The Problem With Architectural “Genius”

By |2020-09-10T13:34:31-05:00September 18th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Culture, Modernity, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else. Cooper Union New Academic Building For the truly great projects, architects are [...]

Demystifying the Louvre

By |2020-08-26T16:37:23-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Art, Books, Culture, History, Western Civilization|

In recounting the growth of one of the West’s grandest cultural achievements, James Gardner is an admirably conservative guide to the impressive qualities of the Louvre. Today when Western civilization is under attack as never before, it is a paradox that the encyclopedic art museum, one of the characteristic achievements of this civilization, is [...]

Hagia Sophia: Once a Church, Always a Church

By |2020-08-09T08:56:06-05:00August 8th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Christianity, Culture, Religion, Secularism, Western Civilization|

Every awe-inspiring element of Hagia Sophia is a testament to our Christian faith that should make us feel proud of our cultural heritage, even in today’s society where our churches are defaced and adapted for secular use. The church is undeniably Christian in spirit and character, no matter how many times its use is [...]

The Notre Dame Fire: A Sign of the Times

By |2020-04-15T14:48:06-05:00April 15th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Western Civilization|

Our Western culture is on fire and not in a good way. In the midst of a pandemic, economic chaos, and continuous social deconstruction, the burning of Notre Dame paints a startlingly fitting image of the West. The Memory of the Ideal Architecture is the structured form of the Ideal; it is the culmination [...]

In Defense of Dark Corners

By |2020-02-29T06:46:13-06:00February 29th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Religion, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

There are dark corners to be explored in a great church. Instead of vast seating space, bright with electric light, huge speakers hanging from the beams, and padded pews, give me the darkened chapel where ancient monks recited their daily prayers. Give me the dark corner of a crumbling cloister, the dark corner of [...]

The Year They Tore Salem Depot Down

By |2020-06-26T11:48:49-05:00December 20th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Culture, History, Modernity|

We are lesser people for the disappearance of our architectural heritage. If Edmund Burke was correct that “to make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely,” then historical preservation takes on the same importance as land conservation. Both are inheritances to be held against the bulldozers of economic development. Salem [...]

Driving Through Virginia

By |2019-09-20T21:20:12-05:00September 20th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Architecture, Culture, History|

The Thoroughgood House (c. 1636) Southeast Virginia is a region rich in history, from the earliest colonial times to today’s modern military. Cape Henry welcomes visitors today, just as it did the Virginia Company colonists in 1607, just before they settled at Jamestown. First Landing State Park commemorates where the colonists first [...]

An Immodest Proposal

By |2020-08-23T08:49:35-05:00August 17th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Civilization, Culture, History|

By a providence that nervous chroniclers call “luck,” the fire in Paris did not ruin the cathedral of Notre Dame. Most of its major parts remain, however fragile. Since so many have offered unsolicited opinions about the future of the cathedral, I would like to make an immodest proposal. A fad for picturesque ruins grew [...]

Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New: Restoring Beauty to a Parish Church

By |2019-08-10T22:35:32-05:00August 10th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Art, Beauty, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

A thought occurs to me as I contemplate the architectural updating of our parish church, which will paradoxically make our church appear older and timeless: Although God doesn’t need beautiful things, he is infinitely deserving of them, and we need to make them—for the good of our souls. My parish church is undergoing an [...]

Brutalist Architecture: The Disappearance of Beauty

By |2019-07-24T22:21:27-05:00July 24th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Civilization, Culture|

Even if we dismiss brutalism as a fad perpetrated by blinkered technocrats and egotistical architects, ugly buildings seem to impose an unconscious psychic tax on the great mass of people. So why have we lost the ability to construct beautiful buildings? Few are immune to the architectural charms of Eastern Europe. Prague’s winding streets [...]

Craftsmanship Can Save the World: The American College of Building Arts

By |2019-09-02T09:45:07-05:00January 30th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Joseph Pearce, Labor/Work, Senior Contributors|

All lovers of beauty and tradition will rejoice at the emergence of the American College of the Building Arts. It is radical in the best sense of the word, insofar as it is rooted in the heritage of traditional craftsmanship. It is also grounded, insofar as it seeks to build beautiful structures that will [...]

Where Is the Beauty in Buildings?

By |2019-08-08T12:21:10-05:00January 11th, 2019|Categories: Architecture, Beauty, Civilization, Culture, Modernity, Western Civilization|

A recent essay by Radomir Tylecote argued that we have turned our backs on the architectural traditions of our Western heritage, and in the process lost our connection to our own history and the generations that built it.[1] Dr. Tylecote argues well, and makes a strong case for reintroducing beauty into architecture; but his [...]

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