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By Francis Lee, Crisis Magazine, Crisis Magazine, February 28, 2020

Francis Lee is a 2017 graduate from the United States Naval Academy. He is currently deployed in Forward-Deployed Naval Forces Japan onboard U.S.S. Antietam (CG 54).

Francis LeeThe White House recently released a draft of a proposed executive order, titled Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again. This unexpected proposal sounded a clarion call to restore “classical and traditional architecture styles” in the future construction of Federal Government buildings in the capital and throughout the nation’s heartland, and discourage the post-1950s Corbusian trends of brutalism and deconstructivism. As expected, the recommendation was met by vehement opposition from the American Institute of Architects, the self-proclaimed leading voice of what constitutes a just and aesthetically sound architecture, and numerous mainstream publications claiming to speak in the sole interest of the American people.

The underlying reason behind this executive order should come with no great surprise to the hardworking middle-class American. Federal buildings which have been built since the 1950s and which continue to be built to the present day—perfectly illustrated by the U.S. Courthouse for the Utah District, which opened in 2014—are utterly grotesque and offensive to the human eye. The malaise one experiences is so severe that a follow-up visit to the emergency room is not out of the question.  ….

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