Welcome! This week I’ve got holiday shopping on the brain, as we just wrapped the shoot for Curbed’s annual gift guide—in addition to city-specific guides—that will start rolling out this week. Earlier every year; I know, I know. And of course I will want you to read those, but this list is a bit more specific to my tastes and what I like to bestow (enforce…) on my nearest and dearest. —Kelsey
This week in tabs
- All I want for Christmas is the preservation of yet another endangered Paul Rudolph building. This Brutalist monument, Boston’s Government Services Center, has had its ups and downs, and one major section of the site is up for sale and threatened with demolition.
- Across the pond, an example of a Brutalist gem revived: a Standard Hotel has just opened in the bones of the 1974 Camden Town Hall Annexe in Kings Cross London, and it’s a beaut.
- For Buzzfeed, writer Katherine Miller articulates how the 2010s have “broken our sense of time,” weaving together the 2016 election, algorithms, TikTok, and The Office in a way that I suspect resonates with almost everyone paying attention to our world (and how we consume it) today.
- Loved this ode to Detroit’s Hart Plaza, an often-overlooked public space designed by Isamu Noguchi, that—like many late modern civic plazas of its era—has tremendous value, but is showing its age without much hope for needed infrastructure updates.
- I’m not sure how I made it all the way through a rather tedious celebrity interview in GQ to arrive at this golden nugget, but I’m glad I did:
“The first thing [Edward] Norton did when he decided to adapt Motherless Brooklyn twenty years ago was change almost everything. Norton shifted the story back four decades, from the ’90s to the ’50s, and centered the plot on the development of New York City in the middle of the twentieth century… That Norton took Motherless Brooklyn in that fresh direction—power as projected through city planning, and an antagonist modeled off the notorious master planner Robert Moses—may have struck admirers of his acting as somewhat afield. But Norton grew up in Columbia, Maryland, the experimental community built by the urban planner James Rouse, Norton’s maternal grandfather. Rouse studied cities, developed cities, made everyone around him aware of what cities could do to the lives of the people living in them.”
Do not miss Curbed’s annual holiday gift guide—online this Wednesday, November 6—in which we photograph all our favorite home gifts of the season. For 2019, we’re also including locally sourced gift ideas vetted by six Curbed city editors, as well as recs from designers.