The Philadelphia School, deterritorialized


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circa 1885

House on Girard Avenue

2001.07.21 12:29
one very Philadelphian daze
NY architect (and quondam Philadelphian) RE took some digital snapshots last Saturday. He and S and L where in town. I met R and L at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while S went to Temple U's campus to take site analysis pics. L, R and I toured the VSBA exhibit together, and then attended the Venturi Scott Brown tribute symposium in the museum auditorium. There were three speakers: the president of U of Mich, the present resident of the Vanna Venturi House, and Vincent Scully. I like going to architecture talks; it reminds of my school days, and they go with my thinking (which is obsessed with just thinking about architecture more and more the older I get--I don't build architecture, I just think it). At the very end of the symposium Scott Brown got up and publicly told Scully he was totally wrong about her role in the 'Venturi' history. Then she shot him with a pistol--just kidding. Denise is now my heroin. Liz thought what Denise did was uncalled-for.
Then I got to tell my Charlie Rose Show last Friday night story. The CRShow was on the two Meis exhibits in NYC-Lambert, Bergdoll and Goldberger were guests. I said, "You can tell that Lambert isn't used to being asked questions. Rose would ask her something about Mies and she would roll out the usually clichés--like God on a mountain and all that. Then Rose would ask her to elaborate. Lambert then flinched and paused at the same time, and then snapped 'WHAT?!?!'" She did that three time within the hour show. It really made me laugh each time.
Steve Izenour was wearing a cap last Saturday. It said UGLY AND ORDINARY. I guess it pays to advertise, and don't you just love the high art of museum shops? Oh yes, there was a book signing after the symposium. I told Venturi I can read his mind, and I told Scott Brown she's my new heroin. Then I injected them both with a needle--just kidding.
Well, Venturi and Scott Brown just love l, and swooped her off to dinner, while R and I had to go meet up with the other S in Center City--that's when we cafe-ed it. I still don't have a cellular phone, but I love it when the people I'm with do. L called, said they were done eating and she was ready to go back to NYC, but Venturi wanted to show her this old building (a fancy row-home) he recently came upon in North Philadelphia (maybe Wilson Eyre is the architect?). So there we were, following Venturi's lead (again!) driving through 'dangerous' neighborhoods all for the love of architecture.
Guess what, Venturi and Scott Brown still don't really know who I am. It's like 'pay no attention to that man behind the (virtual) curtain.'



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