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Passing of Modernism’s Arch-enemy

May 8, 2013

The Modern Movement lost its most prominent and persistent opponent on May 1, when Henry Hope Reed died at the age of 97. In the 1950s, as Modernism became established as the architecture of major institutions, Reed expounded his rear-guard positions all available means, including two books: The American Skyline, 1953 (with Christopher Tunnard) and The Golden City, 1959. Both extolled the preceding Classical Revival and condemned Modernist examples such as the UN Headquarters, Lever House, and the Manufacturers Trust branch at 510 Fifth Avenue. His decades-long campaign against Modernism prompted him, ironically, to take the lead in areas aligned with DOCOMOMO’s objectives, such as his support for landmarks protection and his pioneering of the architectural walking tour.

The Golden City: A pictorial argument in the controversy over classical vs. Modern fashion in American architecture and other arts