No Way to Build a Ballpark and Other Irreverent Essays on Architecture

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9780811802963: No Way to Build a Ballpark and Other Irreverent Essays on Architecture

With a rare combination of insight, wit, and candor, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Allan Temko has been looking at the world we are building.
His provocative essays examine and challenge the architecture of skyscrapers, factories, schools, hotels, shopping centers, mass transit systems, and other structures, as well as raise the larger issues of urban planning and politics. Not content just to stand aloof and review finished buildings, Temko has made criticism a tool for social activism, speaking out before ground is broken and fighting to shape the bridges and convention centers and public spaces that shape our environment.
Regardless of the prestige of the architect or the grandiosity of the project, the author unblinkingly castigates buffoonery, pretense, and blunders, making him one of the nation's most respected advocates of excellence, integrity, and the public interest.
These articles and reviews, which have been selected from more than thirty years of writing for the San Francisco Chronicle, Architectural Forum, the AIA Journal, and Harper's, analyze the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Morgan, Frank Gehry, Bernard Maybeck, and many other noted and lesser-known architects.
In his fight for environmental consciousness and architectural greatness, Allan Temko has given us a new way to look at the world.

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From Publishers Weekly:

With a colloquial voice and ethical sense, Pulitzer Prize-winning San Francisco Chronicle architecture critic Temko has offered careful, wide-ranging observations of Northern California for the past 30 years. Covering jails and churches, malls and hotels, museums and ballparks, this collection is a worthy, entertaining resource for architecture buffs and fans of the region. Temko's magazine essays are often elegant, while his newspaper columns suffer slightly from a profusion of one-sentence paragraphs. Still, Temko has engaged himself in "this most insouciant of American cities" and a great, growing region. He praises the John Hancock Building as "a romantic creation for a romantic city," finds beauty in General Motors' "megamachine" factory and celebrates the Golden Gate Bridge as "perhaps the most exhilarating architectural experience ordinary people will ever enjoy." He also links the aesthetic shortcomings of the Bay Area Rapid Transit stations to the system's technical failures, and laments the vulgar additions that have marred Stanford University's Olmsted-designed campus. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Temko, Allan
Published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA (1993)
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