Interview with Ada Louise Huxtable — "Dean of Architecture Critics" — on NYC under Mayor Bloomberg: "Here we practice the art of the deal, not the art of the city"

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.

An excerpt:

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.

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