With just under a month to go in the White House, US President Donald Trump has decided with a presidential decree that the federal government can only build “beautiful” buildings. Trump prefers the neoclassical architectural style.
The final version of the decree is a milder version of the draft version, which would prohibit structures in an architectural style other than the Greco-Roman one. That style features the White House, the Capitol and the Lincoln Monument in Washington, among others. Some architects reacted angrily to the draft version of Trump’s decree.
Rather than a ban, Trump’s decree orders that classical and “other traditional” styles should be “encouraged rather than discouraged.” Trump is referring to federal government buildings that have been built since the 1960s.
The American capital Washington, according to Trump, is characterized by an “inharmonic mix”. The federal government has “largely stopped building beautiful buildings”, according to the president.
The American Institute of Architects is not happy with the presidential decree, stating that it is “unequivocally against” the initiative.
“Communities should have the right and responsibility to determine which architectural design best meets their needs,” said the institute’s chief executive. “While we are shocked by the government’s decision to proceed with the draft bill, we are pleased that the decree does not go as far as previously thought.”
Trump, a New York real estate entrepreneur and developer, is primarily associated with modern glass, steel and concrete buildings with gilded interiors.