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Friday, February 2, 2007

Tribute to Tom McCall

The wisdom of legendary Oregon leader Tom McCall is confirmed almost daily, but it's about to get a big boost in credibility three weeks from tomorrow night. That's when Randy Gragg, "architecture critic" at the Oregonian, gives a lecture suggesting that McCall's vision was... well, not as brilliant as Homer Williams's. All that '70s stuff is worthless nostalgia; apparently the 1930s were the golden age of Portland, and it's time to get back to that world view.

Or something.


Anyway, more information about this supremely silly event is here.

Comments (4)

NPR lobbed a serious grenade at late-20th Century architecture the other night basically saying it's become homogenized and you can no longer tell whether you're in Seattle, Barcelona, Moscow, or Tokyo. I'm beginning to have the same problem as I make my late night food deliveries into the Pearl and SoWhat. Am I in a condo or in a Residence Inn?

The notice for the Gragg event is funny in its own right. We're against nostalgia, yet the event is being held in the Temple Beth Israel "...which is considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture in the Northwest and designated on the National Register of Historic Places." Was the Gerding already booked?

"Against Nostalgia". I guess his talk's title says a lot.

Randy Gragg's Critical Method:

1. Move to a city that desperately needs your "vision".

2. Get a job critiquing everything instead of creating anything.

3. Label anything that isn't edgy, modern, or otherwise part of a trend of "progress" as "nostalgia" and/or some sort of contemptible provincial ignorance.

4. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

ps: Liked the putting of "architecture critic" in quotes.

During the Tram approval process,,,er I mean slam dunk charade,,,,Gragg referred to Tram oposition as "anti-Tram extremism".

To paraphrase the late Gov himself, I hope Randy Gragg "enjoys his visit to Oregon."

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