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    ada louise huxtable Quotes

    the search for the ultimate skyscraper goes on. ... At worst, overbuilding will make urban life unbearable. At best, we will go out in a blaze of style.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: urban 
     
    Beauty or beast, the modern skyscraper is a major force with a strong magnetic field. It draws into its physical being all of the factors that propel and characterize modern civilization. The skyscraper is the point where art and the city meet.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Embellishment is an irresistible and consuming impulse, going back to the beginnings of human history. ... Probably the strongest motivating force is the simplest: the inability of almost everyone to ever leave well enough alone.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: human  alone 
     
    Every age cuts and pastes history to suit its own purposes; art always has an ax to grind.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: age 
     
    There are two kinds of people in the world - those who have a horror of a vacuum and those with a horror of the things that fill it. Translated into domestic interiors, this means people who live with, and without, clutter.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: people  live  world  horror 
     
    Only a Californian would have observed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the real fake from the fake fake.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: real 
     
    Washington is an endless series of mock palaces clearly built for clerks,
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Surrogate experience and surrogate environments have become the American way of life. Distinctions are no longer made, or deemed necessary, between the real and the false; the edge usually goes to the latter, as an improved version with defects corrected - accessible and user-friendly ...
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    One of the most basic human instincts is the need to decorate. Nothing is exempt - the body, the objects one uses, from intimate to monumental, and all personal and ceremonial space. It is an instinct that responds ... to some deep inner urge that has been variously described as the horror of a vacuum and the need to put one's imprint on at least one small segment of the world.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Waiting is a large part of living. Great, passive, negative chunks of our time are consumed by waiting, from birth to death. Waiting is a special kind of activity - if activity is the right word for it - because we are held in enforced suspension between people and places, removed from the normal rhythms of our days and lives.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: death  time  people  living  live  right  birth 
     
    New York, thy name is irreverence and hyperbole. And grandeur.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    The perennial architectural debate has always been, and will continue to be, about art versus use, visions versus pragmatism, aesthetics versus social responsibility. In the end, these unavoidable conflicts provide architecture's essential and productive tensions; the tragedy is that so little of it rises above the level imposed by compromise, and that this is the only work most of us see and know.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    All autonomous agencies and authorities, sooner or later, turn into self-perpetuating strongholds of conventional thought and practice.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Good architecture is still the difficult, conscientious, creative, expressive planning for that elusive synthesis that is a near-contradiction in terms: efficiency and beauty.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: beauty  creative 
     
    Real estate is the closest thing to the proverbial pot of gold.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: real 
     
    In New York, the impact of these concentrated superskyscrapers on street scale and sunlight, on the city's aniquated support systems, circulation, and infrastructure, on its already tenuous livability, overrides any aesthetic. ... Art becomes worthless in a city brutalized by overdevelopment.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Every creative act draws on the past whether it pretends to or not. It draws on what it knows. There's no such thing, really, as a creative act in a vacuum.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: past  creative 
     
    Symbol and metaphor are as much a part of the architectural vocabulary as stone and steel.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: metaphor 
     
    In Paris style is everything. That is traditionally understood. Every street, every structure, every shopgirl has style. The style of Parisian architecture has been proved and refined by at least three centuries of academic dictates and highly developed taste. There are few violations of this taste, and there is exemplary architectural consistency. Paris has defined the aesthetics of a sophisticated urban culture.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: culture  urban 
     
    The building is a national tragedy - a cross between a concrete candy box and a marble sarcophagus in which the art of architecture lies buried.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: lies  tragedy 
     
    Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: belief  time  world  right  summer  spirit 
     
    No matter what an architect may be at home, he becomes a monumentalist when he comes to Washington.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    It is the rare architect who does not hope in his heart to design a great building and for whom the quest is not a quiet, consuming passion.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: heart  hope  passion 
     
    The skyscraper and the twentieth century are synonymous; the tall building is the landmark of our age. ... Shaper of cities and fortunes, it is the dream, past and present, acknowledged or unacknowledged, of almost every architect.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: past  present  age  dreams 
     
    California ... is the place that sets the trends and establishes the values for the rest of the country; like a slow ooze, California culture spreads eastward across the land.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: culture  value 
     
    Clutter in its highest and most organized form is called collecting.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    The age of Lincoln and Jefferson memorials is over. It will be presidential libraries from now on.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: age  library 
     
    Postmodernism is a freewheeling, unfettered, and unapologetic pursuit of style.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Tossed into the Secaucus graveyard are about 25 centuries of classical culture and the standards of style, elegance and grandeur that it gave to the dreams and constructions of Western man. That turns the Jersey wasteland into a pretty classy dump.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: men  culture  dreams  standard 
     
    Every generation tailors history to its taste.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    Real serious waiting is done in waiting rooms, and what they all have in common is their purpose, or purposelessness, if you will; they are places for doing nothing and they have no life of their own. ... their one constant is what might be called a decorative rigor mortis ...
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: real 
     
    Some people wait constructively; they read or knit. I have watched some truly appalling pieces of needlework take form. Others - I am one of them - abandon all thought and purpose to an uneasy vegetative states.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: people  thoughts  read 
     
    If the British are a nation of shopkeepers, Americans are a nation of shoppers.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: american 
     
    The art of decoration requires the most sophisticated and self-indulgent skills. Its aim has always been to sate the senses as gloriously as possible. ... ornament is not only a source of sensuous pleasure; it supplies a necessary kind of magic to people and places that lack it. More than just a dread of empty spaces has led to the urge to decorate; it is the fear of empty selves.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: fear  people  magic  self  space 
     
    The New York Hilton is laid out with a competence that would make a computer blush.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: computer 
     
    An excellent job with a dubious undertaking, which is like saying it would be great if it wasn't awful.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: job  saying 
     
    A disaster where marble has been substituted for imagination.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: imagination 
     
    Really living without clutter takes an iron will ... This involves eternal watchfulness and that oldest and most relentless of the housewife's occupations, picking up. I have a feeling that picking up will go on long after ways have been found to circumvent death and taxes.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
    tags: death  living  tax  occupation 
     
    Nothing was more up-to-date when it was built, or is more obsolete today, than the railroad station.
    — Ada Louise Huxtable
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