Ada Louise Huxtable


1921 - 2013

The ‘grand dame of architecture criticism,’ Huxtable was perhaps the best example of this category of critics that is so scarce in Europe, but that are prominent figures in the US: that of intellectuals that, in the wake of Lewis Mumford, have brought architecture closer to the general public, believers as they are in the civic responsibility of the discipline. A New Yorker born in an accommodated and learned family, Huxtable began writing in collage journales, but soon began writing columns for local newspapers. In 1958 she reached a larger audience with a forceful article condemning the abuses of development imposed from above, and how this threatened the American tradition of openly discussing urban issues. Texts like this one made her the first full-time architecture critic at The New York Times, a position created for her. From this vantage point, Huxtable analyzed American architecture over the course of fifty years, with incisive and passionate articles for which she merited several of the most prestigious architectural awards, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1970.

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