Make federal architecture 'beautiful' again: Donald Trump signs executive order insisting on classical architecture in government buildings

 President Donald Trump's outgoing wish is to make federal architecture 'beautiful' again. 

The White House released a Trump-signed executive order Monday that called for 'classical architecture' to be used when future federal buildings are constructed, warning that 'the federal government has largely stopped building beautiful buildings.' 

In the executive order, classical architecture is defined as 'Neoclassical, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, Beaux-Arts and Art Deco' as the text applauds the design of Philadelphia's Second Bank of the United States, the Pioneer Courthouse in Portland and the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York. 

On Monday, the White House released an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that called for federal architecture to be 'beautiful' again. The order said classical designs should be pursued for new federal buildings

On Monday, the White House released an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that called for federal architecture to be 'beautiful' again. The order said classical designs should be pursued for new federal buildings 

The executive order names some buildings that are good examples of classical architecture like Portland, Oregon's Pioneer Courthouse (pictured)

The executive order names some buildings that are good examples of classical architecture like Portland, Oregon's Pioneer Courthouse (pictured)  

In Washington, D.C. the Department of the Treasury (pictured) gets applauded for its look, as well as the White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court and Lincoln Memorial

In Washington, D.C. the Department of the Treasury (pictured) gets applauded for its look, as well as the White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court and Lincoln Memorial 

The order condemns Brutalist structures that cropped up during the 1960s including the Hubert H. Humphrey Department of Health and Human Services Building (pictured)

The order condemns Brutalist structures that cropped up during the 1960s including the Hubert H. Humphrey Department of Health and Human Services Building (pictured) 

The order also talks about the controversial design of the Brutalist Robert C. Weaver Department of Housing and Urban Development Building

The order also talks about the controversial design of the Brutalist Robert C. Weaver Department of Housing and Urban Development Building

In D.C., the order says the look of the White House, U.S. Capitol, Supreme Court, U.S. Treasury and Lincoln Memorial are examples of good design. 

The order then gives a glimpse into what buildings the president finds particularly ugly. 

In 1962, the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture made way for the government to use 'contemporary' designs when constructing new office buildings. 

This led to two 'controversial' buildings in Washington, D.C. - the Brutalist Hubert H. Humphrey Department of Health and Human Services Building and Robert C. Weaver Department of Housing and Urban Development Building.

The current FBI headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, built in 1965, is also of this style and period. In the past, Trump has proposed constructing a new building at the site of the crumbling Hoover building, so that the FBI would remain across the street from his Trump International Hotel in Washignton, D.C. 

The order complains that these Brutalist buildings 'visibly clashed' with existing buildings in the capital city.  

The General Services Administration dealt with the Brutalist backlash by establishing the Design Excellence Program in 1994.  

The aim was for federal architecture to 'provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American Government.' 

Another outstanding example of classical architecture, according to the order's text, is the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City

Another outstanding example of classical architecture, according to the order's text, is the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York City 

Additionally, Philadelphia's Second Bank of the United States is used as an example of 'beautiful' federal architecture

Additionally, Philadelphia's Second Bank of the United States is used as an example of 'beautiful' federal architecture 

The modernist San Francisco Federal Building is mentioned in the executive order as something not to do

The modernist San Francisco Federal Building is mentioned in the executive order as something not to do 

As is the Orrin G. Hatch United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. The structure has been nicknamed 'The Borg Cube' for its resemblance to an enemy's space dwelling in 'Star Trek'

As is the Orrin G. Hatch United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. The structure has been nicknamed 'The Borg Cube' for its resemblance to an enemy's space dwelling in 'Star Trek' 

The executive order criticizes the program for not meeting this goal. 

'Under the Design Excellence Program, GSA has often selected designs by prominent architects with little regard for local input or regional aesthetic preferences,' it says. 'The resulting Federal architecture sometimes impresses the architectural elite, but not the American people who the buildings are meant to serve.' 

'Many of these new Federal buildings are not even visibly identifiable as civic buildings,' it goes on. 

Among the worst offenders, according to the order: the San Francisco Federal Building and the Orrin G. Hatch United States Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

The Utah federal courthouse earned the nickname 'The Borg Cube,' for its resemblance to an enemy alien race's dwelling in 'Star Trek.' 

'It is time to update the policies guiding Federal architecture to address these problems and ensure that architects designing Federal buildings serve their clients, the American people,' the executive order proposed. 

As a builder in 1979, Donald Trump demolished the Art Deco Bonwit Teller building in New York City to make room for Trump Tower. He destroyed the 15-foot relief sculptures adjacent to the main entrance that he was supposed to donate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

As a builder in 1979, Donald Trump demolished the Art Deco Bonwit Teller building in New York City to make room for Trump Tower. He destroyed the 15-foot relief sculptures adjacent to the main entrance that he was supposed to donate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art 

A number of Trump properties did not represent classical American architecture including the now defunct Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which was a gaudy office tower

A number of Trump properties did not represent classical American architecture including the now defunct Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, which was a gaudy office tower 

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is a boxy high-rise that is slated for demolition later this year. The mayor of Atlantic City is auctioning off the chance to push the button to implode the main tower

The Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino is a boxy high-rise that is slated for demolition later this year. The mayor of Atlantic City is auctioning off the chance to push the button to implode the main tower 

The order creates the President's Council on Improving Federal Civic Architecture.  

'In the District of Columbia, classical architecture shall be the preferred and default architecture for Federal public buildings absent exceptional factors necessitating another kind of architecture,' the order says. 

If a building is to diverge from a classic design, the executive order calls on the GSA to 'choose a design that commands respect from the general public and clearly conveys to the general public the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of America’s system of self-government.'   

The president's promotion of more classic designs is a departure from some of the moves he's made as a builder. 

Trump infamously demolished the Art Deco Bonwit Teller building in New York to make room for the more modern Trump Tower in 1979. Trump had originally promised to donate two 15-foot relief sculptures on the facade of the building to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead in June of 1980 he had a demolition crew jackhammer them off, destroying them - a move that drew public outcry.  

His father, Fred Trump, was responsible for the destruction of Coney Island's historic Steeplechase Park.     

Beyond Trump Tower, other buildings in the Trump portfolio have not been of the classical style. 

The Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City was a gaudy office tower, which did not replicate the curves of the Indian attraction. 

Down the street, the Trump Plaza Casino is a boxy high-rise. 

It's slated for demolition early next year with the mayor of Atlantic City auctioning off the chance to push the button to blow the building up.  

Make federal architecture 'beautiful' again: Donald Trump signs executive order insisting on classical architecture in government buildings Make federal architecture 'beautiful' again: Donald Trump signs executive order insisting on classical architecture in government buildings Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:19 Rating: 5

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