Relocating Ourselves by Stephen Schmalhofer, City Journal 13 February 2015

“The problem of architecture as I see it,” says Professor Silenus in Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, “is the problem of all art—the elimination of the human element from the consideration of form. The only perfect building must be the factory, because that is built to house machines, not men.” Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America, a volume of essays edited by Wilfred M. McClay and Ted V. McAllister, explores the contemporary problem of “placelessness” in American life and reminds us of the damage wrought by urban planners operating under Silenus’s philosophy. “Men like New York’s Robert Moses and Boston’s Edward J. Logue ‘knew’ what was best for cities, including the urban poor, and in forcing it upon them, demolished countless acres of existing historically rooted neighborhoods in favor of ugly superhighways and grim, soulless housing projects surrounded by vacant, moonscape-like plazas,” McClay writes in one essay.

via Relocating Ourselves by Stephen Schmalhofer, City Journal 13 February 2015.

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