November 18, 2011

"Unbuilt Washington."

The ziggurat that might have been the Lincoln Monument, the gigantic enlargement of the White House, the Kennedy Center that looks like Monona Terrace, the National Sofa... yes, the National Sofa:
In response to the closing of Pennsylvania Avenue — the first of many hysterical security measures since the Oklahoma City bombing and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — Allegro and Michel envisioned a wide, arching “sofa” in front of the White House, with a giant video screen giving visitors an insider’s peek into the executive mansion.

10 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

Dang, the sofa would have been a terrific idea.

Peter

edutcher said...

Shades of the Fuhrerbunker.

Kevin said...

The reaction to 9/11 was hysterical?

I don't think that word means what that writer thinks it means.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

How much money did Congress save by not building them? I smell beaucoup budget reduction!

WestVirginiaRebel said...

I actually liked the Apartments on the Avenue and the original design for the Cultural Center.

Cedarford said...

Why must national monuments be built in the Imperial City?

Each new grab of green spaces for ceremonial purposes appropriates a national theme or icon for just one city on the East Coast. A very wealthy city that (for outsider citizens) is remote, expensive to stay in, movement is hindered by security considerations and lack of downtown amenities...and cursed with a Southern swamp climate much of the summer.

We would have been better off building the WWII memorial, China-King Monument, various special interest group museums - in other locales.

David said...

They left out Grant;s tomb,

Poor old Grant, forgotten because of a bad real estate decision.

mrs whatsit said...

That's an ugly, cynical little article. The author thinks Washington ought to be "reclaimed" by its residents (forget that national capital malarkey) and redesigned now that the "American Century" is over for the country's new era of "senescence" and "decline." He also thinks it would have been fascinating to have an academic campus "questioning every aspect of American life" where the Washington Monument is now located. What, there aren't already enough campuses in D.C., what with Georgetown, GWU, Gallaudet, American University, Catholic University, etc.? Why no! Not nearly enough! Let's also pull down Fort McNair (though it's already in use as the National Defense University) and replace that with private academia, and pull down the Navy Yard (though it's in active use too) for "access" to the waterfront. After all, what use is national defense, when you could have more overpaid professors sitting around questioning every aspect of life and celebrating the end of America instead?

Bleah.

Chip S. said...

I agree with WVRebel on the Kennedy Center. Curved windows on the river >> columned fortress.

Craig said...

They're all pretty bad except for the next to last -- Edward Durell Stone's proposal for what eventually became the ungainly Kennedy Center. Stone's design is very nice, indeed. Truly, a lost opportunity.