Philadelphia Prepares to Spend $200 Million on Bland Architecture

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And now the exact opposite of love coming, ironically, from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s resident architecture critic, Inga Saffron, files this very sad, but also kind of sadly funny, report from a proposal the firm EwingCole gave to local officials for a new Family Court building. The architect “virtually apologized when he presented the design” and about the best the city officials could say about it was “It’s going to be a very utilitarian building.” From a distance, all of this ho-hum attitude paints a funny mental picture (especially if you add some sort of dopey, cartoonish soundtrack), but for those who live in the city, like critic Saffron, it’s understandably infuriating, particularly when you learn that Philadelphia plans to spend $200 million on all that blandness. Her piece gets semi city-specific at times, but even for those of us who live outside Philadelphia will likely recognize that head-slapping, utterly-bewildering defect governments sometimes suffer from when it comes to architecture.