Trump executive order looks for to specify gorgeous architecture– and, in Washington, D.C., to insist on it – MarketWatch

21December 2020

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.

Grand classically inspired information usually continue in the interiors of federal buildings constructed in such historicist designs. Getty Images In contrast, a Wall Street Journal op-ed writer– no fan of modern architecture, including even such masterworks as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building– suggested early this year that such a Trump order would”drain the swamp of bad architecture .”The executive order, months in the making, will develop a council on Improving Federal Architecture to advise design updates to the GSA.”It is time to update the policies directing Federal architecture to address these

problems and make sure that designers creating Federal structures serve their clients, the American people,”the order states. The White House admired the Founding Fathers, specifically George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for wanting the nation's public buildings to” motivate the American individuals and encourage civic virtue. “”For approximately a century and a half following America's starting, America's Federal architecture continued to be defined by lovely and beloved buildings of mostly, though not specifically, classical style,”the order stated, highlighting examples like the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in New York, the White House and the Supreme Court. However it stated in the 1950s the federal government changed the conventional designs with modernist ones that resulted in “undistinguished”structures that the public discovered unattractive and typically encountered the existing classical architecture.” With a limited variety of exceptions … the Federal Government has largely stopped constructing beautiful buildings.

In Washington, D.C., Federal architecture has actually ended up being a discordant mix of classical and modernist styles,”the order states. The GSA is significantly less abashed over such structures and complexes of such relative current vintage as Federal Plaza in Chicago

and the Tax Court Building and the Weaver Federal Building in Washington– it's christened their unifying style Federal Modernism. A version of this report appears at NYPost.com. MarketWatch contributed. Source: marketwatch.com

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