Carroll William Westfall
Since 1966 until his retirement in 2015, Carroll William Westfall taught the history of architecture, most recently at the University of Notre Dame, which he joined in 1998. The author of three books and numerous articles concerning traditional and classical architecture and urbanism from antiquity to the present, he has a special interest in making knowledge of the history of architecture useful to architects and builders.
Architectural History, the Common Good, and the Beautiful
The current history of architecture undermines architecture’s essential role in serving the common good and offering beauty. Here I will discuss this history’s deficiencies, and in my next opinion piece I will offer an alternative to it.
Progressivism and Progress
Ninety years ago European Modernism was introduced to America by a landmark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. It challenged traditional architecture and soon replaced it with Modernism, an architecture that betrays architecture’s responsibility to contribute to the common good.
Buildings in our Form and Figure
Individuals flourish when they contribute to the civil order that seeks a common good, and traditional and classical architecture is necessary to make an urbanism that serves such a civil order. It is, however, being undermined by an architectural profession that has no interest in the common good or its counterpart, the beautiful.
Traditional Architecture and Architecture's Historians
Traditional architecture uses imitation and invention to provide beauty as a complement to the general, public welfare, but the current history of architecture undermines that service.
Beauty, Traditional Architecture, and Unity
President Trump set out an Executive Order that calls for a Commission to suggest guidelines for restoring the beauty of traditional classicism in new federal buildings. A nonpartisan issue, President Biden should execute it immediately.
Traditional Classical Architecture is the Right Architecture for America
Opinion On Executive Order for the Classical Style in Federal Buildings
Tradition in the Vernacular and the Classical
Tradition has always guided both vernacular and classical buildings, but now, with architects avoiding drawing on tradition, the present-day vernacular of the builders no longer benefits from innovations within the classical and architects ignore the vernacular’s innovations, with both suffering.