Author Archives: John Massengale

My New York Times Op-Ed: “There Are Better Ways to Get Around Town”

New York City Streets for People After the Congestion Zone May 15, 2018 (link) The debate continues over how to make New York City’s streets less crowded, safer and better for people as well as cars. Some, like Gov. Andrew … Continue reading

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Posted in -, Architecture, Beauty, Bicycle, Current, New York, News & Reviews, Pedestrian, Quote of the Day, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | 1 Comment

“John Massengale — the man who taught me everything I know about architecture” — Tom Wolfe

TOM WOLFE died last week. Here’s a story about a kind thing he did for me over 25 years ago. I was in the lobby at the Newington-Cropsey Foundation, where I had been invited to speak at an architecture conference. … Continue reading

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Posted in -, Architecture, Personal, Quote of the Day | Leave a comment

“Take Your Amnesia Pills, John”

A LONG TIME AGO, I turned on “All Things Considered” just in time to hear someone talking about suburban sprawl. He spoke for about a minute, succinctly saying things I was thinking about but had not said as well or … Continue reading

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Posted in -, Architecture, New Urbanism, Personal, Quote of the Day, Urbanism | 1 Comment

The 21st Century Is The New Sixties

  Civil Rights Act & Inner City Riots > #BlackLivesMatter Civil Rights Act & Feminism > #MeToo Student Marches Against Vietnam > #MarchForOurLives Medicare > Obamacare Immigration Act < #Dreamers Books Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American … Continue reading

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Posted in -, Architecture, Beauty, Bicycle, Classical, Craft, Culture, Current, Good Kind, Historic Preservation, Local, New York, Pedestrian, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | Tagged | Leave a comment

NYC Needs You

New York City’s Historic Districts and Landmarks Are Under Siege Have you noticed how many ideas and movements from the 1960s are back in a big way? Feminism. The civil rights movement. Streets for People, which was the title of … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Current, Historic Preservation, New York, Urbanism | Leave a comment

The Way We Live Now

“I am the least racist person you will ever meet.” “No one respects women more than me. No one reads the Bible more than me.” “There’s nobody that’s done so much for equality as I have.” “There’s nobody who feels … Continue reading

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Posted in Culture, Current | Leave a comment

What a difference a day makes

The view from our apartment Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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Posted in New York, Urbanism | Leave a comment

Live from Riverside Drive

WE SAW HIM around 10 am, seemingly waiting out the snowstorm. Around 12:15, when there was a break in the snow, he spotted lunch flying by and took off in pursuit.

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Posted in Live from New York, New York, Personal | Leave a comment

Traditional & Neo-Traditional

What’s the difference between traditional and neo-traditional design? Probably not what you think. More on traditional and neo-traditional design after the photos. Neo-Traditional: Traditional:

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Introduction to the 1st Annual Jane Jacobs Award at the Met Housing Council

Jane Jacobs wrote 12 wide-ranging, brilliant books. In them she wove together ideas about cities, city life, politics, economics, and social and cultural issues, so it’s hard to succinctly summarize her contributions to tonight’s topic of affordable housing in New … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Current, Global, New York, Urbanism | Leave a comment

Streets for People

INFO http://bit.ly/peoplenyc RSVP http://bit.ly/RSVP-streets

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Posted in Beauty, New Urbanism, New York, Pedestrian, Slow Streets, Street Design, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

The Best Building At Columbia

THIS IS a difficult building to photograph, and a Northern Italian Renaissanc church with a loosely Byzantine interior wouldn’t normally be my favorite. But it is so well done. The perfect proportions, the details in the entrance in antis, the … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, Classical, Craft, divine, Good Kind, Materials, New York | Leave a comment

There once was a tree on Nantucket
(street design humor)

There once was a tree on Nantucket, With none of its roots in a bucket, “That can’t be,” Said the state DOT, But no car has ever yet struck it. After the jump, another Nantucket Elm

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Posted in Beauty, Culture, Good Kind, Joke, New England, Street Design, Street of the Day, Urbanism | Leave a comment

Occupy Broad Street

Today is the fifth Anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. For some thoughts about that, click here. THE BROAD crossroads where Wall Street and Broad Street come together is a beautiful space, fully the equal of medieval European plazas. Today, post-911, it’s closed … Continue reading

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Posted in Beauty, Current, New York, Pedestrian, Slow Street of the Day, Slow Streets, Street Design, Street of the Day, Urbanism, Walkability | Leave a comment

Occupy Wall Street, Main Street, Broad Street

LIKE MOST NEW YORKERS, I was happy to see Occupy Wall Street arise.* We need more of that spirit in the neighborhood and preservation battles against the Lords of Real Estate that are welling up all across the city. When I … Continue reading

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The Good Kind: Notre Dame du Haut (Ronchamp)

NOTRE DAME DU HAUT is a work of beauty and genius. To fully appreciate that you must visit the pilgrimage chapel in the northeast corner of France. Le Corbusier put aside his machine aesthetic and principles of mechanical standardization and embraced … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, Beauty, divine, Good Kind, Local | 2 Comments

Inexpressive Interiors – The Other Kind

MANY ARCHITECTURE SCHOOLS in the northeast have become more like art schools than architecture schools. They emphasize conceptual “autonomous” architecture and personal expression, and neglect materials, construction, composition, context, placemaking… the list goes on and on. When I was on … Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, The Other Kind | 2 Comments