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Edmonton has now unveiled a downtown library that looks like a cross between the Imperial star destroyer firing upon the Rebel blockade runner in the opening scene of Star Wars (or whatever the hell it was, I’m not going down any Star Wars rabbit holes to fact check this) and the Southern Poverty Law Center headquarters:

Loyal local son of Edmonton Colby Cosh tries to find something nice to say about it here.

One thing I’ve noted is that if the architect’s rendering doesn’t look as exquisite as the Taj Mahal, you should say NO. Here’s the rendering:

Well, that’s not quite as ugly as what eventually got built, but any plan for random perforations in the style of a 1981 computer punch card, as modeled after the ouvre of L.A.’s misanthropic architect Thomas Mayne, is probably going to turn out as hate-filled/hateful as Mayne’s buildings, like his downtown L.A. Ministry of Love.

 
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  1. What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    • Replies: @peterike
    And of course, it being Edmonton and all, there are a couple of Africans walking by. Oh Canada!

    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones -- not all -- are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois, even if it means doing the same sort of thing over and over and over again and nobody is shocked anymore. Just disgusted.

    You see the same thing with public artists. The primary example being Richard Serra and all those ghastly, rusty metal walls he likes to put up (mother: Gladys Feinberg, from Odessa).

    Anyway, I can't find any info about the guy behind the Edmonton mess being Jewish. His name is Stephen Teeple and he looks pretty Jewish, but who knows.

    https://tce-live2.s3.amazonaws.com/media/media/31c7864a-b984-4629-b1e2-892a3c725fb2.jpg

    , @Counterinsurgency

    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?
     
    Originally, it was an attempt to make the State's propaganda art forms ineffective by superseding them. It gradually changed into an attempt to make anything associated with Western Civilization (which gradually changed into The Patriarchy and Whites) either incomprehensible or ugly. The works of Dali and Picasso were visual attempts to break the ability of viewers to see anything beautiful or inspiring in previous representational schools of art. That's why the repudiation of Notre Dame after the fire, and the attempt to re-build it in ugly form. That's why the brutally ugly new library, among many other brutally ugly buildings. it's also why Hollywood has been reduced to copying comic books.

    Rieff is a serious scholar. Deathworks [1] is an illustration of ugliness for ugliness sake. Charisma [3]recounts history of thought that gave destruction moral supremacy.

    And Tom Wolfe's work [3] is a newsman's account of the same things Rieff discusses.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Philip Rieff.
    _My Life Among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority (Sacred Order / Social Order, Vol. 1)_

    2] Philip Rieff.
    _Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away from Us_.

    3] Tom Wolfe.
    _From Bauhaus to Our House_.
    2]
    3]
    , @Desiderius
    If they could create Beauty they wouldn’t need to assault us.
    , @George
    One word: Cheap. BTW, what exactly goes on in a downtown Edmonton Library? What is the need?
    , @Mike Zwick
    They are attention hogs. The more outlandish the building, the more attention they receive. "Make no little plans!" said Daniel Burnham. Today, that statement is translated as "Make everything bizarre!" The public goes along because most are afraid of coming off as prudes or hicks if they question the design. It is almost like a form of Political Correctness.
    , @Cagey Beast
    These buildings are ugly because high status comes from defying our inherited and instinctive sense of beauty, order and goodness. The managerial class functionaries who cut the cheque for that building know they must offend the hoi polloi if they want to be "world class".
    , @JohnnyWalker123
    You underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Baicy_oPOmM
    , @George
    Building a better Library

    The budget was increased to $69 million in 2016 and then $84.5 million in 2017 because of unanticipated issues involving building code changes, increased hazardous abatement requirements, and structural and mechanical challenges. Much of this funding came from the City of Edmonton, but it also included a reallocation of funds from other EPL capital projects, savings and grants.

    https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/building-a-better-library/

    Peek into the Future of Milner

    4. Culinary Curiosity

    Interested in a place where you can explore your culinary curiosities? We have 2,100 square feet of space dedicated to a culinary centre intended to support and inspire learning opportunities related to health, nutrition and food literacies.

    https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/peek-into-the-future-of-milner/
  2. That first photo reminds me of something I might see built in the backyard of a rural country home in Kentucky. All that missing are a few automobile hulks partially hidden in overgrown grass.

    • LOL: Craig Nelsen
    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    They're not hulks, they're restoration projects.
    , @CCZ
    No, that is a Vibranium coated building being admired by 2 local Wakandans. No where near Edmonton.
    , @Jim bob Lassiter
    Or maybe a new fangled high tech "green" chicken house on the outskirts of Siler City, NC.
  3. It really does look like it was designed by George Lucas’ team. Not there best work though and wrong venue for them.

    • Replies: @HA
    "It really does look like it was designed by George Lucas’ team."

    I see it as something out of a 1970's Doctor Who rerun. I still have no idea what people ever saw in that, but it obviously made an impact.

  4. Viola la nouvelle Notre Dame.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    Do you play the voila? I play colle. Let's get together with a voilinist and make some chamber music.
  5. That was a Star Destroyer not a “cruiser”. Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that I believe don’t feature in Episode IV.

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    "Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that ..."

    Imperial cruisers don't exist and have never existed. They are fictional, as is the whole Star Wars "universe". Star Trek and the Marvel Comics stuff are fictional too. It's worthwhile to sometimes point such things out.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    Oh, Lordy, here we go ....
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    So, sorry, Jedi Knight #864, that was the evil side of Captain Luke Picard.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Nice try, but true Star Wars nerds don't use the moniker "Episode IV" for the movie Star Wars.
  6. It looks like the aftermath of a trailer park hit by a tornado.

    • Replies: @Michigan Patriot
    This library justifies " book burning "; just ugly ! What university taught this tasteless designer ? He/ she should sue their university for malpractice.
  7. What that building needs is a hanging committee.

  8. I disagree on both counts.

    The real building is a cool piece of design. The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious. You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape. The building has the feeling that it should look like it does. It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie. It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    And the real building is much, much better than the proposed one in the drawing.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    "The building has the feeling that it should look like it does."

    But does it look like it should feel?
    , @Ozymandias
    "You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape."

    Unseen, yes. Very well hidden even.
    , @Redneck farmer
    Neo-Classical is how you build libraries.
    , @Bill Jones
    I do like well done satire,
    Please play again soon.
    , @Vinteuil

    The real building is a cool piece of design.
     
    Ah - the enemy is here!

    The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious.
     
    Look at the damn thing, you silly person.

    You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape.
     
    You say "unseen intelligence," I say "hidden agenda."

    The building has the feeling that it should look like it does.
     
    What's the alternative? Looking like it doesn't look?

    It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie.
     
    No kidding! A dystopian fantasy where mobs of orcs slaughter each other amidst the ruins of a lost civilization.

    It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.
     
    The surrounding boring boxes are also appalling. I'll grant you that.
  9. I assumed from the photo that this article was going to be about Area 51.

  10. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    And of course, it being Edmonton and all, there are a couple of Africans walking by. Oh Canada!

    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones — not all — are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois, even if it means doing the same sort of thing over and over and over again and nobody is shocked anymore. Just disgusted.

    You see the same thing with public artists. The primary example being Richard Serra and all those ghastly, rusty metal walls he likes to put up (mother: Gladys Feinberg, from Odessa).

    Anyway, I can’t find any info about the guy behind the Edmonton mess being Jewish. His name is Stephen Teeple and he looks pretty Jewish, but who knows.

    • Replies: @Fred Boynton
    His name is Stephen Teeple and he looks pretty Jewish,

    This guy has serious pedoface as well.
    , @Vinteuil

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones — not all — are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois...
     
    Unfortunately, I think there's a lot of truth in that - but, as you yourself note, it's not just the Jews.

    The larger problem here is that the visual arts - painting, sculpture, architecture - have more & more come under the control of the talkers - i.e., the high verbal I.Q. folk - and less & less those gifted with real visual sensitivity.

    Clement Greenberg et al in, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Ilya Yefimovich Repin &c out.
  11. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    Originally, it was an attempt to make the State’s propaganda art forms ineffective by superseding them. It gradually changed into an attempt to make anything associated with Western Civilization (which gradually changed into The Patriarchy and Whites) either incomprehensible or ugly. The works of Dali and Picasso were visual attempts to break the ability of viewers to see anything beautiful or inspiring in previous representational schools of art. That’s why the repudiation of Notre Dame after the fire, and the attempt to re-build it in ugly form. That’s why the brutally ugly new library, among many other brutally ugly buildings. it’s also why Hollywood has been reduced to copying comic books.

    Rieff is a serious scholar. Deathworks [1] is an illustration of ugliness for ugliness sake. Charisma [3]recounts history of thought that gave destruction moral supremacy.

    And Tom Wolfe’s work [3] is a newsman’s account of the same things Rieff discusses.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Philip Rieff.
    _My Life Among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority (Sacred Order / Social Order, Vol. 1)_

    2] Philip Rieff.
    _Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away from Us_.

    3] Tom Wolfe.
    _From Bauhaus to Our House_.
    2]
    3]

  12. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Emblematic
    I disagree on both counts.

    The real building is a cool piece of design. The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious. You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape. The building has the feeling that it should look like it does. It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie. It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    And the real building is much, much better than the proposed one in the drawing.

    “The building has the feeling that it should look like it does.”

    But does it look like it should feel?

  13. @Emblematic
    I disagree on both counts.

    The real building is a cool piece of design. The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious. You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape. The building has the feeling that it should look like it does. It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie. It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    And the real building is much, much better than the proposed one in the drawing.

    “You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape.”

    Unseen, yes. Very well hidden even.

  14. The CBC found an architecture critic to say, “I think it’s often a sign of a really good building that there’s a fuss at this stage.” The CEO of the library claims it will look better once the plastic is removed from the windows and they turn on the lights. The previous design looked like something out of the Soviet era of eastern Europe. The cost was $84.9 million, does making large buildings today that look beautiful really cost any more than that?

  15. I follow someone called Wrath of Gnon on Twitter who right now is probably planning to firebomb this monstrosity. Well not really, I think he lives in Japan, he posts a lot about “traditional urbanism” and the like, which in practice means things like lots of beautiful photos of traditional European and Japanese urban environments, from the European middle ages through I’d say English Victorian. Some of his musings are fanciful–traditional farming ain’t gonna support 7 billion people or whatever we have now–but his imagery and commentary on human-scaled urban environments, and the sheer architectural beauty modern builders have turned their backs on, are persuasive.

  16. @Anonymous
    That was a Star Destroyer not a "cruiser". Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that I believe don't feature in Episode IV.

    “Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that …”

    Imperial cruisers don’t exist and have never existed. They are fictional, as is the whole Star Wars “universe”. Star Trek and the Marvel Comics stuff are fictional too. It’s worthwhile to sometimes point such things out.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    Amen brother. Comic books are for little children.
  17. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    If they could create Beauty they wouldn’t need to assault us.

  18. Looks like a building designed by a provincial human rights commission stomping on your face forever.

  19. I miss Richard Meltzer’s acerbic architecture articles in the LA Reader with titles like “The Ugliest Building in Los Angeles and 19 Others.”

  20. @Anonymous
    That was a Star Destroyer not a "cruiser". Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that I believe don't feature in Episode IV.

    Oh, Lordy, here we go ….

  21. @Anonymous
    That was a Star Destroyer not a "cruiser". Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that I believe don't feature in Episode IV.

    So, sorry, Jedi Knight #864, that was the evil side of Captain Luke Picard.

  22. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    One word: Cheap. BTW, what exactly goes on in a downtown Edmonton Library? What is the need?

    • Replies: @Clyde

    One word: Cheap. BTW, what exactly goes on in a downtown Edmonton Library? What is the need?
     
    Good question. My local library looks more and more empty. I go there only to get a DVD...maybe 2x per year. I think most function as an after school kiddie drop off center. Blame the internet.
    , @HunInTheSun
    What goes on in an Edmonton library or any other building in that city is people stepping inside to warm themselves during the astonishingly long and cold Edmonton winter
  23. @Anonymous
    That was a Star Destroyer not a "cruiser". Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that I believe don't feature in Episode IV.

    Nice try, but true Star Wars nerds don’t use the moniker “Episode IV” for the movie Star Wars.

  24. I’m pretty sure that building incorporates stealth technology, like the F-117.

  25. This structure seems to be hanging in the air with no visible means of support. This seems like a very useful innovation, as presumably the building can be towed to a different locations as required.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    This, I initially thought it was a model being carried by those policemen in the foreground.
  26. 1. It looks like a Littoral Combat Ship. Probably about as functional as one, too.

    2. “What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?” It’s a sort of paraphilia, a frisson achieved by vandalizing or inverting the markers of civilizational health in general, and Christendom in particular.

    Christianity proclaims Jesus Christ not merely as God but specifically as the Logos (cf. John 1), a multifaceted Greek word which encompasses rationality itself, order, design, and clarity of expression. In Christian thought, these attributes are echoes of Christ Himself wherever they appear, and so the “wise pagans” who unwittingly aligned with the Logos were respected and their ideas engaged by Christian scholars. (Dante placed the wise pagans in a non-Hellish anteroom outside Heaven, technically separated from the Beatific Vision but nonetheless Eden-like as a reward for their having followed the truth as best they could without the Gospel.)

    Not by accident, modernism and postmodernism targets every such marker of Logos and Telos, from classical form and symmetry, cleanliness and order, logic and harmony, to religious devotions and iconography evidencing a higher power. It is all a program of advancing the idea that chaos and cacophony represent “authentic” existence.

  27. Naval aviators might find it familiar:

    Now I don’t feel so bad about putting off power washing my house and repaving my ugly driveway.

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    After a good couple of hooks, you can just drop by the superstructuary and pick up a copy of Top Gun to watch in your bunk with your, uhhh, wing man.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.
     
    Robert Conquest said everyone is at his most conservative in his own field. Architects are a notable exception to this, as Prince Charles found out.

    The market likes this ugly minimalism because it is cheap. But they're not looking ahead.

    Annie Hall's Chippewa Falls is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their library building. You tell me if it was an improvement in the Carnegie structure across the street:


    https://librarytechnology.org/photos-libraries/1425.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ee/f0/ba/eef0bad7fa724478a466a766c61fc702.jpg
    , @Anonymous
    The late great British author and humorist, Auberon Waugh, once remarked that "if you should ever meet an architect, yoau should immediately strike him".
    , @Cortes
    I was thinking naval architects might see some similarities...

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zumwalt-class_destroyer
  28. @MikeatMikedotMike
    That first photo reminds me of something I might see built in the backyard of a rural country home in Kentucky. All that missing are a few automobile hulks partially hidden in overgrown grass.

    They’re not hulks, they’re restoration projects.

    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
    Pre restoration projects, just like 10% of the population of India are what Steve calls "pre-Americans."
  29. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:

    The purpose of a library is to store books – physical books in the modern parlance.

    Now, ‘modernist’ architects are big fans of the maxim ‘form follows function’.

    Having a building with walls at so many crazy angles – causing all sorts of acute, raking intersections, makes stacking books efficiently just that tad more awkward than those rather boring and outdated rectilinear angles. Thus inefficiency is built into the design as an inherent feature rather than as ‘superfluous’ ornanentation.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    Oh, horseshit, and I say that with all due respect.

    Back when "Across Difficult Country" blog was a thing, we had a competish as to the world's ugliest public library.

    I nominated the Centereach, NY library , which looks like the collision of a flying saucer with some kind of Elder Gods edifice; the winner, I believe, was the public library of Brisbane, Australia ...it had a serious Kronos the Robot Destroyer vibe, but in pastels. Can't beat that with a stick.
  30. @Emblematic
    I disagree on both counts.

    The real building is a cool piece of design. The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious. You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape. The building has the feeling that it should look like it does. It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie. It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    And the real building is much, much better than the proposed one in the drawing.

    Neo-Classical is how you build libraries.

  31. Our Canadian friends will no longer take a back seat to ANYONE, when it comes to immigration, hockey, political correctness, native alcoholism, hockey, and now, architecture. It looks like the Edmonton Library Board tried to out-stupid the Library Board of Seattle, Washington, and, by God, they were successful at it! Oh, Canada!

    You’ve gotta get your sea legs first before you go looking for books in the upper shelves – the whole damn interior is slanted above the street level.

    • Agree: BenKenobi
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    The experience music Project in Seattle is a fantastically ugly building.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Our Canadian friends will no longer take a back seat to ANYONE, when it comes to immigration, hockey, political correctness, native alcoholism, hockey, and now, architecture.
     
    You left out whiskey whisky.

    And curling. (Stones, not hair, but they're catching up there, too.)


    https://media2.giphy.com/media/NheOqVAASImDS/giphy.gif
  32. @Buzz Mohawk
    Naval aviators might find it familiar:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7003/6639847677_9484f63875_z.jpg

    Now I don't feel so bad about putting off power washing my house and repaving my ugly driveway.

    Architects are weird. That's a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.

    After a good couple of hooks, you can just drop by the superstructuary and pick up a copy of Top Gun to watch in your bunk with your, uhhh, wing man.

  33. @ChrisZ
    Viola la nouvelle Notre Dame.

    Do you play the voila? I play colle. Let’s get together with a voilinist and make some chamber music.

    • Replies: @ChrisZ
    Ho ho. The glory of autocorrect.

    And I play the bass. Dated some cute violists, though.
  34. If it’s something new in Canada, you can be sure it’s fake and gay.

  35. @Harry Baldwin
    It looks like the aftermath of a trailer park hit by a tornado.

    This library justifies ” book burning “; just ugly ! What university taught this tasteless designer ? He/ she should sue their university for malpractice.

  36. It really needs those lozenges to work. Perhaps they could request some from Brazil, where the lozenge is iconic. Or maybe just Delaware:

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    Oh, no need for Brazil. It looks like somebody solved the Lament Configuration.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/22/e7/cb/22e7cb7fb59561c130511f35d19d07be.jpg
  37. @Buzz Mohawk
    Naval aviators might find it familiar:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7003/6639847677_9484f63875_z.jpg

    Now I don't feel so bad about putting off power washing my house and repaving my ugly driveway.

    Architects are weird. That's a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.

    Robert Conquest said everyone is at his most conservative in his own field. Architects are a notable exception to this, as Prince Charles found out.

    The market likes this ugly minimalism because it is cheap. But they’re not looking ahead.

    Annie Hall’s Chippewa Falls is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their library building. You tell me if it was an improvement in the Carnegie structure across the street:

    • Replies: @International Jew
    Carnegie libraries make me think of the decline of both architecture and philanthropy. Not the amount of money contributed, but what it's being contributed for.
    , @Kronos
    Yeah, Carnegie libraries are pretty cool.
    , @Ganderson
    Somebody had a few too many Leinie’s before they approved that little patch of heaven...
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    The new one probably saves a lot of money on energy costs, I'll give it that.

    Quick story - where I used to live, the local branch library WAS one of those old houses, maybe even a church before. This was in a fairly northern climate, and the librarians would leave the front door WIDE OPEN in the spring when it was 45 F outside. It was a big damn door, and I'd close it behind me when I entered to save some of MY tax money. "Nah, keep that open, it gets too stuffy in here", they'd tell me. OPM goes a long way, I guess.
  38. Anonymous[966] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    Naval aviators might find it familiar:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7003/6639847677_9484f63875_z.jpg

    Now I don't feel so bad about putting off power washing my house and repaving my ugly driveway.

    Architects are weird. That's a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.

    The late great British author and humorist, Auberon Waugh, once remarked that “if you should ever meet an architect, yoau should immediately strike him”.

  39. a cross between the Imperial star destroyer and bunker stuff

    More like someone wanted to get some inspiration from a Philippe Druillet comic, but the money for the gritty detailing ran out, maybe spent on prostitutes and limousines:

  40. Here’s the original Edmonton library building, partly financed by Andrew Carnegie. Naturally, they tore it down.

    One other aspect of all this nostalgia is how much better everything was when there were far fewer people around. You could have smaller, more manageable public buildings because you weren’t serving a city stuffed full of foreign interlopers. Oh well.

  41. True, it’s a corrugated carbuncle, but onto more important matters – is expecting yutes to maintain a sense of decorum and a modicum of quietude an act of white privilege?

  42. @Buzz Mohawk
    Naval aviators might find it familiar:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7003/6639847677_9484f63875_z.jpg

    Now I don't feel so bad about putting off power washing my house and repaving my ugly driveway.

    Architects are weird. That's a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.

    I was thinking naval architects might see some similarities…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zumwalt-class_destroyer

  43. @MikeatMikedotMike
    That first photo reminds me of something I might see built in the backyard of a rural country home in Kentucky. All that missing are a few automobile hulks partially hidden in overgrown grass.

    No, that is a Vibranium coated building being admired by 2 local Wakandans. No where near Edmonton.

  44. Anonymous[223] • Disclaimer says:

    Since no one uses libraries anymore except mostly homeless people and poor people who can’t afford an internet connection this wouldn’t be much of a bother, if everyone else didn’t have to pass by it.

    I’m not sure if Edmonton is as conservative as the rest of Alberta supposedly is, or if like most major cities it leans left while the rest of the province leans right. But my guess is that it’s one of those cases where the city people think of themselves as smart city people far better, more hip and tolerant and cosmopolitan than the provincials, so they don’t have the self-respect to challenge whatever idiotic “post-modern” structure some well-known, overrated and vastly overpaid architect proposes to throw up (see Scotland’s ghastly and insanely expensive capitol).

    So basically it’s most likely a case of the emperor’s new library. Someone proposed this monstrosity, the wrong people complained, so the great and the good took it as a sign that it was a terrific idea, getting ever more terrific the more the wrong people pointed out how hideous it would be.

    I’m just grateful that my city’s main library was built long before this thing. The architect they hired, Moshe Safdie, probably earned a shit-ton and all he had to do was crib from his Vancouver library. Vancouver, a Canadian city where they didn’t have to concern themselves with pissing off the right-wing provincials, so they actually bothered to build a half decent library.

    • Replies: @Cortes
    “Scotland’s ghastly and insanely expensive capitol” was a political conspiracy to avoid at all costs the use of

    the old Royal High School building

    https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.3Bbaf9E-plo1txF3-DKYPgHaFj%26pid%3DApi&f=1

    as a “Nationalist shibboleth” and the selection panel did an awesome job in choosing the most ridiculous design possible.

  45. The Mental Disorders that Gave Us Modern Architecture
    https://commonedge.org/the-mental-disorders-that-gave-us-modern-architecture/

    There’s a reason so many of these buildings bring to mind WW I trenches and bunkers. Much of architecture seems to descend from people with autism, PTSD, visual hyperarousal, the after-effects of WW I, trauma, and other mental disorders. These designs make neurotypical people uncomfortable.

    “How did modern architecture happen? How did we evolve so quickly from architecture that had ornament and detail, to buildings that were often blank and devoid of detail? Why did the look and feel of buildings shift so dramatically in the early 20th century? History holds that modernism was the idealistic impulse that emerged out of the physical, moral and spiritual wreckage of the First World War. While there were other factors at work as well, this explanation, though undoubtedly true, tells an incomplete picture.

    Recent advances in neuroscience point to another important factor: one reason modern architecture looked so different than past constructions was because its key 20th century founders literally didn’t see the world in a “typical” fashion. They couldn’t. Their brains had been either physically altered by the trauma of war or, like Le Corbusier, they had a genetic brain disorder. And while their recommendations for “good design”—a new world, a clean slate—certainly reflected their talent, ambition, and drive, their remedies also reflected their brains’ specific disorders.”

    “It is also revealing to consider how the detachment people often feel around modern buildings and urban settings closely mirrors the disconnect people with PTSD and ASD often have towards others. It all makes a great deal of sense once you think about it: people who are relationally compromised can’t come up with an architecture that promotes relationships.”

    • Replies: @Anon
    Good article. I recommend people read it. Modern architecture the creation of autists and those with PTSD? Makes sense.
  46. @peterike
    And of course, it being Edmonton and all, there are a couple of Africans walking by. Oh Canada!

    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones -- not all -- are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois, even if it means doing the same sort of thing over and over and over again and nobody is shocked anymore. Just disgusted.

    You see the same thing with public artists. The primary example being Richard Serra and all those ghastly, rusty metal walls he likes to put up (mother: Gladys Feinberg, from Odessa).

    Anyway, I can't find any info about the guy behind the Edmonton mess being Jewish. His name is Stephen Teeple and he looks pretty Jewish, but who knows.

    https://tce-live2.s3.amazonaws.com/media/media/31c7864a-b984-4629-b1e2-892a3c725fb2.jpg

    His name is Stephen Teeple and he looks pretty Jewish,

    This guy has serious pedoface as well.

  47. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    They are attention hogs. The more outlandish the building, the more attention they receive. “Make no little plans!” said Daniel Burnham. Today, that statement is translated as “Make everything bizarre!” The public goes along because most are afraid of coming off as prudes or hicks if they question the design. It is almost like a form of Political Correctness.

  48. Look at James Howard Kunstler’s eyesore of the month for more buildings like this. He showcases one a month. https://kunstler.com/featured-eyesore-of-the-month/

  49. Ugliness in architecture
    Ugliness in music
    Ugliness in art
    Ugly in people
    21st Century heritage

  50. @Reg Cæsar
    It really needs those lozenges to work. Perhaps they could request some from Brazil, where the lozenge is iconic. Or maybe just Delaware:


    https://i.redd.it/togauj7igzdz.png

    Oh, no need for Brazil. It looks like somebody solved the Lament Configuration.

  51. Ah, the good old days, when libraries were palaces of knowledge….

    • Agree: Mike Zwick, Kronos
    • Replies: @syonredux
    https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8341/8186798032_e121cf590e_b.jpg
    , @Craig Nelsen
    The Library of Congress was the site of the first installation of electric lights in North America outside where they were manufactured in Cleveland (remember Cleveland?). Can you imagine the big night of the unveiling? All of Washington must have turned out, long lines of carriages disembarking their passengers on these steps, and what a sight it must have been. The only light anyone had ever seen before in their lives had come from fire. Then they walked into this:

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a1/22/6b/a1226b0ea88def1ad1bb793d4dc44af8.jpg
  52. @syonredux
    Ah, the good old days, when libraries were palaces of knowledge....

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/DFW0KM/thomas-jefferson-building-library-of-congress-washington-dc-usa-DFW0KM.jpg

  53. Speaking of the SPLC, for those who asked to be kept up to date, there was a ruling yesterday on the SPLC’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim in my defamation suit against the SPLC.

    As I understand it, the so-called Rule 26b motion to dismiss is a routine motion in civil cases made upfront by defendants. This allows courts to clear out frivolous suits, misconceived suits, and the like before going through the whole trial process. The defendant, too, hopes to avoid a trial, and thus makes its best arguments in this motion.

    Yesterday. the Court granted their motion in part and denied in part. In other words, I survived the motion to dismiss and the suit goes forward.

    And, OOT, I talked to a representative from the Florida ACLU this morning about their stance on the law making anti-Semitism a crime–a very dangerous who/whom law. Even though the ACLU played a big role in knocking down President Trump’s travel ban, arguing the Establishment Clause made his travel ban unconstitutional, they are taking no position on the Florida law, which, it seems to me, is a far more egregious and obvious violation against the establishment of a state religion than Trump’s travel ban.

  54. From Bauhaus to Our House.

  55. @Reg Cæsar

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.
     
    Robert Conquest said everyone is at his most conservative in his own field. Architects are a notable exception to this, as Prince Charles found out.

    The market likes this ugly minimalism because it is cheap. But they're not looking ahead.

    Annie Hall's Chippewa Falls is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their library building. You tell me if it was an improvement in the Carnegie structure across the street:


    https://librarytechnology.org/photos-libraries/1425.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ee/f0/ba/eef0bad7fa724478a466a766c61fc702.jpg

    Carnegie libraries make me think of the decline of both architecture and philanthropy. Not the amount of money contributed, but what it’s being contributed for.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Carnegie is my favorite robber baron. He gave away most of his money to build libraries in small town America that still do good today. Very much unlike the Ford, Pew, and Rockefeller money which continues to poison America.
  56. @Jonathan Mason
    This structure seems to be hanging in the air with no visible means of support. This seems like a very useful innovation, as presumably the building can be towed to a different locations as required.

    This, I initially thought it was a model being carried by those policemen in the foreground.

  57. Oh, boy. My favorite topic. I nominate, in the Non-Library Category, the Taj Mahony:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Our_Lady_of_the_Angels_(Los_Angeles)

    The architect won the Pritzker Prize. And Gregory Peck (you know, he was the noble lawyer in that mockingbird film) is buried in the crypt of that “church”. LOL.

    If you will look at photos of the interior, you will see ominous elements galore. The altar resembles a morgue slab. That’s just for starters. I see more.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    Here in Denver we have this Daniel Libeskind abomination, which looks like a piece of space wreckage.

    https://www.museeum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Hamilton-Building-grand-opening-pano-1-870x425.jpg
  58. @George
    One word: Cheap. BTW, what exactly goes on in a downtown Edmonton Library? What is the need?

    One word: Cheap. BTW, what exactly goes on in a downtown Edmonton Library? What is the need?

    Good question. My local library looks more and more empty. I go there only to get a DVD…maybe 2x per year. I think most function as an after school kiddie drop off center. Blame the internet.

  59. @Emblematic
    I disagree on both counts.

    The real building is a cool piece of design. The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious. You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape. The building has the feeling that it should look like it does. It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie. It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    And the real building is much, much better than the proposed one in the drawing.

    I do like well done satire,
    Please play again soon.

  60. @Reg Cæsar

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.
     
    Robert Conquest said everyone is at his most conservative in his own field. Architects are a notable exception to this, as Prince Charles found out.

    The market likes this ugly minimalism because it is cheap. But they're not looking ahead.

    Annie Hall's Chippewa Falls is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their library building. You tell me if it was an improvement in the Carnegie structure across the street:


    https://librarytechnology.org/photos-libraries/1425.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ee/f0/ba/eef0bad7fa724478a466a766c61fc702.jpg

    Yeah, Carnegie libraries are pretty cool.

  61. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    These buildings are ugly because high status comes from defying our inherited and instinctive sense of beauty, order and goodness. The managerial class functionaries who cut the cheque for that building know they must offend the hoi polloi if they want to be “world class”.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666

    These buildings are ugly because high status comes from defying our inherited and instinctive sense of beauty, order and goodness. The managerial class functionaries who cut the cheque for that building know they must offend the hoi polloi if they want to be “world class”.
     
    This is the winning answer. Anyone can figure out what people like and give it to them. That's just commerce. But the way to establish yourself as a visionary artiste is to impose something they don't like.
  62. Wait, don’t tell me – I got it: the angles are meant to deflect stray bullets.

  63. “One thing I’ve noted is that if the architect’s rendering doesn’t look as exquisite as the Taj Mahal, you should say NO.”

    Then Obama should just walk away from whatever they’re doing in Chicago.

  64. @Achmed E. Newman
    Our Canadian friends will no longer take a back seat to ANYONE, when it comes to immigration, hockey, political correctness, native alcoholism, hockey, and now, architecture. It looks like the Edmonton Library Board tried to out-stupid the Library Board of Seattle, Washington, and, by God, they were successful at it! Oh, Canada!

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/Seattle_Library.jpg

    You've gotta get your sea legs first before you go looking for books in the upper shelves - the whole damn interior is slanted above the street level.

    The experience music Project in Seattle is a fantastically ugly building.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    True. I found out that the building is supposed to be the shape of a guitar. That doesn't make it any better, though ...
  65. @Reg Cæsar

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.
     
    Robert Conquest said everyone is at his most conservative in his own field. Architects are a notable exception to this, as Prince Charles found out.

    The market likes this ugly minimalism because it is cheap. But they're not looking ahead.

    Annie Hall's Chippewa Falls is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their library building. You tell me if it was an improvement in the Carnegie structure across the street:


    https://librarytechnology.org/photos-libraries/1425.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ee/f0/ba/eef0bad7fa724478a466a766c61fc702.jpg

    Somebody had a few too many Leinie’s before they approved that little patch of heaven…

  66. Proper stonework is expensive. Throwing a skin around some I-beams is relatively cheap.

    Bet it leaks.

  67. actually the most important thing is the two africans in the foreground. did they work on this building?

    does it matter much if the new buildings in canada suck, if canada is gonna become brazil with muslims and a chinese ruling class?

  68. Jodorowsky’s Dune is a relevant sci-fi visually nuttery. Steve should do a spin off post on that.

    compare his insane sketches to what a master like Ridley Scott delivered on Alien and Blade Runner, working with Syd Mead and Giger. now that is set design.

    yes, all the old masters WERE better.

  69. @Emblematic
    I disagree on both counts.

    The real building is a cool piece of design. The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious. You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape. The building has the feeling that it should look like it does. It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie. It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    And the real building is much, much better than the proposed one in the drawing.

    The real building is a cool piece of design.

    Ah – the enemy is here!

    The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious.

    Look at the damn thing, you silly person.

    You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape.

    You say “unseen intelligence,” I say “hidden agenda.”

    The building has the feeling that it should look like it does.

    What’s the alternative? Looking like it doesn’t look?

    It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie.

    No kidding! A dystopian fantasy where mobs of orcs slaughter each other amidst the ruins of a lost civilization.

    It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.

    The surrounding boring boxes are also appalling. I’ll grant you that.

    • Replies: @Liza
    He's just funning us.
  70. @syonredux
    Ah, the good old days, when libraries were palaces of knowledge....

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/DFW0KM/thomas-jefferson-building-library-of-congress-washington-dc-usa-DFW0KM.jpg

    The Library of Congress was the site of the first installation of electric lights in North America outside where they were manufactured in Cleveland (remember Cleveland?). Can you imagine the big night of the unveiling? All of Washington must have turned out, long lines of carriages disembarking their passengers on these steps, and what a sight it must have been. The only light anyone had ever seen before in their lives had come from fire. Then they walked into this:

  71. @Redneck farmer
    They're not hulks, they're restoration projects.

    Pre restoration projects, just like 10% of the population of India are what Steve calls “pre-Americans.”

  72. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    You underestimate the power of the Dark Side.

  73. @peterike
    And of course, it being Edmonton and all, there are a couple of Africans walking by. Oh Canada!

    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones -- not all -- are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois, even if it means doing the same sort of thing over and over and over again and nobody is shocked anymore. Just disgusted.

    You see the same thing with public artists. The primary example being Richard Serra and all those ghastly, rusty metal walls he likes to put up (mother: Gladys Feinberg, from Odessa).

    Anyway, I can't find any info about the guy behind the Edmonton mess being Jewish. His name is Stephen Teeple and he looks pretty Jewish, but who knows.

    https://tce-live2.s3.amazonaws.com/media/media/31c7864a-b984-4629-b1e2-892a3c725fb2.jpg

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones — not all — are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois…

    Unfortunately, I think there’s a lot of truth in that – but, as you yourself note, it’s not just the Jews.

    The larger problem here is that the visual arts – painting, sculpture, architecture – have more & more come under the control of the talkers – i.e., the high verbal I.Q. folk – and less & less those gifted with real visual sensitivity.

    Clement Greenberg et al in, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Ilya Yefimovich Repin &c out.

    • Replies: @Coburn
    That’s the point Tom Wolfe made in ‘Painted Word’ and ‘Bauhaus to Our House’. Art has devolved into a vehicle for theoretical expression. The artist has been subordinated to the critic.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    I agree with your general point, whole-heartedly, but - Bouguereau???
  74. The Incredible Quonset Hut.

  75. It screams “unpainted cruise ship superstructure”. It’s far too grand to be even a Nimitz-Class Island without the function. Taki speaks a bit from time to time about how lousy architecture is indicative of decline, a reflection of the failings of society. This thing depicted is hideous. I’d love to hear his take on it. Greeks are very opinionated considering their architectural heritage a couple of thousand years back. They don’t build em like THAT anymore.

  76. @George
    One word: Cheap. BTW, what exactly goes on in a downtown Edmonton Library? What is the need?

    What goes on in an Edmonton library or any other building in that city is people stepping inside to warm themselves during the astonishingly long and cold Edmonton winter

  77. @Vinteuil

    The real building is a cool piece of design.
     
    Ah - the enemy is here!

    The different elements work together to create a total effect that is coherent while still being mysterious.
     
    Look at the damn thing, you silly person.

    You get the impression that there is an unseen intelligence or principle behind the physical shape.
     
    You say "unseen intelligence," I say "hidden agenda."

    The building has the feeling that it should look like it does.
     
    What's the alternative? Looking like it doesn't look?

    It would make a cool backdrop for a scene in a sci-fi movie.
     
    No kidding! A dystopian fantasy where mobs of orcs slaughter each other amidst the ruins of a lost civilization.

    It also sits well with the background (more conventional) surrounding buildings. Much better than a boring box.
     
    The surrounding boring boxes are also appalling. I'll grant you that.

    He’s just funning us.

  78. @Liza
    Oh, boy. My favorite topic. I nominate, in the Non-Library Category, the Taj Mahony:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Our_Lady_of_the_Angels_(Los_Angeles)

    The architect won the Pritzker Prize. And Gregory Peck (you know, he was the noble lawyer in that mockingbird film) is buried in the crypt of that "church". LOL.

    If you will look at photos of the interior, you will see ominous elements galore. The altar resembles a morgue slab. That's just for starters. I see more.

    Here in Denver we have this Daniel Libeskind abomination, which looks like a piece of space wreckage.

    • Agree: Liza
    • Replies: @Altai
    Everything Liebeskind makes looks the same. I don't know why some of his poorly paid young architects who actually make the building plans don't strike out on their own. I mean, do they really need Libeskind to draw all those jagged angles?
    , @Vinteuil
    Looks like somebody encountered Caspar David Friedrich's "The Sea of Ice"...

    http://www.lib-art.com/imgpainting/9/0/10309-the-sea-of-ice-caspar-david-friedrich.jpg

    ...at an impressionable age, and later thought it would be a great idea to try to turn it into a building.

    Big mistake.

  79. @Anonymous
    Since no one uses libraries anymore except mostly homeless people and poor people who can't afford an internet connection this wouldn't be much of a bother, if everyone else didn't have to pass by it.

    I'm not sure if Edmonton is as conservative as the rest of Alberta supposedly is, or if like most major cities it leans left while the rest of the province leans right. But my guess is that it's one of those cases where the city people think of themselves as smart city people far better, more hip and tolerant and cosmopolitan than the provincials, so they don't have the self-respect to challenge whatever idiotic "post-modern" structure some well-known, overrated and vastly overpaid architect proposes to throw up (see Scotland's ghastly and insanely expensive capitol).

    So basically it's most likely a case of the emperor's new library. Someone proposed this monstrosity, the wrong people complained, so the great and the good took it as a sign that it was a terrific idea, getting ever more terrific the more the wrong people pointed out how hideous it would be.

    I'm just grateful that my city's main library was built long before this thing. The architect they hired, Moshe Safdie, probably earned a shit-ton and all he had to do was crib from his Vancouver library. Vancouver, a Canadian city where they didn't have to concern themselves with pissing off the right-wing provincials, so they actually bothered to build a half decent library.

    “Scotland’s ghastly and insanely expensive capitol” was a political conspiracy to avoid at all costs the use of

    the old Royal High School building

    https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.3Bbaf9E-plo1txF3-DKYPgHaFj%26pid%3DApi&f=1

    as a “Nationalist shibboleth” and the selection panel did an awesome job in choosing the most ridiculous design possible.

  80. @Ganderson
    The experience music Project in Seattle is a fantastically ugly building.

    True. I found out that the building is supposed to be the shape of a guitar. That doesn’t make it any better, though …

  81. @Intelligent Dasein
    Here in Denver we have this Daniel Libeskind abomination, which looks like a piece of space wreckage.

    https://www.museeum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Hamilton-Building-grand-opening-pano-1-870x425.jpg

    Everything Liebeskind makes looks the same. I don’t know why some of his poorly paid young architects who actually make the building plans don’t strike out on their own. I mean, do they really need Libeskind to draw all those jagged angles?

  82. @stillCARealist
    Do you play the voila? I play colle. Let's get together with a voilinist and make some chamber music.

    Ho ho. The glory of autocorrect.

    And I play the bass. Dated some cute violists, though.

  83. I’m surprised that any new libraries are being built. Where I live in the UK they are talking seriously about closing down several libraries because no-one is using them any more. Everything can be done online instead. The only occasion I personally enter the library is when I need some rolls of recycling sacks, which they dispense free of charge.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    Tom Wolfe talked about how conspicuous consumption in architecture that you have rightful access to induces a sense of well being. His specific example was a spectacular college library.

  84. @Cagey Beast
    These buildings are ugly because high status comes from defying our inherited and instinctive sense of beauty, order and goodness. The managerial class functionaries who cut the cheque for that building know they must offend the hoi polloi if they want to be "world class".

    These buildings are ugly because high status comes from defying our inherited and instinctive sense of beauty, order and goodness. The managerial class functionaries who cut the cheque for that building know they must offend the hoi polloi if they want to be “world class”.

    This is the winning answer. Anyone can figure out what people like and give it to them. That’s just commerce. But the way to establish yourself as a visionary artiste is to impose something they don’t like.

    • Agree: Cagey Beast
  85. The purpose of architecture is that of music, books, magazines, films, television, food, cars etc.

    To be as ugly, depressing, degrading, and humiliating as possible. In that way the middle classes can be destroyed by their natural enemies the upper and lower classes.

  86. @Reg Cæsar

    Architects are weird. That’s a rule. They must teach it in architecture basic training.
     
    Robert Conquest said everyone is at his most conservative in his own field. Architects are a notable exception to this, as Prince Charles found out.

    The market likes this ugly minimalism because it is cheap. But they're not looking ahead.

    Annie Hall's Chippewa Falls is celebrating the 50th anniversary of their library building. You tell me if it was an improvement in the Carnegie structure across the street:


    https://librarytechnology.org/photos-libraries/1425.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ee/f0/ba/eef0bad7fa724478a466a766c61fc702.jpg

    The new one probably saves a lot of money on energy costs, I’ll give it that.

    Quick story – where I used to live, the local branch library WAS one of those old houses, maybe even a church before. This was in a fairly northern climate, and the librarians would leave the front door WIDE OPEN in the spring when it was 45 F outside. It was a big damn door, and I’d close it behind me when I entered to save some of MY tax money. “Nah, keep that open, it gets too stuffy in here”, they’d tell me. OPM goes a long way, I guess.

  87. @martin2
    I'm surprised that any new libraries are being built. Where I live in the UK they are talking seriously about closing down several libraries because no-one is using them any more. Everything can be done online instead. The only occasion I personally enter the library is when I need some rolls of recycling sacks, which they dispense free of charge.

    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    Tom Wolfe talked about how conspicuous consumption in architecture that you have rightful access to induces a sense of well being. His specific example was a spectacular college library.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy....


    https://ratcliffarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/uc-berkeley-bancroft-library-1.jpg
    , @syonredux

    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.
     
    Yep


    https://wrongsideofthecamera.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/boston-public-library-reading-room-2.jpg
    , @Liza

    People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.
     
    As they love being in churches with high ceilings. Somehow you get a feeling of awe and enlightenment in such churches; you are transported out of your chattering mind for a while. If you have ever been in a cheap church with a low ceiling - the proportions of length to width to ceiling height are always wrong - there is a feeling of oppression.

    About reading rooms (libraries) with high ceilings, it's not just the ceiling height, IMO. I have been in two large public libraries that are similar to the ugly wrecked-spaceship ones; some of their reading areas are impressive in ceiling height and they don't induce the feeling of peace, rightness and just wanting to be quiet I have felt in an old fashioned library. Maybe it's the overall design and building materials.

    It's the same with a house. Ceilings shouldn't be high as in a good church, library or certain other public spaces. Nor should the ceilings be too low, of course. It seems to be a fad of recent years to build houses with living rooms and even dining areas with excessively high ceilings. These rooms are supposed to be mainly for interacting, conversing, etc. Not prayer or heavy contemplation.
  88. @Charles Erwin Wilson 3
    What is it with architects and their insistence on assaulting us with ugliness?

    Building a better Library

    The budget was increased to $69 million in 2016 and then $84.5 million in 2017 because of unanticipated issues involving building code changes, increased hazardous abatement requirements, and structural and mechanical challenges. Much of this funding came from the City of Edmonton, but it also included a reallocation of funds from other EPL capital projects, savings and grants.

    https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/building-a-better-library/

    Peek into the Future of Milner

    4. Culinary Curiosity

    Interested in a place where you can explore your culinary curiosities? We have 2,100 square feet of space dedicated to a culinary centre intended to support and inspire learning opportunities related to health, nutrition and food literacies.

    https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/peek-into-the-future-of-milner/

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    But, more importantly, will all the money spent on this new facility help the Oilers win a Stanley Cup?
  89. @Steve Sailer
    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    Tom Wolfe talked about how conspicuous consumption in architecture that you have rightful access to induces a sense of well being. His specific example was a spectacular college library.

    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy….

    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy….
     
    Not me. The only good thing I can think of to say about the older buildings at Cal is that at least they weren't hideous & depressing, like most of the newer buildings.

    But that's such a low bar. The neo-classical stuff at Berkeley, the neo-Gothic stuff at U. of Chicago - it's all so hopelessly inadequate, compared to the real thing in Rome and Paris.
    , @Old Palo Altan
    Me too, and thank you for a perfect photo of the place.
    Those who do not know Berkeley or that library need to understand that those large windows embrace one immense and lofty room, filled with a first class reference library, shelved around the walls, and dozens of large tables, with room for ten or twelve students at each. I spent many a happy hour or two at a time there, just browsing.
    The lower room to the right was a beautiful and cozy approximation of a library in a private club, with all of the latest newspapers and periodicals, in a four or five languages, and a selection of the most recent books purchased, mostly history and biography, if memory serves. I usually loped in there too, once a week, to read, mostly, the London papers and periodicals, thus discovering the engaging figure of Paul Johnson, editor of the New Statesman at the time.
    The stacks were open to those with a certain grade point average, and I spent much time in them too, once even venturing out after a marathon session to discover that it was after midnight, that the place was closed, and that I was the only person there. Luckily I eventually found a door which opened outwards, and no alarm went off.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy….
     
    I was going to say that Wisconsin-- degraded to "UW-Madison"-- has a similar room. But no, their university library is only marginally better than Minnesota's giant cubby hole. It has carpet in the lobby.

    That classical building with the high-ceilinged reading room is on the same campus, but it belongs to the state historical society. Of course, few students ever go into it.

    I haven't been there in about a decade, but remember the stacks being musty, and the elevators of the scary old kind. A little sprucing up was in order, but nothing to threaten the soul of the place.



    https://acrl.ala.org/residency/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/WHS_Reading_Room.png
  90. @Steve Sailer
    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    Tom Wolfe talked about how conspicuous consumption in architecture that you have rightful access to induces a sense of well being. His specific example was a spectacular college library.

    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    Yep

    • Agree: Liza
  91. @MikeatMikedotMike
    That first photo reminds me of something I might see built in the backyard of a rural country home in Kentucky. All that missing are a few automobile hulks partially hidden in overgrown grass.

    Or maybe a new fangled high tech “green” chicken house on the outskirts of Siler City, NC.

  92. @George
    Building a better Library

    The budget was increased to $69 million in 2016 and then $84.5 million in 2017 because of unanticipated issues involving building code changes, increased hazardous abatement requirements, and structural and mechanical challenges. Much of this funding came from the City of Edmonton, but it also included a reallocation of funds from other EPL capital projects, savings and grants.

    https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/building-a-better-library/

    Peek into the Future of Milner

    4. Culinary Curiosity

    Interested in a place where you can explore your culinary curiosities? We have 2,100 square feet of space dedicated to a culinary centre intended to support and inspire learning opportunities related to health, nutrition and food literacies.

    https://www.epl.ca/blogs/post/peek-into-the-future-of-milner/

    But, more importantly, will all the money spent on this new facility help the Oilers win a Stanley Cup?

  93. @Achmed E. Newman
    Our Canadian friends will no longer take a back seat to ANYONE, when it comes to immigration, hockey, political correctness, native alcoholism, hockey, and now, architecture. It looks like the Edmonton Library Board tried to out-stupid the Library Board of Seattle, Washington, and, by God, they were successful at it! Oh, Canada!

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/Seattle_Library.jpg

    You've gotta get your sea legs first before you go looking for books in the upper shelves - the whole damn interior is slanted above the street level.

    Our Canadian friends will no longer take a back seat to ANYONE, when it comes to immigration, hockey, political correctness, native alcoholism, hockey, and now, architecture.

    You left out whiskey whisky.

    And curling. (Stones, not hair, but they’re catching up there, too.)

  94. I hope you’re right, Bill. I’d hate to think that iSteve is attracting people who actually believe such poppycock.

  95. anonymous[354] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    The purpose of a library is to store books - physical books in the modern parlance.

    Now, 'modernist' architects are big fans of the maxim 'form follows function'.

    Having a building with walls at so many crazy angles - causing all sorts of acute, raking intersections, makes stacking books efficiently just that tad more awkward than those rather boring and outdated rectilinear angles. Thus inefficiency is built into the design as an inherent feature rather than as 'superfluous' ornanentation.

    Oh, horseshit, and I say that with all due respect.

    Back when “Across Difficult Country” blog was a thing, we had a competish as to the world’s ugliest public library.

    I nominated the Centereach, NY library , which looks like the collision of a flying saucer with some kind of Elder Gods edifice; the winner, I believe, was the public library of Brisbane, Australia …it had a serious Kronos the Robot Destroyer vibe, but in pastels. Can’t beat that with a stick.

  96. anonymous[238] • Disclaimer says:

    Mediocre radicalism.

  97. It looks like it’s in grave danger of rusting. The original rendering isn’t too bad, but the final result indicates that the city had a violent attack of the cheapies and went for lower-priced building materials.

  98. @Sean R
    The Mental Disorders that Gave Us Modern Architecture
    https://commonedge.org/the-mental-disorders-that-gave-us-modern-architecture/

    There's a reason so many of these buildings bring to mind WW I trenches and bunkers. Much of architecture seems to descend from people with autism, PTSD, visual hyperarousal, the after-effects of WW I, trauma, and other mental disorders. These designs make neurotypical people uncomfortable.

    "How did modern architecture happen? How did we evolve so quickly from architecture that had ornament and detail, to buildings that were often blank and devoid of detail? Why did the look and feel of buildings shift so dramatically in the early 20th century? History holds that modernism was the idealistic impulse that emerged out of the physical, moral and spiritual wreckage of the First World War. While there were other factors at work as well, this explanation, though undoubtedly true, tells an incomplete picture.

    Recent advances in neuroscience point to another important factor: one reason modern architecture looked so different than past constructions was because its key 20th century founders literally didn’t see the world in a “typical” fashion. They couldn’t. Their brains had been either physically altered by the trauma of war or, like Le Corbusier, they had a genetic brain disorder. And while their recommendations for “good design”—a new world, a clean slate—certainly reflected their talent, ambition, and drive, their remedies also reflected their brains’ specific disorders."

    "It is also revealing to consider how the detachment people often feel around modern buildings and urban settings closely mirrors the disconnect people with PTSD and ASD often have towards others. It all makes a great deal of sense once you think about it: people who are relationally compromised can’t come up with an architecture that promotes relationships."

    Good article. I recommend people read it. Modern architecture the creation of autists and those with PTSD? Makes sense.

  99. @Vinteuil

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones — not all — are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois...
     
    Unfortunately, I think there's a lot of truth in that - but, as you yourself note, it's not just the Jews.

    The larger problem here is that the visual arts - painting, sculpture, architecture - have more & more come under the control of the talkers - i.e., the high verbal I.Q. folk - and less & less those gifted with real visual sensitivity.

    Clement Greenberg et al in, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Ilya Yefimovich Repin &c out.

    That’s the point Tom Wolfe made in ‘Painted Word’ and ‘Bauhaus to Our House’. Art has devolved into a vehicle for theoretical expression. The artist has been subordinated to the critic.

    • Agree: Vinteuil
  100. @Dwright
    It really does look like it was designed by George Lucas’ team. Not there best work though and wrong venue for them.

    “It really does look like it was designed by George Lucas’ team.”

    I see it as something out of a 1970’s Doctor Who rerun. I still have no idea what people ever saw in that, but it obviously made an impact.

  101. @Intelligent Dasein
    Here in Denver we have this Daniel Libeskind abomination, which looks like a piece of space wreckage.

    https://www.museeum.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Hamilton-Building-grand-opening-pano-1-870x425.jpg

    Looks like somebody encountered Caspar David Friedrich’s “The Sea of Ice”…

    …at an impressionable age, and later thought it would be a great idea to try to turn it into a building.

    Big mistake.

    • Agree: Liza, syonredux
  102. @syonredux
    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy....


    https://ratcliffarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/uc-berkeley-bancroft-library-1.jpg

    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy….

    Not me. The only good thing I can think of to say about the older buildings at Cal is that at least they weren’t hideous & depressing, like most of the newer buildings.

    But that’s such a low bar. The neo-classical stuff at Berkeley, the neo-Gothic stuff at U. of Chicago – it’s all so hopelessly inadequate, compared to the real thing in Rome and Paris.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    I wouldn't have taken you for a snob of this sort Vinteuil.
    Certainly none of the neo-classical stuff at Berkeley is of world-shaking quality. But those buildings pointed, precisely, to what had inspired them, and contained spacious, wel-designed, and restful rooms, like the Bancroft reference library, and, one which you must have known well, the library of the philosophy building. Nothing wrong with the campanile either.

    The worst of the modern buildings? Why, the architecture department's of course.
  103. @syonredux
    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy....


    https://ratcliffarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/uc-berkeley-bancroft-library-1.jpg

    Me too, and thank you for a perfect photo of the place.
    Those who do not know Berkeley or that library need to understand that those large windows embrace one immense and lofty room, filled with a first class reference library, shelved around the walls, and dozens of large tables, with room for ten or twelve students at each. I spent many a happy hour or two at a time there, just browsing.
    The lower room to the right was a beautiful and cozy approximation of a library in a private club, with all of the latest newspapers and periodicals, in a four or five languages, and a selection of the most recent books purchased, mostly history and biography, if memory serves. I usually loped in there too, once a week, to read, mostly, the London papers and periodicals, thus discovering the engaging figure of Paul Johnson, editor of the New Statesman at the time.
    The stacks were open to those with a certain grade point average, and I spent much time in them too, once even venturing out after a marathon session to discover that it was after midnight, that the place was closed, and that I was the only person there. Luckily I eventually found a door which opened outwards, and no alarm went off.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    Missed, this before.

    Respect.

    Berkeley ('85-'87) wasn't like that, for me.
  104. @Vinteuil

    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy….
     
    Not me. The only good thing I can think of to say about the older buildings at Cal is that at least they weren't hideous & depressing, like most of the newer buildings.

    But that's such a low bar. The neo-classical stuff at Berkeley, the neo-Gothic stuff at U. of Chicago - it's all so hopelessly inadequate, compared to the real thing in Rome and Paris.

    I wouldn’t have taken you for a snob of this sort Vinteuil.
    Certainly none of the neo-classical stuff at Berkeley is of world-shaking quality. But those buildings pointed, precisely, to what had inspired them, and contained spacious, wel-designed, and restful rooms, like the Bancroft reference library, and, one which you must have known well, the library of the philosophy building. Nothing wrong with the campanile either.

    The worst of the modern buildings? Why, the architecture department’s of course.

    • Agree: syonredux
    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    I wouldn’t have taken you for a snob of this sort Vinteuil.
     
    Well, then you have overestimated me.
  105. @Vinteuil

    The honest answer to that is that most of the very worst ones — not all — are Jewish, and they design with the usual Jewish obsession at undermining the host society. In the case of architecture, buildings like this are deliberately offensive, since Jews have never stopped trying to épater le bourgeois...
     
    Unfortunately, I think there's a lot of truth in that - but, as you yourself note, it's not just the Jews.

    The larger problem here is that the visual arts - painting, sculpture, architecture - have more & more come under the control of the talkers - i.e., the high verbal I.Q. folk - and less & less those gifted with real visual sensitivity.

    Clement Greenberg et al in, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Ilya Yefimovich Repin &c out.

    I agree with your general point, whole-heartedly, but – Bouguereau???

    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    Bouguereau???
     
    Oh, yes, my friend.

    And Rachmanoninov, too.

    My taste really is just that bad.
  106. @Cagey Beast
    "Imperial cruisers are smaller ships that ..."

    Imperial cruisers don't exist and have never existed. They are fictional, as is the whole Star Wars "universe". Star Trek and the Marvel Comics stuff are fictional too. It's worthwhile to sometimes point such things out.

    Amen brother. Comic books are for little children.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Comic books are for little children.

     

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/DFHHDF/man-reading-manga-in-subwaytokyojapan-DFHHDF.jpg

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/W2NMWE/man-reading-a-manga-in-tokyosubwayjapanasia-W2NMWE.jpg

    https://i1.wp.com/photos1.blogger.com/img/82/2290/400/17_1.jpg
  107. @syonredux
    When I was an undergrad at Berkeley, going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy....


    https://ratcliffarch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/uc-berkeley-bancroft-library-1.jpg

    going to the Bancroft Library always made me feel happy….

    I was going to say that Wisconsin– degraded to “UW-Madison”– has a similar room. But no, their university library is only marginally better than Minnesota’s giant cubby hole. It has carpet in the lobby.

    That classical building with the high-ceilinged reading room is on the same campus, but it belongs to the state historical society. Of course, few students ever go into it.

    I haven’t been there in about a decade, but remember the stacks being musty, and the elevators of the scary old kind. A little sprucing up was in order, but nothing to threaten the soul of the place.

  108. @JMcG
    Amen brother. Comic books are for little children.

    Comic books are for little children.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    Japan is special, but comic books are for children.
  109. @Steve Sailer
    The library near my house is packed with locals (not homeless). They rebuilt it in 2001 from a cramped low ceiling building to one where the ceiling is about 30 feet up. People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    Tom Wolfe talked about how conspicuous consumption in architecture that you have rightful access to induces a sense of well being. His specific example was a spectacular college library.

    People seem to like reading in a room with a high ceiling, like say the Boston Public Library reading room.

    As they love being in churches with high ceilings. Somehow you get a feeling of awe and enlightenment in such churches; you are transported out of your chattering mind for a while. If you have ever been in a cheap church with a low ceiling – the proportions of length to width to ceiling height are always wrong – there is a feeling of oppression.

    About reading rooms (libraries) with high ceilings, it’s not just the ceiling height, IMO. I have been in two large public libraries that are similar to the ugly wrecked-spaceship ones; some of their reading areas are impressive in ceiling height and they don’t induce the feeling of peace, rightness and just wanting to be quiet I have felt in an old fashioned library. Maybe it’s the overall design and building materials.

    It’s the same with a house. Ceilings shouldn’t be high as in a good church, library or certain other public spaces. Nor should the ceilings be too low, of course. It seems to be a fad of recent years to build houses with living rooms and even dining areas with excessively high ceilings. These rooms are supposed to be mainly for interacting, conversing, etc. Not prayer or heavy contemplation.

  110. @International Jew
    Carnegie libraries make me think of the decline of both architecture and philanthropy. Not the amount of money contributed, but what it's being contributed for.

    Carnegie is my favorite robber baron. He gave away most of his money to build libraries in small town America that still do good today. Very much unlike the Ford, Pew, and Rockefeller money which continues to poison America.

  111. @Old Palo Altan
    I wouldn't have taken you for a snob of this sort Vinteuil.
    Certainly none of the neo-classical stuff at Berkeley is of world-shaking quality. But those buildings pointed, precisely, to what had inspired them, and contained spacious, wel-designed, and restful rooms, like the Bancroft reference library, and, one which you must have known well, the library of the philosophy building. Nothing wrong with the campanile either.

    The worst of the modern buildings? Why, the architecture department's of course.

    I wouldn’t have taken you for a snob of this sort Vinteuil.

    Well, then you have overestimated me.

  112. @Old Palo Altan
    I agree with your general point, whole-heartedly, but - Bouguereau???

    Bouguereau???

    Oh, yes, my friend.

    And Rachmanoninov, too.

    My taste really is just that bad.

    • Replies: @Liza
    I love Bouguereau's paintings, too. I travelled (drove) hundreds of miles just to see one at an art gallery.

    What is with the snooty attitude some people have toward academic art. I had an artist (typically untalented) acquaintance visit my home a few yr ago and told him how much I liked Bouguereau and he just kind of looked like someone had dumped sewage on his head, but didn't say much, inasmuch as this was my home and he was partaking of my hospitality.
  113. @Reg Cæsar

    Comic books are for little children.

     

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/DFHHDF/man-reading-manga-in-subwaytokyojapan-DFHHDF.jpg

    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/W2NMWE/man-reading-a-manga-in-tokyosubwayjapanasia-W2NMWE.jpg

    https://i1.wp.com/photos1.blogger.com/img/82/2290/400/17_1.jpg

    Japan is special, but comic books are for children.

  114. @Vinteuil

    Bouguereau???
     
    Oh, yes, my friend.

    And Rachmanoninov, too.

    My taste really is just that bad.

    I love Bouguereau’s paintings, too. I travelled (drove) hundreds of miles just to see one at an art gallery.

    What is with the snooty attitude some people have toward academic art. I had an artist (typically untalented) acquaintance visit my home a few yr ago and told him how much I liked Bouguereau and he just kind of looked like someone had dumped sewage on his head, but didn’t say much, inasmuch as this was my home and he was partaking of my hospitality.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    I love Bouguereau’s paintings, too. I travelled (drove) hundreds of miles just to see one at an art gallery.
     
    You were right to do so. He is, quite possibly, the most under-appreciated, most unjustly trashed artist of all time.

    The musical equivalents might be Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo...
  115. It was the coupling with the magnificent Repin which really got to me.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    Oops, sorry - I meant Rachmanononinov...

    Anyway, the peak experience of my recent visit to Moscow was the big Repin retrospective at Novaya Tretyakova - just staggering. And very well curated, which isn't something one can take for granted, these days. Run, do not walk, while there's still time.
  116. @Old Palo Altan
    It was the coupling with the magnificent Repin which really got to me.

    Oops, sorry – I meant Rachmanononinov…

    Anyway, the peak experience of my recent visit to Moscow was the big Repin retrospective at Novaya Tretyakova – just staggering. And very well curated, which isn’t something one can take for granted, these days. Run, do not walk, while there’s still time.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    "Rachmanononinov" - Yes, I knew it had to be him.

    Tragic about Repin (that I can't make it, I mean). I particularly want to see what his handling of paint looks like close up - "What Freedom!" for example.
  117. @Old Palo Altan
    Me too, and thank you for a perfect photo of the place.
    Those who do not know Berkeley or that library need to understand that those large windows embrace one immense and lofty room, filled with a first class reference library, shelved around the walls, and dozens of large tables, with room for ten or twelve students at each. I spent many a happy hour or two at a time there, just browsing.
    The lower room to the right was a beautiful and cozy approximation of a library in a private club, with all of the latest newspapers and periodicals, in a four or five languages, and a selection of the most recent books purchased, mostly history and biography, if memory serves. I usually loped in there too, once a week, to read, mostly, the London papers and periodicals, thus discovering the engaging figure of Paul Johnson, editor of the New Statesman at the time.
    The stacks were open to those with a certain grade point average, and I spent much time in them too, once even venturing out after a marathon session to discover that it was after midnight, that the place was closed, and that I was the only person there. Luckily I eventually found a door which opened outwards, and no alarm went off.

    Missed, this before.

    Respect.

    Berkeley (’85-’87) wasn’t like that, for me.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    What a difference twenty years can make it seems.
  118. @Vinteuil
    Missed, this before.

    Respect.

    Berkeley ('85-'87) wasn't like that, for me.

    What a difference twenty years can make it seems.

  119. @Vinteuil
    Oops, sorry - I meant Rachmanononinov...

    Anyway, the peak experience of my recent visit to Moscow was the big Repin retrospective at Novaya Tretyakova - just staggering. And very well curated, which isn't something one can take for granted, these days. Run, do not walk, while there's still time.

    “Rachmanononinov” – Yes, I knew it had to be him.

    Tragic about Repin (that I can’t make it, I mean). I particularly want to see what his handling of paint looks like close up – “What Freedom!” for example.

  120. @Liza
    I love Bouguereau's paintings, too. I travelled (drove) hundreds of miles just to see one at an art gallery.

    What is with the snooty attitude some people have toward academic art. I had an artist (typically untalented) acquaintance visit my home a few yr ago and told him how much I liked Bouguereau and he just kind of looked like someone had dumped sewage on his head, but didn't say much, inasmuch as this was my home and he was partaking of my hospitality.

    I love Bouguereau’s paintings, too. I travelled (drove) hundreds of miles just to see one at an art gallery.

    You were right to do so. He is, quite possibly, the most under-appreciated, most unjustly trashed artist of all time.

    The musical equivalents might be Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo…

    • Agree: Liza
    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    "The musical equivalents might be Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo…"

    Sibelius excluded (whom I'm convinced you put in here to throw us off the scent), they might indeed.
  121. @Vinteuil

    I love Bouguereau’s paintings, too. I travelled (drove) hundreds of miles just to see one at an art gallery.
     
    You were right to do so. He is, quite possibly, the most under-appreciated, most unjustly trashed artist of all time.

    The musical equivalents might be Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo...

    “The musical equivalents might be Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo…”

    Sibelius excluded (whom I’m convinced you put in here to throw us off the scent), they might indeed.

    • Agree: Liza
    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    Sibelius excluded (whom I’m convinced you put in here to throw us off the scent), they might indeed.
     
    OPA, there's no more guile in me than there is in a canary.

    Vaughan Williams & Rodrigo are on my list of the greats, along with Nielsen, Stenhammar, Holst, Respighi, Szymanowski...& so on & so forth.
  122. Honestly, OPA, what can I say that will please you?

    Does the Tallis Fantasia compare to En Saga? I think it does.

    Does the Fantasía para un gentilhombre compare to the Violin Concerto Op. 49? I think it does.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Nothing you say displeases me, but puzzled I often am.

    I suppose it boils down to no more than this: that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.

  123. @Old Palo Altan
    "The musical equivalents might be Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, Joaquin Rodrigo…"

    Sibelius excluded (whom I'm convinced you put in here to throw us off the scent), they might indeed.

    Sibelius excluded (whom I’m convinced you put in here to throw us off the scent), they might indeed.

    OPA, there’s no more guile in me than there is in a canary.

    Vaughan Williams & Rodrigo are on my list of the greats, along with Nielsen, Stenhammar, Holst, Respighi, Szymanowski…& so on & so forth.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Liza didn’t quite see my point, did she?

    But you did. I would say that I’m speechless, except that I cannot fail to speak these words: “If all of the worthies (and they are that) you mention can be called “great”, what then is left over to say of Monteverdi, Handel and Wagner (& so on & so forth)?”
  124. @Vinteuil

    Sibelius excluded (whom I’m convinced you put in here to throw us off the scent), they might indeed.
     
    OPA, there's no more guile in me than there is in a canary.

    Vaughan Williams & Rodrigo are on my list of the greats, along with Nielsen, Stenhammar, Holst, Respighi, Szymanowski...& so on & so forth.

    Liza didn’t quite see my point, did she?

    But you did. I would say that I’m speechless, except that I cannot fail to speak these words: “If all of the worthies (and they are that) you mention can be called “great”, what then is left over to say of Monteverdi, Handel and Wagner (& so on & so forth)?”

    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    ...what then is left over to say of Monteverdi, Handel and Wagner...
     
    Maybe "the greatest of the great?"

    Incidentally, J-F Gariepy recently interviewed Richard Spencer, and the question of favorite composers came up.

    Richard Spencer: not Wagner, Verdi.

    Papa J.F.: Chopin - for the win. The classiest possible answer.
  125. @Vinteuil
    Honestly, OPA, what can I say that will please you?

    Does the Tallis Fantasia compare to En Saga? I think it does.

    Does the Fantasía para un gentilhombre compare to the Violin Concerto Op. 49? I think it does.

    Nothing you say displeases me, but puzzled I often am.

    I suppose it boils down to no more than this: that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.

    • Replies: @Liza

    ...that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.
     
    Hard to disagree. Holst, Nielsen, etc. are hardly Bach and Monteverdi.
    , @Vinteuil

    you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.
     
    I think that Wagner's innovations opened the path to a sort of explosion of greatness, in the late 19th & early 20th centuries. I've named some of those I have in mind - you can probably guess the others.

    But what does it matter? It's all over, now.
  126. @Old Palo Altan
    Nothing you say displeases me, but puzzled I often am.

    I suppose it boils down to no more than this: that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.

    …that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.

    Hard to disagree. Holst, Nielsen, etc. are hardly Bach and Monteverdi.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil

    Holst, Nielsen, etc. are hardly Bach and Monteverdi.
     
    If we're talking historical importance, well, sure.

    But Holst's Hymn of Jesus moves me to the core, in a way that Bach's Magnificat just doesn't. And Nielsen's Inextinguishable Symphony captivates me in a way that far surpasses even the very best moments of L'Orfeo.
  127. @Old Palo Altan
    Liza didn’t quite see my point, did she?

    But you did. I would say that I’m speechless, except that I cannot fail to speak these words: “If all of the worthies (and they are that) you mention can be called “great”, what then is left over to say of Monteverdi, Handel and Wagner (& so on & so forth)?”

    …what then is left over to say of Monteverdi, Handel and Wagner…

    Maybe “the greatest of the great?”

    Incidentally, J-F Gariepy recently interviewed Richard Spencer, and the question of favorite composers came up.

    Richard Spencer: not Wagner, Verdi.

    Papa J.F.: Chopin – for the win. The classiest possible answer.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Never thought much of Spencer - thank you for confirming my doubts.

    Never heard of the other fellow. Chopin was also my mother's favourite, and she could play him to perfection. Since even she couldn't convince me, neither will he.
  128. @Liza

    ...that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.
     
    Hard to disagree. Holst, Nielsen, etc. are hardly Bach and Monteverdi.

    Holst, Nielsen, etc. are hardly Bach and Monteverdi.

    If we’re talking historical importance, well, sure.

    But Holst’s Hymn of Jesus moves me to the core, in a way that Bach’s Magnificat just doesn’t. And Nielsen’s Inextinguishable Symphony captivates me in a way that far surpasses even the very best moments of L’Orfeo.

    • Replies: @Liza
    Different strokes for different folks! They say that familiarity is the key to understanding; were you deeply moved by Hymn of Jesus the first time you heard it, or did you have to listen several or many times before it grabbed you once and for all? Are you religious and that's what did it for you?

    Maybe some day they will be able to examine our brains for why some people love anything by Bach and why others can't get past the toccata part of the T & F and why yet others run screaming when they hear anything remotely "classical".
  129. @Old Palo Altan
    Nothing you say displeases me, but puzzled I often am.

    I suppose it boils down to no more than this: that you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.

    you are happy to call great what I would only allow to be called good.

    I think that Wagner’s innovations opened the path to a sort of explosion of greatness, in the late 19th & early 20th centuries. I’ve named some of those I have in mind – you can probably guess the others.

    But what does it matter? It’s all over, now.

  130. @Vinteuil

    Holst, Nielsen, etc. are hardly Bach and Monteverdi.
     
    If we're talking historical importance, well, sure.

    But Holst's Hymn of Jesus moves me to the core, in a way that Bach's Magnificat just doesn't. And Nielsen's Inextinguishable Symphony captivates me in a way that far surpasses even the very best moments of L'Orfeo.

    Different strokes for different folks! They say that familiarity is the key to understanding; were you deeply moved by Hymn of Jesus the first time you heard it, or did you have to listen several or many times before it grabbed you once and for all? Are you religious and that’s what did it for you?

    Maybe some day they will be able to examine our brains for why some people love anything by Bach and why others can’t get past the toccata part of the T & F and why yet others run screaming when they hear anything remotely “classical”.

  131. They say that familiarity is the key to understanding

    They do? I thought they said that familiarity breeds contempt.

    Anyway – I had to listen several times.

  132. @Vinteuil

    ...what then is left over to say of Monteverdi, Handel and Wagner...
     
    Maybe "the greatest of the great?"

    Incidentally, J-F Gariepy recently interviewed Richard Spencer, and the question of favorite composers came up.

    Richard Spencer: not Wagner, Verdi.

    Papa J.F.: Chopin - for the win. The classiest possible answer.

    Never thought much of Spencer – thank you for confirming my doubts.

    Never heard of the other fellow. Chopin was also my mother’s favourite, and she could play him to perfection. Since even she couldn’t convince me, neither will he.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil
    Spencer is a silly young fool. But this actually improved my opinion of him: preferring Verdi to Wagner isn't just the penny-in-the-slot view of your average white nationalist.

    As for Chopin...there's this wonderful minor character in Proust, an old lady pianist, devoted from youth to the works of Chopin, who lives just long enough for his works to begin to climb back to their rightful place in the pantheon after many years out of fashion...can't remember her name.

    Anyway, I've long thought that whenever the "who's your favorite composer" parlor game comes up, Chopin is the perfect answer: not so obvious that everybody just nods along (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner), but also not obviously perverse - you can really see a deeply musically sophisticated person making that choice and defending it.
  133. @Old Palo Altan
    Never thought much of Spencer - thank you for confirming my doubts.

    Never heard of the other fellow. Chopin was also my mother's favourite, and she could play him to perfection. Since even she couldn't convince me, neither will he.

    Spencer is a silly young fool. But this actually improved my opinion of him: preferring Verdi to Wagner isn’t just the penny-in-the-slot view of your average white nationalist.

    As for Chopin…there’s this wonderful minor character in Proust, an old lady pianist, devoted from youth to the works of Chopin, who lives just long enough for his works to begin to climb back to their rightful place in the pantheon after many years out of fashion…can’t remember her name.

    Anyway, I’ve long thought that whenever the “who’s your favorite composer” parlor game comes up, Chopin is the perfect answer: not so obvious that everybody just nods along (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner), but also not obviously perverse – you can really see a deeply musically sophisticated person making that choice and defending it.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    Chopin: I see your point. I admit to hearing something of his on the radio (I never go out of my way to listen to him) and thinking: "that really is incredibly marvelous; perhaps Mother knew what she was talking about". But I just don't see how a "Johnny one instrument" can be seriously considered the greatest composer ever.

    To me the great puzzle is why the actual greatest composer of all, Handel, is almost never given the accolade. I have talked before about how other great composers, of his own time and later, have tended to give him the palm, from Bach to Beethoven. Surely they understood their craft better than we mere listeners and performers do?

    I put it down to familiarity: listen to the Hallelujah Chorus as though you had never heard it before, and remember (this is crucial) that Handel was born the same year as Bach, and then you'll understand something of why Bach dropped everything to try to meet the man when he heard that he was in Germany. Sadly, he never managed it.
  134. @Vinteuil
    Spencer is a silly young fool. But this actually improved my opinion of him: preferring Verdi to Wagner isn't just the penny-in-the-slot view of your average white nationalist.

    As for Chopin...there's this wonderful minor character in Proust, an old lady pianist, devoted from youth to the works of Chopin, who lives just long enough for his works to begin to climb back to their rightful place in the pantheon after many years out of fashion...can't remember her name.

    Anyway, I've long thought that whenever the "who's your favorite composer" parlor game comes up, Chopin is the perfect answer: not so obvious that everybody just nods along (Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner), but also not obviously perverse - you can really see a deeply musically sophisticated person making that choice and defending it.

    Chopin: I see your point. I admit to hearing something of his on the radio (I never go out of my way to listen to him) and thinking: “that really is incredibly marvelous; perhaps Mother knew what she was talking about”. But I just don’t see how a “Johnny one instrument” can be seriously considered the greatest composer ever.

    To me the great puzzle is why the actual greatest composer of all, Handel, is almost never given the accolade. I have talked before about how other great composers, of his own time and later, have tended to give him the palm, from Bach to Beethoven. Surely they understood their craft better than we mere listeners and performers do?

    I put it down to familiarity: listen to the Hallelujah Chorus as though you had never heard it before, and remember (this is crucial) that Handel was born the same year as Bach, and then you’ll understand something of why Bach dropped everything to try to meet the man when he heard that he was in Germany. Sadly, he never managed it.

  135. …the great puzzle is why the actual greatest composer of all, Handel, is almost never given the accolade…

    Most of Handel’s greatest works are vocal works. And there are few things more subject to the whims of fashion than styles of singing.

    What are the chances of somebody raised on hip-hop ever “getting” Dopo Notte?

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    If raised on "hip-hop" (which is what? - don't answer, I can guess) there is still a chance. But if enamored of it, there is none.

    Musical taste is inborn. The most deprived of urchins will prick up his ears and lift up his face to heaven upon hearing Bach or Handel for the first time. if he but possess that grace.
  136. @Vinteuil

    ...the great puzzle is why the actual greatest composer of all, Handel, is almost never given the accolade...
     
    Most of Handel's greatest works are vocal works. And there are few things more subject to the whims of fashion than styles of singing.

    What are the chances of somebody raised on hip-hop ever "getting" Dopo Notte?

    If raised on “hip-hop” (which is what? – don’t answer, I can guess) there is still a chance. But if enamored of it, there is none.

    Musical taste is inborn. The most deprived of urchins will prick up his ears and lift up his face to heaven upon hearing Bach or Handel for the first time. if he but possess that grace.

    • Agree: Vinteuil

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