"The loss of the classical vernacular in architecture was inevitable, but tragic: we invented new ways for cities to look, and invented them all at once for everywhere, and the world did seem to be a different place that shook off the sodden caul of history. On the other hand, the new styles aged and died before our eyes, requiring new ones, and we remade things again, and again, ending up with style with no other purpose than catching the magpie-eye of the bauble hunter, appreciating the building for itself and nothing more. The Building of Tomorrow spends most of its life grousing in an ever-growing number of Yesterdays; the styles of our accumulated history brings the past right into the present and reminds us of the baggage we carry, the things we were. There’s not a classically-influenced church you couldn’t imagine with the Pope walking up the aisle. There’s not a modern spare church where you’d be surprised if someone took the pulpit and said 'I’d like to talk to you about term life insurance.'"
James Lileks 2/5/14 ◙