Saturday, May 14, 2005

Next stop, Coopersville!

Thinking I had been too harsh on DC, I set about looking for some DC blogs. You will note my new favorite blog on the blogroll on the right-hand side of the screen, "Why I Hate DC." First up on the reading list is this post on transit-oriented development from several weeks back, "Sm*rt Gr*wth."

In other news, my tepid, uninformed enthusiasm for Mies van der Rohe has taken a tumble after visiting the MLK library in DC Friday.

Someone at the fringe of my memory asserted Mies was so successful because he tried to solve so few problems. By this they mean that his designs didn't address normal architectural concerns like reconciling pedestrian circulation with the need for, say, seating in a lobby. In avoiding so many issues, he avoided doing the wrong things and risking bad designs. I had only a foggy inkling about what this meant until I visited the library: there's nothing going on. It's like a building of four pavilions, just the ceiling and the walls. There's no program to speak of in the lobby and the Washingtoniana room, where I was reading microfilm, is like a big warehouse. I feel nothing for this building except when looking at it from the outside. The building is evidently being neglected and there's a rumor going around that the city would like to demolish it and sell the land to a developer, as it's very near the new MCI Center where the Wizards play. So goes architecture in DC.