The Pan Am Building and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream
Meredith L. ClausenISBN: 0262033240; 9780262033244;
Book DescriptionThe Pan Am Building and the reaction to it signaled the end of an era. Begun when the modernist aesthetic and the architectural star system ruled architectural theory and practice, the completed building became a symbol of modernism's fall from grace. In The Pan Am Building and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream , Meredith Clausen tells the story as both history and cautionary tale -- a case study of how not to plan and execute a large-scale urban project that seems especially relevant in light of the World Trade Center and the ongoing discussions over what should be built in its place. The Pan Am Building was despised by many as soon as the plans were announced in 1958. The star power of the celebrity architects -- those deans of modernism, Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi -- overrode critics' objections. When construction was completed in 1963, it became more than an architectural question; this "mute, massive, overscaled octagonal slab," as...