Architecture Roulette 2

From page 312 of Ian Sutton's Western Architecture: "In curious parallel with the 19th-century polemics of Morris and Ruskin over 'truth to materials,' the extent to which the steel skeleton was expressed on the exterior of the building was to become almost a moral issue. Those that did express it have been hailed as 'progressive' and 'honest,' those that did not as 'historicist' and 'retardataire.' By now feelings have cooled and it is possible to enjoy a frankly 'dishonest' building without a feeling of shame, just as one can enjoy Der Rosenkavalier without worrying about how avant-garde it was."

The above is from a chapter focusing largely on the earliest generation of skyscrapers. And there you have it: honesty may be the foundation of relationships, but you don't have to feel shame or horror if you are lied to by a building. Thank God I can tell my parents they can paint and hang pictures up on the load-bearing walls in their house without shame.

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