm buildings.
 

Peter LeQuire

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Jan 3, 2005
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Retired Appraiser
State
Tennessee
There's something to be said for public buildings that aren't ugly by design and cheaply built. I do note that the proposal is limited to buildings to be built in Washington, DC. The height of buildings in the District is limited by law - why not restrict design? The Natonal Mall is one fine place to visit, in part because of the style of the buildings.That said, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art and the HIrschorn Museum are spectacular excepions to the style of most of the other buildings.
 

Terrel L. Shields

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May 2, 2002
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Arkansas
While I understand the rationale I'm against hampering creativity.
What is "creative" about box structures? The advantage is cost. My alma mater built a bunch of dorms. The oldest two were still in use when I left - pre WWII. The newest two were 11 years old when one was repurposed as a custodial building, the second was torn down. They had been built as an experiment to provide cheap housing. They were a constant headache with damaged walls, fixtures, etc. Both are gone today. My dorm is gone...about 35 years. Brick and block dreariness. narrow halls, no elevator, etc. But at least brick and concrete block.

But if a building lasts 100-150 years vs one that lasts 40 - 50 years, it seems an advantage. Remodeling is normally cheaper than rebuilding every few decades. When we gauge the quality of a dwelling, we don't necessarily concentrate upon the garish features, the lick and stick stone, 5 types of exterior siding (I hate those the worst), 14 different roof pitches, or remotely operated ceiling fans. Remember the built in 8 track sound systems? Stone is stone, wood has to grow back. I really hate glass walls on tall buildings. But if we are going to build a cheap box building without character or with some garish dated look, we might as well hire Morton to build us some metal barns and call them public buildings.
 
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