Ada Louise Huxtable, who is referred to as the “Dean of Architecture Critics,” is interviewed by Phillip Lopate in a large City section story in Sunday’s (November 9) New York Times. She talks about Mayor Bloomberg, development in our city and the lack of any city planning.
Huxtable: Everything in this city is totally developer driven. You do not get Rockefeller Center-type development unless you have some kind of leadership that will commit to it; and these developers are so powerful and so wealthy and so sure of what they want that you’re starting from a different premise. We’ve had, I think, a very good mayor, who has done good things for the city, but he doesn’t know the difference. Bloomberg’s a businessman: he thinks development is planning.
Lopate: You say in your book, “Here we practice the art of the deal, not the art of the city.”
Huxtable: Exactly. It’s your urban development corporations, state and city, that are in charge of these things, not the planners. There’s nobody in there that has any of this city-making programmed in their heads; they have dollars and cents and time frames. It’s pure business.