NYT: Who Needs History?

New York Times architectural critic Nicolai Ouroussoff is not impressed with the new House of Jeets. “As architecture, it could not be duller. A predictable mix of old and new, its conventional interiors and faux historical skin are a quaint version of the existing Yankee Stadium.”

Actually, a quaint version of the ’23 Stadium, but nevermind—accuracy isn’r really their thing over at the Times. But there’s more:

There are those, no doubt, who will complain about the loss of the site of some of the most memorable moments in the history of sports. I am not one of them. The current stadium, which was severely altered in the mid-1970′s, has little architectural merit. Its most famous feature, a kitschy bronze frieze that decorated its exterior facade, was replaced with a poor concrete replica.

Ouroussoff’s objections, just as his predecesor’s, seem to be purely formal: he’d be pleased if only the thing were, you know, cooler looking. Like maybe designed by a famous European architect. As if that were at issue here. Must we continually point out that what makes the place special is not what goes on outside, but its great populist layout: so big, so cramped, everyone a part of the action. As usual, the Times misses the point.

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