A Foundation For Fascism? Critics Warn of Authoritarian Design Behind Trump’s Call For Classic Building Styles

There are many who disagree with the executive order to mandate that new federal buildings follow classical styles of architecture. There are also those of us who have objected to some modern designs like the eyesore design in London of our new embassy. It is a view shared by Prince Charles who lamented how modern designs were ruining the classic profile of key London areas. However, Yale History Professor Glenda Gilmore and columnist Mark Lamster see a far more sinister and frightening meaning in President Donald Trump’s executive order: the blue print for fascism. It appears that we are just one Corinthian column way from an authoritarian structure.

In a column in Dallas Morning News, Mark Lamster warned readers that this is all the stuff of Hitler and Stalin:

“Not mentioned is the fact that classical and traditional styles have also been associated with fascist and totalitarian regimes; Hitler, most notoriously, repudiated modernism and mandated classicism as the state style of the Third Reich. Berlin was to be remade as a city of monumental classicism — the centerpiece being an enormous dome modeled on the Roman Pantheon, its design carried out by architect Albert Speer. The Soviet Union also prescribed classical building as expressions of state authority.”

That apparently was too subtle for Professor Gilmore. Gilmore teaches African American history as well as women’s and gender history at Yale. She tweeted: “This may not seem like the most dangerous thing we face, but it’s one of the warning signs of fascism and…wait for it…genocide. The cult of antiquity & the imposition of monuments to a nation’s mythical glorious past precede both of those disasters.”

The controversy struck a cord with me because I have been writing on the connection between architectural and Madisonian theories of space and design. See Jonathan Turley, Madisonian Tectonics: How Function Follows Form in Constitutional and Architectural Interpretation, 83 George Washington University Law Review 305 (2015). Mies van der Rohe spoke of form follows function, not fascism follows form.

One can certainly denounce the executive order as artificially limiting artistic and architectural expression. Buildings reflect the people and age in which they are built. However, it is lunacy to suggest that classic architecture somehow belongs to or perpetuates fascist ideologies, let alone genocide. Only in the most feverish mind would anyone view this executive order of marching us toward fascism one Doric column at a time.

113 thoughts on “A Foundation For Fascism? Critics Warn of Authoritarian Design Behind Trump’s Call For Classic Building Styles”

    1. What a tragedy Prairie, though you know historic preservation requires strong government and restrictions on the capitalists most on the right think of as heroes. Also, historic preservation is not in conflict with new buildings not be faux copies. One other thought is that in America at least, most of those historic districts have died not because of architects, but because of the automobile and out of control capitalism. It’s happening every day in cities across America that haven’t already succumbed or benefited by revivals often opposed by business.

      1. mindless word salad created from left talking points and little real historical understanding or analysis. More nonsense from a putrefied academia.

        1. One of many books I have bought and not read but some day hope too. I am very aware of these issues and it is a point of interest and some action on my part. When I visit new places, I am drawn to touring in a way that I can understand it’s economic origins and current functions. Old warehouse districts are more to my liking than the tourist sights. I avoid interstates whenever I can.

          A perfect day for me?

          On a trip a couple of years ago from Elkhart Indiana to Chicago (catch the plane) I drove the 2 lanes across northern Indiana, drove out to the mid century modern house along the Lake Michigan shore east of Gary (no doubt steel executives) and then through the heart of Gary (what’s left of it) and US 41 through the southside, and up State Street to the Newberry Library (map collections!!) near Chestnut.

          1. yes leaving elkhart is a good start to any day. there is basically no reason to go there unless you are in the RV business.

            highway 12 is just north of elkhart-sobend-laporte-michigan city. it is essentially the old “Chicago trail” from Detroit, or one of them. 12 runs just north of the toll road aka 80/90 but its actually inside michigan. 12 is a very nice drive two laner that takes you west to new buffallo and then intersects 20 near the beach. 20 will take you through the rest of the NW indiana region into chicago. you were prolly on 12 then 20 i would guess., that goes right by the casino in michigan city on the east side of channel, i used to go there and play, lower table minimums than other region casinos like the ones in gary, which are essentially just farther west down 20.

            inside the indiana dunes national park is beverly shores, on the west side of the michigan city channel. there are some superior homes in that nook. one of my friends is an architect with a fantastic house there. i think when they change hands it’s often private sales not MLS listings because i have been watching for nice ones for decades and they rarely seem to surface. this is different once you go up the lake shoreline into state of Michigan where the lakehouse broker market is active, competent, and aggressive

      2. “out of control capitalism”

        We live and function in a mixed economic system that supposedly runs within the rules and scope of our Constitution and the State Constitutions.

        Based on all your posts your answer to what you call “out of control capitalism” is control; socialism, fascism, dictatorship or whatever as long as long as you personally agree with it.

        1. My statement on the decline of American downtown is factual. The automobile and sprawl, all abetted by business profiting from that phenomenon. There is a limited resurgence in some places, and yes some businesses support that too, but the big money is in East, West, or Beltway Foxdale. People chose that. No one put a gun to anybodies head, but business interests promote and profit from it.

          1. Your historical references to the automobile’s existence and the subsequent changes exist, but that has little to do with my reply to you.

            You have a totalitarian mindset with only one dictator in mind, yourself. You don’t bother with the pillars of American society.

          2. new urbanism is a school of land use and development thinking which seeks to rectify the problems which have emerged in suburban sprawl and so forth. Kunstler’s book is the best read on the subject but it is a lot bigger than just Kunstler. the postwar pattern of suburban sprawl was aided by the automobile but there were a lot of complex human and social factors in play.

            https://www.cnu.org/resources/what-new-urbanism

            New Urbanism is one of those things that smart Republicans and Democrats both get have got behind squarely. At least in the Midwest. Thank God for that because it very much requires proper updates to zoning codes and is aided by wise infrastructure updates as well. Without bipartisan agreement such things don’t materialize.

  1. “People do not want their built environment to be a fragment of anywhere. It must be somewhere, a place to which they can belong, where they can put down roots and be side by side with neighbors. What is wrong with the international style is precisely what its name declares — it is a style detached from any specific place, a nowhere style, using nowhere materials that are incapable of reflecting the indigenous life and landscape where they are deployed. If it is community that you are looking for, then you need the kind of architecture that fosters community. And that means an architecture of place. This is not the architecture that we have. But it is what we had, what we strive to conserve and what we unceasingly long for.”

    https://www.berggruen.org/the-worldpost/articles/the-architecture-of-social-isolation/

    1. Prairie – good quote. However, the “International Style” is old now and most current modern architecture is not that style. Nor by the way is the classical style an architecture of place, unless you live in Rome or Athens, and I don’t mean Georgia.

      1. Bythebook,
        Of course the classical style is “an architecture of place”. The foundation of our government is built upon the best of what the Greeks and Romans developed for self-governance, adapted and improved by the Founders. The style acknowledges and honors that heritage.

        1. Sorry Prairie. Classicism is as international as the International Style. Architecture of Place means growing from the culture, climate, and other environmental attributes of a “place”. See NE salt boxes, SW adobe style, California hacienda, and Florida cracker styles. Except for remodeling existing structures or fitting buildings into existing patterns – see typical college quad – I think we should be done with classicism. You may disagree, but what we both should agree on is competition between designs of all types for the best for a given place and purpose.

          1. how could we be done with classicism? can we be done with the golden ratio? 1.618

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_designed_with_the_golden_ratio

            Greece

            The Parthenon west façade
            The Acropolis of Athens (468–430 BC), including the Parthenon, according to some studies, has many proportions that approximate the golden ratio.[10] Other scholars question whether the golden ratio was known to or used by Greek artists and architects as a principle of aesthetic proportion.[11] Building the Acropolis is calculated to have been started around 600 BC, but the works said to exhibit the golden ratio proportions were created from 468 BC to 430 BC.

            The Parthenon (447–432 BC), was a temple of the Greek goddess Athena. The Parthenon’s facade as well as elements of its facade and elsewhere are claimed to be circumscribed by a progression of golden rectangles.[12] Some more recent studies dispute the view that the golden ratio was employed in the design.[1][11][13]

            Hemenway claims that the Greek sculptor Phidias (c. 480–c. 430 BC) used the divine proportion in some of his sculptures.[14] He created Athena Parthenos in Athens and Statue of Zeus (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) in the Temple of Zeus at Olympia. He is believed to have been in charge of other Parthenon sculptures, although they may have been executed by his alumni or peers. In the early 20th century, American mathematician Mark Barr proposed the Greek letter phi (φ), the first letter of Phidias’s name, to denote the golden ratio.[15]

            Lothar Haselberger claims that the temple of Apollo in Didyma (c. 334 BC), designed by Daphnis of Mileto and Paionios of Ephesus, has golden proportions.[3]

  2. Hey, Dr. GIlmore: Do you know who else used the phrase, “Not mentioned is the fact”? That’s right. Hitler!

    I wonder if the insipid stupidity of Dr. GIlmore’s liberal cohort causes them physical pain. I think it must.

  3. Jonathan: Trump’s use of an executive order to emulate Hitler’s choice of architectural styles is a symptom not the cause of the tendency of capitalist countries to resort to fascism in times of crisis. “Democracy” is a luxury under capitalism that is afforded only in times of prosperity. When the economic system grinds to a halt, as it is because of the coronavirus pandemic, capitalism will resort to fascist solutions to preserve the existing order. And this is when capitalism turns to an authoritarian leader. Trump has already displayed his authoritarian style of rule: attacks and lawsuits against the press, ignoring Congress and ruling by executive order, scapegoating minorities and immigrants and encouraging the rise of right-wing fascist groups. Trump has eviscerated the independence of the Justice Department, supposed to be a bulwark against unlimited authority, by getting AG William Barr, a loyal toady, to intervene in the normal prosecution process to help Trump’s friends and supporters. Last week, Barr, in attempting to take advantage of the corronavirus crisis, announced he wants to give Trump new, and unprecedented, powers to detain people indefinitely without trial. This is a direct attack on every citizen’s right to due process. Hitler would be proud! You don’t need a crystal ball to see we are facing an existential threat to our democracy that pales in comparison to Trump’s preference for the Doric column. And it doesn’t require a “feverish mind” to worry that Trump’s executive order is just the canary in the coal mine.

    1. Dennis,
      I agree this should not be an executive order. However, I disagree that the intent is “to emulate Hitler’s choice of architectural styles”.

      Pillars are symbolic. They undergird solid structures. They are quite apt to be part of the architecture of our governmental buildings. The law should be what undergirds our government. That they remind people of the Greeks and Romans who laid the ancient foundations of our system of governance is good. The Founders adapted the best of these systems, discarding or adapting what was weak, while retaining and enhancing the philosophy of individual rights and representative self-governance. The architecture should reflect such foundations.

      1. Doesn’t anyone here have any grasp of the history of both the western world and its representations. The classical greco/roman architectural style is symbolic of an ethos, a world view and one that the socialist left is hell bent on destroying. This has nothing to do with fascism on the right, it is about cultural decimation by the left.

      2. “Prairie Rose”: Thank you for your comments. You are probably correct. Trump doesn’t know much about Hitler’s preferred architectural styles–or about Albert Speer, the Fuhrer’s chief architect. Both wanted public buildings to reflect the power of the state. Trump wants public buildings to reflect and glorify his ego. Thus his executive order. And I agree with you that government buildings should reflect our goal of “retaining and enhancing the philosophy of individual rights and representative self-governance”. The founding fathers adopted the classical style because that is only what they knew. Today our architectural aesthetic is much different. Due to modern materials and construction techniques we no longer need great “pillars” to support large structures. The famed inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller proved that over 45 years ago with his geodesic dome. It is instructive that when the nascent democracy Brazil wanted to move its capitol to Brazilia in the late 1950s it rejected the old traditional colonial styles for public buildings. It chose to go bold, modern and innovative. So Oscar Niemeyer, the world renowned Brazilian architect, was chosen for the project. Photos of Brazilia today show how bold was Neimeyer’s vision at the time. Of course, that was before the 1964 military coup that thrust Brazil back into a long and dark period of dictatorship. If we want our public buildings to reflect our commitment to democratic institutions such decisions should be a collective effort–one in which city planners and architects offer their ideas. Instead, Trump has chosen himself as the ultimate decider. That’s not democracy but dictatorship–the alarm I raised in my original comment.

        1. “Trump wants public buildings to reflect and glorify his ego.”

          That is your opinion based on partisanship and has little value in an otherwise interesting discussion. It adds nothing. Trump probably knows more about buildings than anyone on this chat site. His taste, however, is his own. You seem to believe his mind is fixed, but historically his fixed mind has been changed many times. I don’t disagree with your architectural outlook, only your partisanship.

          You have to remember that in essence he is a CEO and the ultimate responsibility falls in his lap. Government buildings are not under the ultimate rule of anyone else. I’d love to see proposals from many different minds but I don’t want to see a Pompidou.

        2. Dennis,
          Thank you for your comment. We agree that an imperial presidency is detrimental.

          “The founding fathers adopted the classical style because that is only what they knew.”

          I disagree that that was the only style they knew. It was in vogue at the time because of the resurgence of interest in the philosophy, history and governance of the Greeks and Romans.

          The old Gothic style and Baroque style were options but did not fit the embodied philosophy and function of the buildings. The gargoyles of Notre Dame just wouldn’t work for matters of state (even if some politicians remind us of gargoyles).

  4. This type of idiocy is a constant theme we are seeing today in our academic institutions. Building a society on such themes is destructive. It makes me want to read Atlas Shrugged a third time.

  5. Why is no one asking why and where this edict came from? I understand the criticism of the professor here – though aesthetic principle can convey more than what is pleasing to the eye – but why the straight jacket where we pretend we’re Greeks and Romans?

        1. Kurtz, I actually saw the Pompidou before the scaffolding went up for the remodeling. I think the scaffolding is an improvement. 🙂

    1. “why the straight jacket where we pretend we’re Greeks and Romans?”

      I think that’s an interesting question. Capitol Hill is a very old design – dates all the way back to the Founders. I think their inspiration should be considered. I always assumed the style hearkened back to the first republics of Rome and Greece.

      Personally, I think the style is beautiful, but I think that of most architecture. The buildings Trump’s talking about are very ugly, though.

      https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/bennyjohnson/the-7-most-heinously-ugly-government-buildings-in-washington

      But if you’re saying we should explore more possibilities, I agree.

      1. Those are pretty ugly! But consider a modern pattern of architecture most people probably do like and which are the opposite what Buzz Feed concentrated on (masonry and concrete) – Steel frame and glass towers – see Trump Tower and more iconic, the Seagram’s Building on Park Ave, NYC. Their transparency is the opposite of monumental though they can imposing based on height.

    2. “Edict”, If only you had just one more vaccine from big pharma & the govt forcibly injected into you might finally be fixed for good.

      That day fast approaches you, be ready to roll up your sleeve like you’re govt owned like their livestock.

      Enjoy the show.

  6. As an architectural historian by academic training, I take offense in the purported notion that a conservative view to maintaining the symbolic nature of Western civilization as the projection of our nation’s ethos and power is a surreptitious move to create fascism. Perhaps is yammering heads spent time attempting to understand the heritage of and indebtedness to western culture we could avoid this nonsense.

    1. OK, Alma, but why don’t you take offense at an insistence by the government that we must continue to subsume our culture to a civilization that ended 2000 years ago? Surely we’re better and more creative than that.

            1. The Taj Mahal still looks better than standard-issue commercial architecture in this country.

          1. Bythebook,
            Whittling the Greeks and Romans down like that misses some really important points about philosophy, history, and self-governance.

            1. Prairie, we have built more than enough monuments to the Greeks and Romans. Progress didn’t end there.

              1. Bythebook,
                You are correct that progress did not end there. Nonetheless, that heritage ought to be honored for the advancement bequeathed to us. The Founders looked back 1500-2000 years to the Romans and Greeks and created a radical new entity (all (hu)men are created equal) while continuing to honor that heritage with the architectural style of the Capitol Building and Supreme Court, for example.

                1. Prairie, OK, been there done that.

                  Let’s be creative with the new technologies and tools available to us – “we” created them! – and celebrate our improvements on our Greco-Roman heritage. Those are not our only contributors, nor should we always be looking backwards.

          2. Well, the sense of aesthetics of people who build buildings has been circling the toilet bowl for about 80 years now, whatever else other people have accomplished.

              1. The edict is binding on the General Services Administration. If it’s not his edict, then it’s the preferences of federal bureaucrats and their stacked advisory committees.

    2. Alma

      What’s really crazy is that the last thing Trump would want is to be in charge of an authoritarian government. GWBush said his job would be a whole lot easier if he was a dictator. Aside from his authoritarian style, I see no evidence that Trump is anything but faithful to the notion that ours is a government of, by, and for the people. And Big Business.

    3. well said alma

      from James Howard Kunstler, cant like his blog it has the f word in the url

      feb 20. 2020
      Executive Order
      Clusterf** Nation
      For your reading pleasure Mondays and Fridays

      Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page

      In this pause between past and future Deep State seditions, and the full-blown advent of Corona Virus in every region of the world, we pause to consider Mr. Trump’s executive order requiring new federal buildings to be designed in the classical style. The directive has caused heads to explode in the cultural wing of Progressive Wokesterdom, since the worship of government power has replaced religion for them and federal buildings are their churches — the places from which encyclicals are hurled at the masses on such matters as who gets to think and say what, who gets to use which bathroom, and especially whose life and livelihood can be destroyed for being branded a heretic.

      The religion of Progressivism (under various names) has been growing for over a century, based on the idea that the material abundance of techno-industrial societies should be centrally managed by national bureaucracies, finally leading to a nirvana of perfect fairness. The part that’s always left out is that this is accomplished by coercion, by pushing people around, telling them what to do and how to think, and by confiscating their property or docking their privileges if they seem to have too much of either. You can observe the operations of this doctrine in the current crop of Democratic Party aspirants to the White House.

      The architecture that expressed all that is loosely called “Modernism” mostly because it was supposed to represent the distilled essence of everything that is up-to-date, and the idea of coercing an unfair world toward universal fairness has ruled the elite managerial class ever since Karl Marx lanced his boils of social grievance on the printed page. The First World War really sealed the deal for Modernism. The industrial-scale slaughter — well-depicted in the recent movie, 1917 — so horrified the elites that the architecture branch of elite-dom decided to shit-can all the offensive claptrap of history as expressed in buildings and replace them with bare boxes of one kind or another. A whole metaphysical theology was constructed to justify this attempt at a totalistic do-over for the human race. “Less is more…” et cetera.

      Meanwhile, along came Stalin and Hitler who persisted in the dirty business of neoclassical architecture, and they screwed the pooch on that theme for all time, while the Second World War reaffirmed the urge to cleanse the world of all that filthy symbolism. By the 1950s, Modernism ruled the scene as the architecture of Decency and Democracy. It very quickly became the architecture that glorified corporate America, viz., the rows of glass box skyscrapers hoisted up along the grand avenues of midtown Manhattan, and then every other city center in America. Before long, as the old government buildings of yore grew obsolete, they too were replaced with confections of Modernism, and then the university libraries, and finally… everything.

      The trouble with being up-to-date in architecture is that buildings last a long time and dates fade into history, and if you hate history you have created a problem. The world is a restless place. The main feature of this particular moment is that techno-industrial society has entered an epochal contraction presaging collapse due to over-investments in hyper-complexity. That hyper-complexity has come to be perfectly expressed in architecture lately in the torqued and tortured surfaces of gigantic buildings designed by computers, with very poor prospects for being maintained, or even being useful, as we reel into a new age of material scarcity and diminished expectations — especially the expectation for reaching that technocratically engineered nirvana of fairness.

      Of course, the mandarin uber-class among the elite, especially the poohbahs in the architecture schools, can’t bear the thought that things are tending this way. Their theology of up-to-date-ness, of “the cutting edge,” is all about fashion. That things go out of fashion has given them the opportunity to create and cash-in on ever more new fashions, to keep up the pretense of perpetually surfing that cutting edge, from which they derive their status. And this incessant reach for status, and the power it confers, belies and betrays the whole business of representing the ultimate nirvana of fairness, revealing them to be the mendacious frauds they are.

      The Trumpian reach backward toward classicism is certainly a quixotic move, even though one can make a case for it being a national style, at least in the early years of the USA when that mode of building was supposed to represent the democracy of ancient Greece and the dignity of the Roman republic — hence, Greco-Roman architecture. Some things to consider: We’re going to have to reduce the scale of the things we build. The cutting edge grandiosity of today is about to go out of style. National bureaucracies will shrink, if they don’t vanish altogether, and so will the buildings that house their operations.

      We’re going to need buildings that don’t go out of style, so you can forget about the cutting edge, and classicism does have the virtue of timelessness — or at least it did, for a long time. These new buildings ought to have the capacity for adaptive re-use over generations, even centuries. They will probably have to be made out of non-exotic materials, namely, masonry and wood, since the scarcities we face will include a lot of modular fabricated materials ranging from plate glass to aluminum trusswork to steel I-beams, to sheetrock — all things requiring elaborate, complex mining and manufacturing chains.

      A virtue of classicism is that it employs structural devices that allow buildings to stand up: arches, columns, colonnades. These are replicable in modules or bays along scales from small to large. These devices honestly express the tectonic sturdiness of a building within the realities of gravity. A hidden virtue of classicism is that it is based on the three-part representation of the human figure: the whole and all the parts within it exist in nested hierarchies of base-shaft-and-head. This is true of columns with capitols set on a base, of windows with their sills, sashes, and lintels, and the whole building from base to roof. Classical architecture follows proportioning systems universally found in nature, such as the Fibonacci series of ratios, which are seen in everything from the self-assembly of seashells to the growth of tree branches. Thus, classicism links us to nature and to our own humanity.

      Classical ornaments — the swags, moldings, entablatures, cartouches, corbels, festoons, and what-have-you — are not mandatory, but, of course, they also provide a way of expressing our place in nature, which is a pathway to expressing truth and beauty.

      Modernism doesn’t care about truth and beauty; it cares about power, especially the power to coerce. Many people detect that dynamic, and that is one reason they loathe Modernist buildings. The main imperative of Modernism was to separate us from nature, since it was human nature that brought about all the horrors of the 20th century and so revolted the intellectual elites. The result of that was a denatured architecture of the machine and an animus against what it means to be human located in nature.

      We’re probably not going back to anything like formal classicism because the contraction ahead will leave us in a world of salvage, of cobbling together whatever we can from the detritus left over. But sooner or later — surely well after Mr. Trump has decomposed into his constituent molecules — we will get back to an architecture that is based on our place in nature, so don’t set your hair on fire over this new executive order, no matter how much The New York Times wants you to.

  7. Gilmore teaches African American history as well as women’s and gender history at Yale. She tweeted: “This may not seem like the most dangerous thing we face, but it’s one of the warning signs of fascism and…wait for it…genocide. The cult of antiquity & the imposition of monuments to a nation’s mythical glorious past precede both of those disasters.”

    Hmmm. Sooo, here is my question? How does society get rid of idiots like this??? There is no adequate way to chase people like this out of the public sphere. In a well run society Gilmore would be on a soapbox in a city park somewhere, dressed in rags with a shopping cart full of aluminum cans and cardboard. But she is teaching young and impressionable minds at an elite university and stupidity like hers abounds. Our society is in free fall. 50-75 years in the future, Right-wing Death Squads will simply disappear nuts like her into a black plastic bag in the bottom of a landfill somewhere. But it won’t be buildings that create those Death Squads – it will be idiots like Gilmore that make them a necessity.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. Squeeky:

      “Hmmm. Sooo, here is my question? How does society get rid of idiots like this???”
      *******************
      Gilmore is what happens when legality strays too far from natural justice or when societal standards of propriety are shown the door.

      But to answer your question, I’ve always liked the public shaming method so artfully applied in Colonial Williamsburg in the stocks. Onlookers get to see your face and hands and opine about your deservedness for being there. Humility is a virtue, you know.

    2. I vote for: no more anti human sick building designes. The new art and music (classical) is totaly anti buman on purpose. Go back to your caves, you sick people.

      1. Eugene, classical architecture tends to monumental and imposing structures. Modern buildings can be as well, but there opposite examples as in Gehry’s Bilbao Art Museum, the Sydney Opera House, and Wright’s Guggenheim Museum. I don;t who designed it, but the Vancouver BC government center is beautiful and warm.

  8. Why are these two even worth the time to give a platform for their idiocy and thus spread this nonsense to an even wider audience?

  9. I’ve always liked the Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome design

    The ones made out concrete & steel can withstand punishment from hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes & fire. During above ground nuclear testing, several structures were put in the blast zone. The only one left standing was the dome.

    Check out the rainforest inside a Geodesic Dome

    1. See, I think those are positively hideous – although, I admire them just for a sphere’s maximal conservation of space.

      …if they were less opaque, I’d probably love them.

  10. These professors are not even one Corinthian column away from insanity and ignorance. The AMerican public has to vote the people who support idiots like these out of office. They have already destroyed civil society and now they are destroying our economy in their feeble attempts to gain power. They are idiots. Let’s call it like we see it.

  11. You realize how many screens these people had to pass through to get to the positions they hold.

    The behavior of the arts and sciences faculty persuades me that higher education does not need reform. It needs a refoundation.

    1. Nothing, but why should the government dictate that style? If the goal is remodeling an existing classical structure, or fitting in an established and beautiful pattern OK. But otherwise? Why the straight jacket?

      1. Nothing, but why should the government dictate that style?

        His executive order applied to the government’s own buildings.

          1. OK I’ll speak real slowly:

            He’s not dictating standards to anyone who doesn’t work for him.

  12. “That apparently was too subtle for Professor Gilmore. Gilmore teaches African American history as well as women’s and gender history at Yale. She tweeted: “This may not seem like the most dangerous thing we face, but it’s one of the warning signs of fascism and…wait for it…genocide. The cult of antiquity & the imposition of monuments to a nation’s mythical glorious past precede both of those disasters.””
    *******************
    African-American history, women’s and gender history says it all. Professor Identity Politics has left the building and we all can rejoice. They should shut these courses down for the anti-American propaganda they are. It’s American history not some disjointed melange of group histories wholly designed to undermine the country.

    1. Professor Gilmore needs to take a course on Holocaust studies. A preference for matching architecture – particularly classical architecture in the west – is most definitely not one of the Ten Stages of Genocide.

      It chills my blood to think there are people like this teaching children.

        1. bythebook, very interesting article. Thank you for sharing it. So what do you think about the claims Professor Turley highlighted – are they valid, or a stretch?

          1. A stretch, but again, what is the point of the straight jacket? No one here seems concerned about that. It is also an interesting question about what different aesthetic styles convey socially and culturally.

            1. Glad we agree on that.

              The “straight jacket” thinking wouldn’t have occurred to me. I hope they explore other options too. So long as they choose something that enhances the look of those areas and works with the historical buildings that are there, I’m okay with whatever.

            2. A stretch, but again, what is the point of the straight jacket?

              The point is that bureaucratic process cannot be trusted without the straightjacket. This isn’t that difficult.

              1. So, the “bureaucrats” can’t be trusted to make sufficiently boring and bureaucratic choices. Interesting theory.

        2. I like Speer’s buildings and I like Arno Breker and Leni Reifenstahl too. beauty is like truth, it is what it is, even when constructed by tyrants or bad people. history is filled with bad people and often leaders are the baddest of the bad.

          the pharoah used slaves. the pyramids are still beautiful.

  13. Either these people are incredible poltroons, in which case we should call them out, or they suffer from unimaginable TDS, in which case we should pity them.

  14. This is a bunch of crap article by an idiot who must have had way too much time on his hands to pull out this brain fart article.

    1. And if he weighs more than a duck, he’s made of wood, so we should burn him! Perfectly logical, carrot-on-a-string witch’s nose notwithstanding.

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