It begins . . .
Huxtable slammed the Library's “deplorable” communications, and called on Foster and the Library to end months of keeping the public in the dark and release the renderings of the Foster's design. Within two weeks, they did. As she anticipated, Foster's work is “functional and handsome”, but falls far short of being a valid modernist counterpoint to Carrère and Hastings' masterful original 1911 design. Foster's depiction of the new Great Room that is to replace the Library's legendary stacks has widely been described as possessing all the charm of a swollen Barnes and Noble.
Ada Louise Huxtable championed the best in modern architecture and made the guilty sweat. She was one who gave the vanity museum Edward Durrell Stone designed by Huntington Hartford at Columbus Circle a nickname - “the lollipop building” - that would cling to it like a derisive albatross down through the decades. When the big-box high-culture superstore that is the Kennedy Center opened in Washington in 1971, Huxtable caught its stolid mediocrity on knifepoint. “Albert Speer,” she wrote, “would have approved”
In our age of hyperbole, the word "great" flows like ketchup on the great, unwashed mass of the barely “ok”. Ada Louise Huxtable was far beyond "ok". She was the best.
Read a 2008 interview with the New York Times' Phillip Lopate here.