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Famed Architecture Critic Ada Louise Huxtable Dies at 91

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The woman who turned her love and appreciation of the built environment into a pioneering career as an architecture critic has died.  Ada Louise Huxtable was 91.  Her attorney, Robert Shapiro, says Huxtable died Monday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

Huxtable began working at The New York Times in 1963 and went on to receive the first Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 1970.  Most recently she wrote for the Wall Street Journal, including a piece about the New York Public Library.

She was partly remembered for calling the Gallery of Modern Art a "Venetian palazzo on lollipops" and the World Trade Center "the ultimate Disneyland fairy tale blockbuster."

But New York Magazine architecture critic Justin Davidson says there was heft behind the insults.

“Nothing just came out of the blue. She really built it up almost legalistically, trying to understand how a building worked. So behind all these zingers and turns of phrase, was a real kind of methodical way of looking at architecture,” Davidson said.

He spoke Monday to WNYC’s Soterios Johnson about Huxtable’s career and legacy.

With the Associated Press.

 

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