When the Smithsonian exhibit “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: Paradox of Liberty” opened this past January it was greeted with a great deal of praise. A review in The New York Times called the exhibit “subtle and illuminating.” The Washington Post described it as “groundbreaking.” The hype surrounding the exhibit was understandable. This opening marked the first time that a museum on the National Mall has prominently acknowledged the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned 600 people in his lifetime.
The exhibit will be open through October, and on a recent weekend visit, it presented a picturesque scene of civic engagement, the horseshoe-shaped hall crowded with visitors, most [...]
Despite decades of prolific building, 73-year-old Israeli architect Moshe Safdie is still best known for his first project: Habitat 67, the avant-garde housing units constructed for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal. The building’s 354 stacked concrete cubes never revolutionized housing as many thought they would, but Safdie’s groundbreaking vision probed how to maintain pleasant aspects of suburban living, like personal gardens and multi-view windows, in a high-density urban environment. Over 7 million people visited Habitat 67 during the Exposition, which was remarkable since it was a residential project, not an extravagant “White City” like the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago.
Nearly half a century after [...]