Class Notes – 11-13-12

Blog posts – preservation

Michael Sorkin, “Save the the Whitney”

“What is Worth Preserving”
— types of architectural criticism
— tone
— argument
— values for conservation


preservation of an apartment building — cf. a skyscraper

community value — major building in area

what makes a building worth preserving — value – worth preserving if it served an important purpose
— theater –

Sorkin essay as example of activist essay about preservation
— introduction: strong, declarative statements (“the Breuer Whitney is a masterpiece”
— he says what’s for and against (Graves’s plans are hostile, do violence to Breuer’s building)
— a defense of what he wants to save — Breuer Whitney — trying to show you the positive aspects of Breuer’s structure
— explain how the threat to the building would damage it

types of writing about architecture

rough, strong, solid, durable, stable,

1. What building do you want to write about?
2. What values do you want to use to argue for preservation?
3. What is threatening it?

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