Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Another endangered species …

… Streets With Nooks and Crannies Are Beloved and Endangered | The American Conservative. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Why are nooks and crannies no longer produced? One reason is that their value is not understood, and in any case no longer taught as part of place-making. But their absence is also a result of the prevailing styles—which are not so much styles as the avoidance of style, and which leave no room for the accidental, the decorative, and the fantastic. Gothic architecture, Sir John Summerson once argued, was a kind of generalization of the ‘aedicule’—the little building of pitched roof and upright walls, which was accumulated cell upon cell to form the great organism of the medieval cathedral. The nook and the cranny were the essence of the style, the units of meaning which were picked up and spread by the architect across the whole façade. 

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