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June 7, 2011

NO MORE NICOLAI: CRITIC LEAVING NY TIMES

A|N Blog
by Julie V. Iovine

According to an in-house memo, New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff is “moving on” at the end of this month.

The sweet but short memo about the critic—who this year submitted his own Pulitzer nomination package—was sent around this morning from culture editor Jonathan Landman. Ouroussoff’s plan, the memo said, is:

to write a book about the architectural and cultural history of the last 100 years, “from Adolf Loos’s Vienna and the utopian social experiments of post-revolutionary Russia to postwar Los Angeles and the closing years of the 20th century,” as Nicolai describes it.
...

The question is will the readers [miss him], too? The sporadic critic was known more for chasing down exotic locations and predictably championing all things Californian than analyzing local conditions and his even-handed voice sometimes had us all missing the impassioned harangues of his predecessor, Herbert Muschamp.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Architecture critic Ouroussoff leaving New York Times to write book about architecture, aiming for "social and political context"

According to the Architect's Newspaper, citing an in-house New York Times memo, Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff will leave at the end of this month to write a book that, in the words of his boss, "aspires to put a century of architecture into the kind of social and political context he always aimed for within the more limited constraints of newspaper writing."
...

I posted a comment, noting that both Ouroussoff and Muschamp, alas, did a terrible job writing about Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn. (In other words, he missed a lot of social and political context.)

Given that the project is being developed by a firm that partnered with the New York Times Company on the Times Tower, you’d think Times critics might be careful in covering the Brooklyn project exactingly. That was not to be.

Posted by eric at June 7, 2011 1:15 PM