Government And Architecture

An exhibition explores the state of government architecture in this country today.

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September 24, 2004, 8:00 AM PDT

By Abhijeet Chavan @

"'Civic Spirit: Changing the Course of Federal Design,' on view through Nov. 10 at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan, traces the history of that ambitious 10-year undertaking. The exhibition suggests what can happen when a government bureaucracy operates with a modicum of aesthetic awareness. Of the 19 projects in the show, many are first-rate;some rank among the great examples of American civic architecture — as important, in our day, as the neo-Classical monuments of a century ago.

But just as much of the work is second-rate. And what makes the show intriguing is how it exposes the obstacles to maintaining a high level of government architecture in this country today."

Thanks to Abhijeet Chavan

Thursday, September 23, 2004 in The New York Times

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