Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Room of My Own

Architects design the buildings, clients pay for them, developers get them built, but the rest of us have to live with them.
My name is Inga Saffron and I’m the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. During the half dozen years that I’ve been writing about buildings, I’ve always tried to look at architecture and planning with a civilian’s eye. If an artist exhibits a bad painting in a museum, no one forces you to go see it. But when designers and developers put up a building in a prominent spot in your city, all of us have to live with it.
I’m not an architect. I’m a critic and newspaper reporter. Architect and architecture critic are two different professions. Architects may be loath to admit it, but we couldn’t exist without one another.
My architecture column, Changing Skyline, appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer nearly every Friday. But that leaves six other days of the week to think about how we shape our buildings - and in Winston Churchill’s words - how they shape us. Fortunately there is the blogosphere. Welcome to my little part of it, a room of my own that I’m calling Skyline Online. I hope you’ll stop by and chat from time to time. After all, everyone’s a critic.


Blogger johnny said...

great to see your blog, congratulations. there is certainly a lot to talk about in philadelphia, and once a week is not enough. It was great to see the comments on new orleans, where I lived for many years. my biggest fear is that the high ground areas that everyone identifies new orleans with-french quarter, the marigny, garden district and uptown-will be restored and preserved, but the areas really damaged-the lower 9th ward and the other areas around the industrial canal, will be gutted. they have incredibe architectural treasures, like all the city, but the housing values are low and they are off the radar, just like the people who were left there. I hope the preservation efforts will not stop where the tourists rarely tred, and where the real heart of the city, the communities that until recently rarely if ever left their neighborhoods, live.
blog on!
john mcinerney

6:05 PM  
Blogger Inga Saffron said...

Hey, thanks for the warm welcome. I just experimenting with this blog right now, but I hoping it will help me track more issues that don't make it into the paper. Come back in a few days to check out what's new.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Sully said...

Congratulations on the new blog. I'm a fan of your column in the Inqy and now I can look forward to reading you more than once a week. I currently live in Baltimore, a city whose architecture displays a similar character to Philadelphia while suffering from the same contemporary problems. I hope that you might comment sometime in the future on the controversy regarding the lifting of height restrictions for new development in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

Looking forward to reading the new blog!

9:45 AM  
Blogger vincedean said...

I am a loyal reader of your column. I want to thank you for championing our wonderful city! Philadelphia is an exeptional example of design exellence. William Penn set the standard high,it should not be degraded with inferior architecture and surface,or substandard design deck parking lots! We deserve better. Keep-up the good work!

8:24 PM  
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