Karrie Jacobs, “The City Beautiful All Over Again”
The City Beautiful movement and disciples of the Ecole des Beaux Arts seeded our cities with examples of monumental splendor. Now, after a century-long hiatus, American cities are embracing beauty again though not through a monolithic, top-down strategy. Rather, cities are being made more beautiful incrementally, in exactly the unmethodical way that earlier generations would have decried as inharmonious. A language of urban beauty that is distinctively American has begun to emerge.
Karrie Jacobs has written one-and-a-half books: The Perfect $100,000 House: A Trip Across America and Back in Pursuit of a Place to Call Home, published by Viking in 2006 and Angry Graphics, written with Steven Heller, published by Gibbs Smith in 1992. She’s a contributing editor at Metropolis magazine where she writes a monthly column, “America,” about how ideas and strategies in architecture and design play out on the landscape. She’s also a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She was the founding editor-in-chief of Dwell. Prior to launching Dwell in fall of 2000, she was the architecture critic of New York Magazine, and in the early 1990s, was the founding executive editor of Benetton’s Colors Magazine.