Hearts of the City: The Selected Writings of Herbert Muschamp

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2009 - Architecture - 887 pages
0 Reviews
From the late Herbert Muschamp, the former architecture critic of The New York Times and one of the most outspoken and influential voices in architectural criticism, a collection of his best work.

The pieces here—from The New Republic, Artforum, and The New York Times—reveal how Muschamp’s views were both ahead of their time and timeless. He often wrote about how the right architecture could be inspiring and uplifting, and he uniquely drew on film, literature, and popular culture to write pieces that were passionate and often personal, changing the landscape of architectural criticism in the process. These columns made architecture a subject accessible to everyone at a moment when, because of the heated debate between modernists and postmodernists, architecture had become part of a larger public dialogue. One of the most courageous and engaged voices in his field, he devoted many columns at the Times to the lack of serious new architecture in this country, and particularly in New York, and spoke out against the agenda of developers. He departed from the usual dry, didactic style of much architectural writing to playfully, for example, compare Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao to the body of Marilyn Monroe or to wax poetic about a new design for Manhattan’s manhole covers. One sees in this collection that Muschamp championed early on the work of Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Thom Payne, Frank Israel, Jean Nouvel, and Santiago Calatrava, among others, and was drawn to the theoretical writings of such architects as Peter Eisenman. Published here for the first time is the uncut version of his brilliant and poignant essay about gay culture and Edward Durrell Stone’s museum at 2 Columbus Circle. Fragments from the book he left unfinished, whose title we took for this collection—“A Dozen Years,” “Metroscope,” and “Atomic Secrets”—are also included.

Hearts of the City is dazzling writing from a humanistic thinker whose work changed forever the way we think about our cities—and the buildings in them.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Temple of Marketing
3
The Breached Wall
15
The Perils of Public Art
22
The Leaning Tower of Theory
28
The Lie of the Land
34
How Buildings Remember
40
The Winds of Windsorism
51
When the Cathedral Turned Black
61
A Palace for a New Magic Kingdom Fortysecond Street
404
The Designs of a Genius Redesigning Himself
414
Searching for Yourself in Versaces Mirror
420
Its Dark Its Scary Its Your Garage
435
Leading Lights Whose Destiny Was to Be Dimmed
445
Kennedys New Terminal Offers
452
Looking at the Lawn and Below the Surface
458
Restoration Liberates Grand Vistas and Ideas
467

American Gothic
71
The Wrong Prescription
83
Crowds and Power
94
ARTFORUM 1995 1999
104
One Building That Knows What Its About
115
Barcelona Breaks the Record for Inspired Urbanism 12 i
121
The Thrill of Outer Space for Earthbound Lives
127
Reduced to Luxury
133
For Staten Island A Ferry Terminal Rooted in the Past
141
It Cant Go On It Goes On
147
The Tale of a Chimney That Turned into an Oasis
155
Modernism and Morality in the South Bronx
162
Shaping a Monument to Memory
170
This Time Eisenman Goes Conventional
176
Things Generally Wrong in the Universe
182
Arquitectonicas LowRent Housing
190
More Is Less at a FreeForm Jamboree in Chicago
197
A Man Who Lives in Two Glass Houses
207
Fear Hope and the Changing of the Guard
213
The Homeless and the New Cold War
219
Architecture as Social Action and Vice Versa
227
Why Not Something Great?
237
A Los Angeles Sketchbook
244
If You Squint This Is Not a Faulty Tower
252
Visions of Community with Roots in the 60s
259
A Show Brings on a Severe Case of Period Envy
262
Stay of Execution for a Dazzling Airline Terminal
269
An Architect with a Knack for Synthesis
276
Playful Even Goofy but What Else? Its Disney
283
A Declaration of the 60s Before the Doubts
292
Miami Vice Meets Fortysecond Street
298
Broadways Real Hits Are Its Antique Theaters
306
Concrete Dreams in the
313
In a Bygone Day This Was the Look of the Future
322
Buildings Born of Dreams and Demons
331
A City Poised on Glitter and Ashes
341
In the Public Interest
347
In Japan Art and a Museum Breathe as One
355
Where a Room Is a Calling Card
361
Having a Surreal Time Are You Here Too?
373
Worthy of a World Capital
380
Form Follows Function into Ideal Circles
387
A Chance for an Architect to Let His Imagination Run Free
393
Architects Visions of How the Modern May One Day Appear
401
Living Boldly on the Event Horizon
477
The Shock of the Familiar
487
The Premiere of a Koolhaas Fantasy
497
The Museum Becomes an Engine
511
If the Cityscape Is Only a Dream
519
A Stunning Pier Hotel Design Stands Out Amid a Flawed Plan
526
Art Deco Authenticity
535
Crystal Corridor in the City of Glass
551
Exploring Space and Time Here and Now
563
Tray Chic
572
Our Anxieties to the Lions
574
Fusing Beauty and Terror Reverence and Desecration
588
Seeing Disbelieving
595
The Airconditioned Reverie of a Fundamentalist
603
Hotel as the New Cosmopolis
609
A Rare Opportunity for Real Architecture Where Its Needed
618
A Rational Vision That Lets You Know Whos Boss
629
Defining Beauty in Swanky American Terms
641
A Message from a Poet of Public and Private Memory
648
Postcards from the Old World Gone Global
656
AustroTurf
665
With Viewing Platforms a Dignified Approach to Ground Zero
675
The Deadly Importance of Making Distinctions
683
Get Comfortable with Continuity
689
A Gift of Vienna That Skips the Schlag
696
Lessons of a Humanist Who Can Disturb the Peace
703
A Latin Jolt to the Skyline
710
Fashions High Priestess of Gnosticism
719
A Heritage Rediscovered Then Remade
726
51803 Who GetsIt?
733
Blond Ambition on Red Brick 74 1
741
A Moon Palace for the Hollywood Dream
749
A New Museum
755
Uncertain Future for the Pasts Treasures
761
PATH Station Becomes a Procession of Flight
767
Planet Prada
774
For the Classy and the Climbers the High Priest of Art Deco
782
The Secret History of 2 Columbus Circle
789
The Grassi Is Greener 82 I
821
Freudian Slipcovers
827
FRAGMENTS FROM HEARTS OF THE CITY 2006
833
Metroscope
842
Index
853
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Herbert Muschamp is the author of File Under Architecture and Man About Town: Frank Lloyd Wright in New York City. He died in 2007.

Bibliographic information