News & Politics

Make America Ugly Again: Biden Axes Trump's 'Beautiful' Federal Architecture Order

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

How much more proof do you need that Joe Biden is simply reversing anything Trump did because “Orange Man Bad”?

In December, Trump signed an executive order called “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture.” The order itself didn’t attempt to enforce or ban a particular style, but expressed a preference for classical architecture over the Brutalist style of architecture, which was popular in the 1950s through the 1970s, and was widely implemented in the 1960s when the federal government’s growth required more office space. Brutalism was seen as modern, stylish, and even futuristic at the time. It was also cheap to build because it was mostly concrete. Hence why you’ll also find such buildings on college campuses throughout the country.

It’s really, really, really ugly. Few would argue that brutalism has stood the test of time the way classical Greco-Roman architecture has. As someone who studied architecture in college, I can tell you that Brutalist architecture, while historically significant, is not studied because of its beauty, but for its failure to create inviting spaces. One classic example of how terrible the Brutalist movement is can be seen in Boston’s City Hall Plaza, which has been deemed one of the worst public spaces in the country, and City Hall itself one of the ugliest in the world.

Yett anti-Trumpism apparently takes precedence over architectural beauty, as Joe Biden axed Trump’s executive order earlier this week.

There seems to no other justification for this move. Brutalism is now widely panned, even in architectural circles, whether they’d like to admit it or not.

When Trump signed the order, the American Institute of Architects wasn’t thrilled. “Though we are appalled with the administration’s decision to move forward with the design mandate, we are happy the order isn’t as far-reaching as previously thought,” AIA CEO Robert Ivy said at the time. Whether or not the AIA was motivated by architectural excellence or its political agenda is up for interpretation. In recent years, the organization has been wearing its politics on its sleeve with its selection of keynote speakers at their annual national convention, such as Colin Powell (2013), Bill Clinton (2015), and Michelle Obama (2017).

While many of Biden’s moves to reverse Trump-era actions make sense solely on ideological differences, the desire for more beautiful federal architecture ought to be something that should transcend partisan politics.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, GabFacebookMeWeHeroesRumble, and CloutHub.