6th Response of Jane Jacobs and Reynolds

The field of architecture is well known as complicated, multi-faceted and ranged sphere that involves numerous aspects inside the entire concept. The NYC architecture is rather strong example to confirm this fact. “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs and “The Architecture of New York City” by D. Reynolds attracts readers attention with some interesting facts about NYC.

For example, D. Reynolds tells about The Old Merchants House, as the monument of Federal style of 1785-1815. He noticed that this building became the symbol of Federal trends combined to style of Victorian era. Being particular sample of design approach, The Old Merchants House can be perceived as the part of architectural diversity, which is inherent for New York City. The building designed in Federal style successfully contributes amazing range of other styles in NYC architecture, which are presented by some certain architectural monuments. However, there is the talk about some separate monuments and buildings, instead of the entire concept of architectural diversity.

Announced problem is discussed in “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs. The author is rather persuasive with the main idea that refused diversity of city-planning is unreasonable approach without any significant benefits. This point is well explained in 12th (Some myths about diversity) and 13th (The Self destruction of diversity) chapters. According to the writer “The need for small blocks” to obtain the cross-use for neighborhood citizens is one of the most significant premises to diversity refusal. In addition, “The need for concentration” is also trend determinative item. Mostly, noticed needs are dictated by economic interest of business. Thereby, we witness NYC architecture, which is directed to profit and practical values. It is interesting, that such style is totally opposing to the general architecture of Middle Ages, which according to Keith D. Lilley was intended to bring the symbolic idea of cosmos relation. Thus, the functional approach to architecture in NYC, seems to be the map of architecture’s transformation during long years.

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