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Miesian Corners

Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America

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I went to a meeting tonight for the Charlotte chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture. They are trying to bring back REAL classical architecture to the United States, instead of the crap people think is classical architecture (Morrison Public Library). Although a self-avowed modernist, I will admit that I like and appreciate real classical architecture, but none has been built here since 1930. The guy who designed the new art building at CPCC spoke on the genre in uptown Charlotte. Actually, as much as I hate to admit this, it was pretty informative. He showed close ups of the old Meckenburg County Courthouse, Charlotte City Hall and the Federal Court House. All have incredible detail and have nearly perfect proportions. The Ancient Greeks would be very pleased.

I had to disagree with a good bit of what he said about other structures in town. He hates anything kinetic, ie, anything with movement. The jumbotrons at the Arena drive him crazy, as do the scrims that cover the Trade Center and Gateway Village parking garages (..."buildings shouldn't move", he said). He could see no merit in any modern buildings, period. He did agree that most of the stuff we see as "classical" today has nothing in common with what the Greeks would have built in 400 B.C. He even went as far as agreeing that the new Applied Research Building at UNCC is horrific (scale is wrong, materials cheap, no attention to detail, etc.).

If you're interested in this group, you can visit their website (yes, they are happy to go on for days as to the joys of the Ancient World, yet embrace the modern age with technology...hmmmm...) at www.classicist.org

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The closest thing that I have seen to classical architecture that is new are the courthouse and police station in Cornelius. However I am not enough of an artichitectureal student to know if they would actually qualify or not. They do resemble something from the 20s & 30s, but probably due to cost, lack a lot of the detail of buildings from the time.

The library in Cornelius also has come classical elements.

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