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2003.08.18 17:59
Re: why building another church (any kind)
Patrick, allow me to clarify my "building another church - in protest(ant)" post.
After all the recent 'talk' here about the enormity of the present St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican (remember the first St. Peter's Basilica was 'built' by St. Helena, whose feast is celebrated today within the Roman Catholic Church), I began to wonder how such an enormous undertaken becomes accomplished, and that is when I remembered Luther's 95 Theses. I first read the 95 Theses a few years ago online, and I was surprised at all the references to the building of St. Peter's. Construction of the basilica was funded (partly, I assume) by the Vatican's selling of indulgences--
Indulgences alleviate the time one has to spend in Purgatory (if that's where one winds up), thus quickening one's arrival into Heaven. For example, I remember from catechism class that saying the Hail Mary prayer is worth an indulgence of three years (or something like that). In the early 1500s, while the old St. Peter's was being demolished and the new one was going up, Roman Catholics throughout Europe could buy Indulgences (maybe $10 got you 10 years indulgence), and the money was to fund the construction of the new Vatican basilica
--and Luther "protested" against this, thus essentially initiating Lutheranism ("building another church") and Protestantism in general.
(for me at least) It is ironic (and worth remembering) that the physical building of one great church at the same time brought about the establishment of a 'protestant' church.
The epilog excerpt from Homo Ludens was included because Martin Luther personifies completely the spoil-sport, thus giving credence to the whole spoil-sport notion.
In no way did I intend to advocate the building of another church now.
Howard, in his "A Revolution in Electric-Based Power...," appears to appreciate the "lesson" of Luther/the spoil-sport, and relates this to the workings and sustaining of democracy, and I have to agree with him.
That said, wouldn't it be great if radical change today could be brought about by simply posting a 95 point theses on the door of a church!
[Well, it wasn't exactly just the posting of the Theses. The Vatican made the huge mistake of selling the Indulgences in the first place. Plus Luther did subsequently work hard at evangelism, e.g., translating the Bible from Latin to German--the first such translation ever into a modern vernacular.]
The more things change, the more they stay the same?

2003.10.21 23:55
Stan Allen tonight
Allen referred to Piranesi's Campo Marzio Ichnographia as "his subject at the Eisenman/Krier symposium at Yale last year--this is based (I assume) on his "Piranesi's Campo Marzio: An Experimental Design" as published in Assemblage 10, 1989. I have no idea what Allen's overall thesis is now-a-days. Allen's work in 1989 is now for sure one that was done with incomplete and incorrect knowledge, and (I believe) it is germane to architectural history and theory to correct past mistakes.

2003.11.04 13:09
Re: The Disney on PBS >> the ABC of politics
It is a serious mistake to contend that Paganism was never organized--just look at the religion of ancient Egypt to see organization of the highest and even most refined kind. And how many Roman Emperors were deified subsequent to their death?

2003.11.17 11:44
Re: Jesus was born in Jerusalem?
In the Preface to The Next Jerusalem: Sharing the Divided City, Michael Sorkin writes:
"I was also struck by the city's smallness. Well versed in the crisis of megacities and suburban sprawl, I found Jerusalem both relatively compact and strikingly uniform in its contiguities of texture and place. The city was relatively calm at the time, too, and felt accessible to me. So, as someone who loves cities both as physical and as cultural artifacts, I enjoyed my tourist's rights to the city and wandered freely between East and West. Emblematic of this freedom was a single day in which I paid visits to the Church of the Nativity, the Wailing Wall, and the Dome of the Rock--a typical tourist agenda, perhaps, but personalized by bet-hedging prayers for a family member suddenly taken gravely ill."
The Church of the Nativity (first built by St. Helena) over the traditional spot where Christ was born is in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem. It is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (also to be attributed to St. Helena) over the traditional spots where Christ died and was buried that is in Jerusalem.
[I have to wonder] Did Sorkin really visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and say a prayer there?
Hopefully, the next edition of The Next Jerusalem will fix this mistake.

2003.11.18 15:26
Re: Jesus was born in Jerusalem?
The question raised by the fourth paragraph of the Preface to The Next Jerusalem is not if Sorkin went to Bethlehem, rather why he mistakenly placed the Church of the Nativity within the city of Jerusalem. Since the context of the whole paragraph centers on Old Jerusalem, plus Sorkin makes note of his visits to specific Jewish and Islamic holy places in Old Jerusalem, it only make sense that the Christian holy site of Old Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, should also have been visited, and not the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. As it stands, the fourth paragraph contains a mistake that should be acknowledged and corrected.
There are three forms of prayer: prayer to honor God, prayer to thank God, and prayer to ask God for help. It appears Sorkin at least prays to ask God for help. For a very long time now, I have made it a habit to rarely ask anything of God, although I often pray in thanks.
I was taught that faith is a gift, and that one has either received faith from God or one hasn't. And when I learned this back when I was still a teenager, I remember thinking, "So that's why I believe the way I do." When it comes to religious architecture, what interests me most is the architecture "built" by the Empress and Saint Helena, and I hardly have to explain any further to this audience. But it should be noted that, although I enjoy this interest/work, it is hardly an area of investigation that fits comfortably within the architectural thinking of our time.
My understanding of the Christian sector of Old Jerusalem around the Holy Sepulcher is that what sect controls what is pretty much resolved. Moreover, there is a significant difference between bickering and warring. Do ask me why, because I don't know the answer myself, but I'd side with the Armenian Catholics in any of the arguments. Perhaps they might just be a little bit holier.

2004.01.10 12:57
the making of “My Rita Novel Idea”
Maria tells us about the symbolic role played by her sarcophagus and sepulcher within Piranesi's Il Campo Marzio, and Piranesi outlines all the mistakes made by Fasolo, Tafuri, Allen, Bloomer, and Eisenman in their respective interpretations of the Ichnographia Campus Martius.

2004.05.26 11:35
first major African American architect, etc.
Julian Abele
according to a post at online link:
"Abele family oral history alleges that Eva Stotesbury attended Julian Abele's funeral held at his south Philadelphia townhouse in 1950."
Eva Stotesbury died 31 May 1946, but, as she recently told Franziska, Eva was indeed spotted by some of the family at Julian's funeral.
[According to Triumph on Fairmount, Edward T. Stotesbury died 16 May 1938. This is incorrect, and this mistake has led to a string of mistakes as posted here by lauf-s. Here are the corrections:
16 May 1946 - Eva Stotesbury has a severe heart attack.
21 May 1502 - discovery of St. Helena Island by Portuguese.
21 May 1938 - death of Edward T. Stotesbury; see wmpc/01/0022.htm for some more calendrical coincidences.
22 May 337 - death of Constantine the Great near Nicomedia.
30 May 1640 - death of Pieter Pauwel Rubens 31 May 1946 - death of Eva Stotesbury at Marisol, Palm Beach, Florida.
31 May 1951 - death of Dennis Cardinal Dougherty 21
June 2004 - marriage of Dennis Joseph Cardinal Dougherty and Lucretia "Eva" Bishop Roberts Cromwell Stotesbury (at the intersection of Rising Sun Avenue and Tabor Road, a quondam Lenni Lenape solstice celebration site).]

2004.06.16 05:53
cloning architecture - a global search
I too was thinking of McMansions last night. Swarms of clones sprawling over the US suburban landscape. But notice too what these homes try so hard to reenact, essentially the 'lifestyle' of very wealthy people from quondam times.
Picking up on Helsinki's last sentence, it's interesting that the German word Schloss means 1. castle, palace; chateau, manor-house 2. lock.
On the Campo Marzio issue, I've (already) compiled a bibliography of architectural literature on Piranesi's large plan. Briefly, before Tafuri there is Fasolo in 1956 (who Tafuri in places reiterates, but he did not note any of the 1956 mistakes), and Scully on Kahn in 1962. Tafuri's Architecture and Utopia was first published in Italian in 1973, and his The Sphere and the Labyrinth was first published in Italian in 1980. Since 1980, most architectural writers have sprouted off the Tafuri branch, and there is only one architectural writer who, in 1981, began to sprout off Kahn's branch of investigation entwined with reenactment.

unhappy Helena
Helena is not at all happy with Antonina Harbus and her presumption that Helena did not discover the cross. I’m not sure how this (new) emotion plays itself out within the novel, but it might be the topic of 14 September--essentially Helena points out where “modern” history makes its mistakes, and then how these mistakes became compounded. (This is somewhat similar to Eutropia’s unhappiness as to how she is given short shrift by “modern” historians.

2005.03.23 13:47
Forms and Functions of 20th Century Architecture
Yesterday's post delivered Forms and Functions of 20th Century Architecture.
I remember these books from my student days in the 1970s, but haven't looked through them since then. I kind of remember thinking these books were not "inspirational" enough (for me) back then. After seeing them so cheaply available at eBay, I went to the library to look them over again, and decided I definitely want these book. I found them to now be very inspiring! They very much manifest what Brian wrote about above.
It's also interesting to compare these four heavy 1952 volumes ("prepared under the auspices of the School of Architecture of Columbia University") with the slim 2003 Index Architecture: A Columbia Book of Architecture.
Where in 1952 there are lengthy and well illustrated topics beginning with "The Elements of Building: Introduction" through to "The Architect and Urban Planning" and a whole volume dedicated to "The Principles of Composition" and vols. 3 and 4 fully devoted to addressing the designs of a great variety of building types (including Catholic Churches, Protestant Churches, and Synagogues), the 2003 Index Architecture curtly covers topics like 'abstraction' 'film' 'form' 'multiple' 'real' 'style and symmetry' etc.
Over a year ago I wrote (at archinect) that a lot of Index Architecture is pretty much useless and more like sophisticated advertising copy than anything else. Now, relative to Forms and Functions..., I see Index Architecture as not just a missed opportunity to 'build' further upon architecture, but a sign of how overly pretentious the study of architecture can be(come).
What I particularly like about Forms and Functions... is how lessons from architecture's past are well integrated with newer architecture design practice up to the mid 20th century.
[Of course, I get a kick out of the fact that the first building illustrated in Forms and Functions... is the Basilica of Constantine in Rome, which began construction under Maxentius, and was finished (I believe) under the design supervision of Eutropia (Maxentius' mother) and Helena (Constantine's mother).
Plus, there is this great little diagrammatic drawing demonstrating a scale comparison with the Sphere and Pylon of the 1939 New York World's Fair--from left to right: the Great Pyramid, Parthenon, Pantheon (which looks to me a bit bigger than it actually is), Santa Sophia, Constantinople, St. Mark's Venice, Chartres, St. Peter's Rome, the Sphere and Pylon.
Forms and Functions of 20th Century Architecture really should be a free online resource now, and the volumes might just begin positively informing Quondam's overall agenda.
Anyone have any personal experience utilizing Forms and Functions of 20th Century Architecture?

Forms and Functions of 20th Century Architecture, vol. 2, pp. 512-13.



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