A draft of an executive order titled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” is moving forward towards possible signing by President Donald J. Trump. The proposed document favors Classical Greco-Roman design typologies for federal buildings in Washington, DC and elsewhere throughout the USA. This order would revise the current rules that regulate the design of federal buildings contracted through the GSA (General Services Administration — a Federal agency managing the construction, administration, and upkeep of US Government buildings and real estate). It was initiated by the National Civic Art Society, a Washington, DC based nonprofit organization that disapproves of what the US government has been building for decades. According to the New York Times, the chairman of the National Civic Art Society, Mr. Marion Smith, stated that: “For too long architectural elites and bureaucrats have derided the idea of beauty, blatantly ignored public opinions on style, and have quietly spent taxpayer money constructing ugly, expensive, and inefficient buildings.”
Donald Trump: The Latest Architecture and News
A new executive order by Donald Trump has the potential to make new federal architecture in the United States follow the classical style. Called "Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again", the order would require rewriting the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, issued in 1962, to ensure that “the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style” for new and upgraded federal buildings.
The viability of the Trump administration's border wall has come under fire as all eight prototype structures have failed at least one breach test. The eight border wall prototypes in Otay Mesa, California were assembled in early 2017 after an executive order directed the Department of Homeland Security to build the border wall. The news comes as the administration prepares to potentially declare a national emergency to jumpstart construction of the wall along the U.S.’s southern border.
The United States is currently embroiled in what is unquestionably one the most bizarre and unpredictable presidential races in its history. In this strange context, the world of architecture has unexpectedly found itself a hot political topic, with one architect at the center of the controversy: Andrew Tesoro.
Tesoro's involvement in the presidential race began with a video created by Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign. In the video, Tesoro tells a story of how Republican nominee Donald Trump "bullied" him and his architectural firm Tesoro Architects out of "many thousands of dollars" which were owed for their design services. Subsequently, Tesoro received something of a shout-out from Hillary Clinton in Monday's presidential debate as evidence that Trump's business experience does not qualify him to be president.
Given the nature of the campaign video, which was undoubtedly edited to paint Trump in a negative light, many have understandably questioned whether Tesoro's opinions and story were accurately portrayed. This skepticism was then reinforced by a "condensed and edited interview" published by Forbes, which suggested that Tesoro's opinion of Trump was much more forgiving than the one perpetuated by the Clinton campaign. Given the confusion around Tesoro's true opinions, ArchDaily decided to give the architect a chance to present his message unambiguously. What follows are Andrew Tesoro's responses to three simple questions about Donald Trump. These responses have not been edited by ArchDaily staff.