Tradition for Sale

Architects 2 weeks ago Archinect 26

Yale has just completed two new residential colleges near the heart of campus: a superblock of neo-Gothic fantasy. This reversion to an archaic visual language exemplifies a troubling trend. With their new architecture, universities all too often abdicate leadership in promoting artistic innovation as they pander to plutocratic donors.

Columnist Belmont Freeman takes a critical look at Yale's RAMSA-designed Benjamin Franklin College and Pauli Murray College in his latest piece for Places. 

While Freeman marvels at their extraordinary evocation of tradition, he argues that their historicism represents a missed opportunity to reinvent the residential college for the 21st century — as Saarinen did on the same campus in the middle of the 20th. 

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