Architecture is a reflection of the ideals that a culture holds in high esteem. No longer a church, no longer the civic or political institution, we now triumphantly exalt the values of financial dominance in our collection of towering sparkled jewels. Through our imposing and soulless buildings, we have made the money makers and literally the building makers our leaders, those that reflect the symbols of our baser desires to conquer one another. How far removed from the soul and soil we have become, dreaming each of dominating the other and mastering the skies. Oh, but how far we will have to fall to find our grounding again some day.
I live in a neighborhood where a statue of Charles Dickens presides over the center of town and references the author’s exaltation of the innocence and virtue of children. Art dominates the town through our victorian-style residences, vibrant bodegas, restaurants, places of worship, music, and people. Our residents hail from a wide array of ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds. This is the architectural ideal I wish to pursue, a neighborhood that draws people together to hash out our differences and promotes familiarity and tolerance. Our architecture should be exalting the community rather than the domineers. We should be expelling the false premise of winners and losers or good and evil peoples and break bread together on the ground floor where we all belong.