The glass-and-steel crowd
had a field day nearly destroying Brussels
. ... It's odd hearing a prominent French architect praising American cities and urban planning. European cities are clearly more beautiful and livable than American cities. But Europeans owe that largely to past generations. Their post-war modern architectural record sucks almost as much as ours. Brussels, with its own West End horror stories, is Exhibit A. ... Hub Blog is not advocating a retro-red-bricks approach toward architecture. Christian de Portzamparc, the French artichitect who admires Manhattan (and I assume Boston), wants to mesh the best of the old and new together so that they complement each other. It's not easy. Look at the new Intercontinental glass-and-steel monstrosity along Boston's waterfront. Steve Bailey
once said the hotel was more appropriate for Houston than Boston. He was right. It doesn't fit. But, hey, at least it complied with the BRA's glass-and-steel materials dictate -- just as the designers in Brussels probably complied with their own bureaucratic dictates.