I have been following, with more than partisan interest, the controversy surrounding Peter Gleick’s supposed pilfering of confidential files from the conservative Heartland Institute. Peter is a fellow Yalie and a comrade among Yale Russian Chorus alumni. His case has been taken up by our group, among many.

Though I can’t explain the complex story behind what Peter did, the fact that he had the courage to stand up to rich, powerful and increasingly belligerent nay sayers on climate change is an inspiration to all who care about the breakdown of discourse in America. More important, here was a renowned scientist standing up to bullying by right-wing ideologues who are intent on helping self-serving corporations destroy our environment. What he did was unorthodox and clearly beyond the bounds of journalistic transparency, but the people he was fighting have done much worse without any criticism or scrutiny.

Those of us who conserve buildings and hope for enlightened policy on environmental conservation should take heart, and take heed, of this controversy. It may be on our own doorstep before long.

Fight the Foster Desecration

February 16, 2012

The New York Public Library has revived its plans to destroy the stack areas in the Carrere and Hastings building at 42nd Street. As I’ve said before in this blog, such a plan would rival the destruction of old Penn Station as one of the most horrific attacks on a public building in U.S. history. Please do whatever you can to stop this madness. Robin Pogregin’s piece in the Times is the place to start. You can also consult some of my previous blogs: A Twist of Fate, Messing With A Masterpiece, or Norman Foster, Preservationist?

Volume 9 of The Classicist has appeared, and it continues the high quality of its predecessors. One of the joys of perusing this beautiful book is the integration of text and photos through classical page composition. Every line of text and typeface has been thoroughly studied and arranged according to the rules of symmetry and proportion that govern classical buildings.

One seldom sees graphic design done with such care in our digital age.