A Declaration of Independence From Robert Stern Architecture

robert am stern rendering museum of the american revolution

Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin, who recently published an Inquirer piece about Robert A.M. Stern’s unappealing design for the Museum of the American Revolution (rendering above), has gone a step further in his opposition: He’s written a Declaration of Architectural Independence that serves as the basis for a petition on Change.org.

Those who sign the petition, which is directed to the City of Philadelphia Art Commission, “demand that the Commission use its full Power and Prestige to rectify this abominable design and replace it with one that will, in body and in spirit, embrace the City and the Revolution it purports to celebrate.”

The Declaration in full, below.

declaration of architectural independence

Via Hidden City.

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident [Hidden City]

A Declaration of Architectural Independence: No Reactionary Design for a Revolution Museum! [change.org]

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  • gioliberti

    I would have to agree with a number of the things being said about this design (bland, unrepresentative of the museum’s theme and directive, overly simplified derivative styling, etc.), but people should also be glad that we are not looking at a Frank Ghery or Daniel Liebeskind nightmare in this part of Philadelphia (not that their work could be ok elsewhere in the city). Historical contextualism is very difficult to do and do well in this day and age. Mr. Stern has, agreeably, done a much better job of this with other projects of his in the past – one has to also consider how much of the present design has to do with the client(s) and board(s) that approved this design and the ways in which they pushed the direction of the design process.