COMMON KNOWLEDGE COLUMN
Living in the Cheap
By John Zipperer
Britain’s Prince Charles rendered his greatest service to his nation in 1987 when he complained about the ugliness of postwar London architecture. “Give this much to the Luftwaffe: When it knocked down our buildings, it didn’t replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that. Clausewitz called war the continuation of diplomacy by other means. Around St Paul’s [Cathedral], planning turned out to be the continuation of war by other means.”
Those tough comments by the heir to the British throne were pretty widely denounced by the modernists who rule the architectural criticism world. But give the man credit for bravery; he made his speech about the sins of urban planners to a meeting of the London planning committee.