It's perhaps appropriate that architecture critics were the first to respond to news that Ada Louise Huxtable, the first-ever full-time newspaper architecture critic, had passed away in Manhattan on Monday. After all, it was Huxtable who paved the way for today's critics, and who inspired them until her death at 91. Paul Goldberger, who wrote under her at The New York Times in the '80s, and Michael Kimmelman, the current critic at The New York Times, were the first to share their grief online. "I am heartbroken to learn that Ada Louise is gone. Her brilliant writing for the WSJ in her 90's made us think she would go on forever," Goldberger wrote.
What Huxtable has meant to architectural criticism is evidenced in just one way by how Design Observer's Alexandra Lange structured her recent book Writing About Architecture. In order to instruct the reader on how to write architectural criticism, Lange first took a Huxtable piece and explained what made it subtle and yet brilliant. Other fans of Huxtable range from architects to lay readers who credit the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer with helping them really look at buildings for the first time. ARCHITECT has captured some of the grief over Huxtable's loss as it pours out on social media.