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President Trump issues executive order to make federal buildings ‘beautiful’

President Trump issues executive order to make federal buildings ‘beautiful’

22.12.2020 | Becca Salamacha | U. Pittsburgh School of Law, US DECEMBER 21, 2020 11:57:07 PM | 632



President Trump issued an executive order Monday to make federal buildings more “beautiful.” The executive order promotes neoclassical architecture and criticizes the modernist style for federal buildings.

Throughout the order, the President admonished the General Services Administration for its policy of encouraging contemporary architectural designs throughout the last several decades:

For approximately a century and a half following America’s founding, America’s Federal architecture continued to be characterized by beautiful and beloved buildings of largely, though not exclusively, classical design. Examples include the Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland, Oregon, and the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City, New York. In Washington, D.C., classical buildings such as the White House, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, the Department of the Treasury, and the Lincoln Memorial have become iconic symbols of our system of government. These cherished landmarks, built to endure for centuries, have become an important part of our civic life. In the 1950s, the Federal Government largely replaced traditional designs for new construction with modernist ones.

The order goes on to describe the modernist practice becoming commonplace after the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture in 1962, which was an official policy proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Federal Office Space. This proposal discouraged the use of classical designs and promoted the use of “contemporary” ones instead.

The order claimed that the new designs were “often unpopular with Americans” and clashed with the historic classical architecture. The executive order creates the President’s Council on Improving Federal Civic Architecture. The Council will update the General Services Administration’s architectural guidelines in accordance with the President’s executive order by September 30, 2021.


Source : https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/12/president-trump-issues-executive-order-to-make-federal-buildings-beautiful/#

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