President Donald Trump signed an executive orderon Monday decreeing that only classical styles be utilized in the architecture of federal structures in the country's capital.
“New Federal building styles should, like America's cherished landmark structures, uplift and enhance public spaces, influence the human spirit, ennoble the United States, command respect from the general public, and, as proper, regard the architectural heritage of a region,” the executive order entitled Promoting Beautiful Federal Civil Architecture states. ”
They need to also be noticeably recognizable as civic buildings and ought to be picked with input from the local community,” it continues.
Structures outside Washington, D.C., are not mandated to be integrated in classical style but should be, per the order's language, “gorgeous.”
When initially broached almost a year ago, the order was described as a “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” effort.
Trump in the order blamed the General Services Administration for picking designs from popular designers without regard to local input or “visual preferences.”
“The resulting Federal architecture in some cases impresses the architectural elite, but not the American people [whom] the buildings are meant to serve. Many of these new Federal buildings are not even noticeably identifiable as civic structures,” it says.
Lots of architects and architecture critics and fans deride styles taking their hints from the architecture of generations and centuries past as historicist pastiche and an enemy of continued evolution of the art form.