Trump’s government is considering plans to streamline the design of government buildings with a draft executive order called “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.”
According to The New York Times, the order would “establish classical style architecture, inspired by Greek and Roman architecture” for federal buildings throughout the country, “discouraging modern design.”
The mandate would apply to all federal courthouses and office buildings, as well as all federal buildings contracted through the General Service Administration that cost more than $50 million. While styles other than classical can be proposed, the order sets a high standard for approval. A presidential “re-beautification” committee would have to review the designs, and the White House would still make the final decision.
The move has been swiftly condemned by the American Institute for Architects (AIA), which has launched a petition and open letter against the ‘top-down directive on architectural style’.
It said: ’The AIA strongly and unequivocally opposes this change in policy to promote any one style of architecture over another for federal buildings across the country.’
The draft order’s title, Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again, references Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, ‘Make America Great Again’ and signals a move away from the decidedly unclassical style of his own buildings, such as the 58-storey Trump Tower in Manhattan.
News of the draft executive order was first published by the Architectural Record.