Good morning, architects. The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Washington Wizards 98 to 88 in the team's pre-season opener at its new home, the Associated Press reports. And it sounds like Nets coach Avery Johnson didn't spare on the razzle-dazzle, sending Nets star point guard Deron Williams back onto the floor late in the fourth for some garbage minutes during the exhibition game, as a give-away to fans. Washington's a perfect team for the Nets to beat up on, as the Wizards have yet to coalesce around—what's that? Ah, right, architecture: The Nets played its first game in the SHoP Architects–designed Barclays Center. While Jay-Z previously played eight nights' worth of concerts to break in the arena, it's a venue meant for basketball, as The Wall Street Journal's Scott Cacciola reports. It remains to be seen whether the work of SHoP, AECOM, and Goldstick Lighting Design can turn around a Nets team that struggled so badly at its home in Newark, N.J., to the point that they actually performed better on the road. Reportedly, Williams likes the new arena, which means that client-number-one is satisfied.
AFTER THE FALL. For Big Red & Shiny, Brian Sirman pens a thoughtful essay about reviled architecture. The subject, of course, is Brutalism, today's architectural bête noire. Sirman writes that Brutalism is far from the first style to be so hated, and notes the many circumstances in which people miss the architecture that their forebears decided to replace. McKim, Mead, and White's original Penn Station for New York always leads the list of such regrets. That specific regret is an illustrative one. New Yorkers greatly miss the Beaux Arts station that they so callously discarded in the 1950s, but they further revile what was built to replace Penn Station. That concern is not raised nearly enough in the debates about Brutalism: What is supposed to replace these supposedly wretched Brutalist buildings? In many cases, the fate of Brutalist works is discussed without any mention of the recession that has wracked the country and its building projects and what effect it might have on the projects to be erected after the wrecking ball does its work. One notable counter-example is the Orange County Government Center in Goshen, N.Y., for which officials hoping to tear down the Paul Rudolph design have, in fact, submitted a proposal for a building to replace it. See it for yourself.
JUST BRUTAL. Speaking of Brutalism, Alderman Brendan Reilly has spoken. The Chicago Tribune's Melissa Harris reports that the Chicago representative has at long last weighed in on the debate over the Bertrand Goldberg–designed Prentice Women's Hospital. Alderman Reilly, who represents the district where the hospital stands, has stayed mum in the debate. Preservationists and architecture fans hoping to see the building saved will wish he stayed silent: More in sadness than in anger, he agreed with Northwestern University that the building must come down. "My inclination, unfortunately, would be to allow the university to proceed with its plans," the alderman said, adding, "I remain open to suggestions. And believe me, if there's a Eureka moment, I'm all ears. The last thing I want to do is take down important architecture in the central business district."
EISENHOWER DOG PARK OPENS WITHOUT INCIDENT. President Dwight D. Eisenhower will not go unremembered: The Eisenhower Dog Park in East Meadow, N.Y., is now open. The same cannot be said for the Eisenhower Memorial, a project whose budget was pigeonholed in June. Despite the official stall order, The Boston Globe has weighed in on the aesthetic merits of the memorial, as if that were still the pressing concern. Robert Campbell says that the design is too literal, objecting to the concessions made by Frank Gehry, FAIA, and the Eisenhower Memorial Commission in the wake of objections from President Eisenhower's family and congressional scrutiny. The Eisenhower Memorial can't win for losing. The aesthetics of the site are no longer the going concern: It's now a test of wills between the Eisenhower Memorial Commission and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), whose move to cut off funding for the memorial would seem to be the final word on the matter.
...AND REMAINDERS. Atlanta Beltline leg opens... Endeavor's trek shows off Los Angeles streets... Le Corb shwag... Next-gen robot 3-D printers... Pittsburgh Glass Center takes on architecture... New York's Architecture and Design Film Festival is upon us.