Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Going off on a purely aesthetic tangent, from my own perspective I have to say that at its best I find modernist architecture a lot more interesting than what preceded it. The grand nineteenth century stuff really isn't my cup of tea.  

However, as far as the mass produced stuff goes, the situation is reversed. I currently live in one of the brownstone neighbourhoods in Brooklyn - i.e. the late nineteenth century equivalent of the suburban middle class subdivision or the postwar W. European middle class apartment development. Nineteenth century beats postwar hands down. Walking out into my neighbourhood, especially at night, provides a comforting and uplifting sense of harmony.

Worst place I ever lived for an extended period of time was a 1970's huge Warsaw plattenbau apartment complex - soul deadening ugliness and shoddiness. When I next lived in Warsaw I chose an eighties complex that was simply bland and more importantly right on the edge of the old town and next to a nice old park. The extra daily half hour of crowded trams each way was more than worth it.  Warsaw btw is easily the ugliest capital I've ever seen, but at least the communists decided to faithfully rebuild a replica of the old town.  I only wish the Germans had done the same in their cities.

Geneva has unfortunately made a determined effort over the past several decades to replace the pleasant nineteenth and early twentieth century buildings on its right bank with 'functional' modern stuff that ranges from ugly to mildly annoying, characterless non-descript.

by MarekNYC on Wed Jan 4th, 2006 at 03:18:34 AM EST

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