Reading Ada Louise Huxtable

We usually cover new books in this section of the website, but I wanted to devote a little time to an older work by one of America's best archtiecture critics. Huxtable's prose is lucid and spikey, informed and considered. She makes no bones about buildings she doesn't like and is quick to praise the ones that she does. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for criticism and this book, which includes pieces written from 1971-1975, shows her in similar form.

Whether the great glut of monuments built in Washington DC during this time, or the incremental changes to New York City, or more general essays on architectural theory and practice, Huxtable is the writer you want explaining things, questioning others, exhorting others still. Though I love her as a stylist, I love her more as an advocate for clear-eyed design, ennobling architecture and the cities we want to live in. So eat her up in the Wall Street Journal, and go back for seconds with her books.

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