December 7, 2012
The Verdict is In
Ada Louise Huxtable is one of the greatest architecture critics of our time.
Ada Louise Huxtable wrote a blistering critique of the New York Public Library’s renovation plans in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. For fans of Huxtable and critics of the plan, it is a glorious evisceration: sharp, analytic, well-grounded in the history of both the institution and the glorious building itself. The piece reminded me of Phillip Lopate’s January 2006 essay for us, which declared Huxtable our finest architecture critic. What’s remarkable about yesterday’s piece—and hopeful for all of us youngsters in our 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s—is this truth: Lopate’s declaration still applies, seven years later. Huxtable may not write as often as she used to, but it’s hard, if not impossible, to detect any diminution of her clarity, grace and power. For those of you who missed it, Mark’s Lamster’s excellent cover story on libraries appeared in our October 2012 issue.