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Judges of good taste often differ. This is certainly true in architecture.
Late Wednesday, President Biden A. Controversial The executive order signed by former President Trump in December titled “Promote Beautiful Federal Civil Architecture.” The announcement from the White House was included in an executive order that nullified a number of Trump’s actions as president.
When Trump first proposed the Executive Order, it was clearly an approach out with the new, with the old in architecture. He described modern federal buildings constructed over the past five decades (think box brutality, heavy brutality) as “unmarked”, “uninspiring” and “just ugly.”
While the details are not yet clear, Biden’s Executive Order directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and any related departments and agencies to “immediately consider taking steps to rescind any orders, rules, regulations, guidelines, policies, or parts thereof” that would have implemented Trump. Biden also calls for the abolition of any “positions, committees, task forces, or other entities created” to fulfill Trump’s actions “as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.
The only entity that might be affected is American Committee of Fine Arts, An independent federal agency established in 1910 that advises legislators “on matters of design and aesthetics“. In 2018, Trump appointed one of the greatest critics of modern architecture to chair the CFA: Justin Choupeau, president of the National Civil Arts Association (NCAS). The organization was the driving force behind Trump’s executive order. It also led a six-year campaign against the Frank Gehry memorial to Eisenhower, forcing the architect to make some changes to his original design.
In a statement to NPR, Chubu defended Trump’s mandate to return traditional architecture to federal buildings. He writes, “Our federal architecture has been bleak for decades, and it has been designed in modernist styles that don’t represent what ordinary Americans really want.”
Shubow points to a file NCAS Poll conducted by Harris Poll. He found that “72% of American adults prefer the classic and traditional design of federal buildings. There was a broad majority of traditions across all demographic groups, including political party affiliation,” he says.
Shortly before leaving office, President Trump appointed four new members to the Seven African Fiscal Union, including Stephen W. Spandel of New Jersey, who designed the tennis pavilion on the grounds of the White House that was completed in 2020, and Perry Gillot of New York, who had recently completed. Restoration of the Rose Garden and Children’s Gardens in the White House. All seven of the committee members are white men. Committee members serve four years, unpaid.
Write in Washington Post More recently, architectural critic Philip Kennicott called Biden to “move quickly to remove existing members”. He writes, “They should be replaced by a variety of professionals, including women and people of color, who bring a broad and vibrant range of aesthetic perspectives to the monthly committee meetings.”
Shobu “We intend to work with the Biden administration to implement the change that will build a true democratic architecture,” says NPR. “Our advice is always responding historically,” he notes.