Yale’s architectural embarrassments


Good article in the Courant about two architectural mistakes made by Yale in New Haven and how they are being remedied.

Yale’s Architectural Do-Overs Philip Langdon Hartford Courant 3/23/08

“Yale’s other significant recent architectural mistake occurred in the mid-1990s when the university built Henry R. Luce Hall. Designed by New York architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, Luce is strange-looking and widely disliked. It faces Hillhouse but is set far back, behind a grassy forecourt. The rear of the building, with narrow slits for its most prominent windows, is visible from Prospect Street, yet it seems aloof from that street as well. The result, architectural historian Vincent Scully has said, was ‘the instant destruction of two great streets.'”

Posted by Chris


2 responses to “Yale’s architectural embarrassments

  1. Yale has made a muddle of Hillhouse Avenue and Science Hill ever since 1957, when it razed the suberb Greek Revival/Italianate house of architect Ithiel Town to make way for lifeless Dunham Laboratory. True, the university showed preservationist sensitivity more recently when it restored the Trowbridge and Davies mansions, but returned to heavy-handed ways when it erected Henry R. Luce Hall, a mediocrity that should has been recognized in the plans long before it was built.

    Yale tends to consider new buildings in isolation, which is why incongruous, incompatible designs stand side by side, each trumpeting its big-name architect, but never quite melding into a harmonious streetscape. Except for the beautifully composed older sections of the campus, which are unabashedly (and delightfully) historicist, it has become a lavish architectural hodge-podge.

  2. Pingback: DrupalCamp CT and the Legacy of Henry R. Luce | Get More Followers Fast - Blast My Twitter

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