“Even though I wished for her attention, I was scared of it.”
These words, spoken by Frank Gehry about the inimitable Ada Louise Huxtable, may be his alone, but you can be sure that their sentiment was - at some point or other - shared by almost every person in the architecture world.
Huxtable's writing walked that unusual, and oh so difficult line, between impassioned opinion and critical voice. As a result she managed to achieve the holy grail of architecture criticism: respect from architects and the general public alike. She for ever changed the world of architecture criticism, and as her successor Paul Goldberger, said of her in 1996: "She has made people pay attention. She has made people care. She has made architecture matter in our culture in a way that it did not before her time.”
Blogger for The New York Times Arts Beat, Danny Dunlop attended Huxtable's "memorial tribute" this past Tuesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; his post provides a lovely summary of those who attended and spoke in honor of Ms. Huxtable, from Gehry to Goldberger. You can find it here.
And 5 articles that, according to HyperAllergic, best show Huxtable's critical prowess (all well worth reading) here.