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In tribute to Herbert Muschamp, the architecture critic for The New York Times, one of the most outspoken and influential voices in architectural. Agents provocateurs have a dismal survival rate at the culturally conservative New York Times, but for 12 years, starting in , architecture critic Herbert. Like the man himself, Hearts of the City: The Selected Writings of Herbert Muschamp (Knopf, $50) is going to offend a lot of people. The book is nearly .

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And what was interesting to him was anything that was compelling and vital and personal. At the height of his powers inI wrote a bit of faux-Muschampiana on a private dare.

Herbert Muschamp

It was fun to write. At any rate, three years of turn-of-the-century Muschamp would have felt like one — not five.

In tribute to Herbert Muschamp, the architecture critic for The New York Times, one of the most outspoken and influential voices in architectural criticism, we replay clips in which Muschamp talks about architecture, design, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Centenary of the birth of Jane Jacobs.

The Times itself — the “paper of record” — didn’t even bother to take official notice. All of this is suffused with passion, profound reasoning and occasionally bile. Certainly the or so columns collected here amount to no shameful legacy.

Such people have something to contribute, sometimes. He has published several books, the last in” positions” and in “Inventions: Criticism, like research science, is based on the absolute right to be wrong.

Recent Manhattan banality, WTC7, Hearst at the top of the heap, will run unchallenged, accepted by the sprinkling of gold dust from afar and nearby those who muscuamp conformance with the party line, and too many Manhattans slid down by another. In a telling irony, it was Ouroussoff — the most obvious beneficiary of Herbert Muschamp’s “fall” — who penned Muschamp’s Times obituary.


The first preliminary design studies for the World Trade Center site were about to be unveiled; the original master planning firm anti-starchitects with a reputation for thoughtful contextualism rather than formal acrobatics was not one of Muschamp’s favorites; I thought I could predict how the review would read. The future society needs more passion in their creators of the great, big expensive buildings.

For him, heaven might well be a dim, luxuriantly appointed lobby with library shelves. He later attended Parsons School of Design, where he studied architecture, and returned to teach after spending some time studying at the Architectural Association in London. During his controversial tenure at the MuwchampMuschamp rose, according to Nicolai Ouroussoff[3] to preeminence as the nation’s foremost msuchamp of the architecture world.

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, even spoking out against the agenda of developers.

Muschamp attended the University of Pennsylvania but dropped out after two years to move to New York Citywhere he was a regular at Andy Warhol ‘s Factory. I simply had to work from a mental punchlist of Muschamp tropes: And he never let up. The visionary Rem Koolhaas was holding forth on urban planning, shopping, life, and the smell of freshly cut basil.

Perhaps that is apt herbetr. John Beyer, whose exposed torso would be unpleasant for even the most adventuresome New Yorker to contemplate, must shoulder the blame for this catastrophic failure.

Herbert Muschamp, –

Today, a younger generation of critics is much less in awe of these architects, if for no other reason than that they are now the establishment. It was intended to be about the Nineties, but the pieces here are highly autobiographical, about the seduction of a young, suburban, Jewish, gay man by the bright lights of the big city.


Like Ruskin, he reserved the right to contradict himself, but based on the selection here there is only scant evidence of that. Archived at the Wayback Machine. Read more Read less.

Herbert Muschamp — Charlie Rose

I heard Muschamp had seen it. That was just the cover story. Rest in peace, Herbert Muschamp. He was the former architecture herbertt for the New Republic I remember reading one of the first major pieces by his successorfirst slowly and then skimming ahead with mounting heebert, realizing wait, you mean there’s not going to be a Zuzu Pitts reference? What was wrong-wrong-wrong was the Times putting him in charge of architecture criticism. I Love the 80s Miami Vice: Muschamp seemed as interested in the ideas that pushed architecture forward as he was in the successes and failures of buildings themselves.

I didn’t intend it for public consumption, but it somehow snuck out there, and circulated for a time in the pre-bloggified design community.

He had a completely unique voice, and that can’t be said about very many people writing about design now. It is striking to see how similar the climate was then to heebert, and how close the concerns.

And people made fun of her writiing, but did that make her less influential or even fun to read, still?

It is now time to list these names: He was appointed the architecture critic for The New Republic in