- Erscheinungsdatum: 16.04.2013
- Verlag: Read Books Ltd.
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The measure of the public interest in buildings is determined by the degree in which the public deems itself competent to criticize them. We only feel a proprietary interest in the things with which we are free to find fault. Nobody can deny that there is much in modern architecture to which a critic can take objection, and if we do not express our displeasure with the bad buildings our praise of the good ones is deprived of half its value. We have inherited a sum of architectural achievement represented by thousands of buildings which have a beauty of extraordinary range and significance. Genius of the highest order has found expression in all the styles of architecture, but in these same styles there are innumerable examples of bad composition, of stupidity and of vulgarity. In fact, all the intellectual sins of which man is capable can be committed in the realm of architecture. Before we can appreciate the beauty as well as the ugliness it is necessary to observe buildings, and this act of observation is a purely intellectual act. Mere vision in itself does not imply observation. If it did, a fish that poked its head above the surface of the Thames and saw St. Paul's Cathedral would be capable of criticizing that building.
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