"Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves … We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed." — Farewell to Penn Station, 10/30/1963.
"[The Prudential Center] is a slick developer's model dropped into an urban renewal slot in Anycity, U.S.A.—a textbook example of urban character assassination." — Renewal in Boston: Good and Bad, 4/19/1964.
"The fabled massing of the Wall Street skyscrapers has been given masterful urban definition by the architects’ ordering of these few blocks of new construction. It has been done by concerned, coordinated effort. This is planning. It is the opposite of non-planning, or the normal pattern of New York development. See and savor it now, before it is carelessly disposed of." — Sometimes We Do It Right, 3/21/1968.
"Wright called architecture the "mother of all arts" for its embrace of reality and its power to elevate the human condition." — Frank Lloyd Wright: A Life (Penguin Books, April 2008).
"My first job was in the Department of Architecture and Design, with Philip Johnson as boss and Alfred H. Barr Jr., the museum’s founding director, as mentor; you don’t get any luckier than that. We preached truth, reason, the gospel of art of our time, and the rational beauty of everyday things." — On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change (Walker & Company, October 2010).
"You cannot stand in this space and fail to respond to the strength and beauty of the building and its contents, or not recognize that what Wright started, Mr. Gehry has continued, and that this is what architecture in the hands of genius, to use that cheapened but still essential description of those after whom the world is never the same." — On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change (Walker & Company, October 2010).
"Applying a tough sensibility to a tough assignment revitalized an amorphous status quo. To this native New Yorker who has watched the city evolve over decades and treasures its unrelenting diversity, Mr. Mayne has got it just right." — State of the Cooper Union, Wall Street Journal, 12/9/2012.
"I have never disguised my defense of originals over copies … The "new" Barnes that contains the "old" Barnes shouldn't work, but it does. It should be inauthentic, but it's not. It has changed, but it is unchanged. The architects have succeeded in retaining its identity and integrity without resorting to a slavishly literal reproduction." — The New Barnes Shouldn't Work—But Does, Wall Street Journal, 5/25/2012.
"This is a plan devised out of a profound ignorance of or willful disregard for not only the library's original concept and design, but also the folly of altering its meaning and mission and compromising its historical and architectural integrity. You don't 'update' a masterpiece." — Undertaking Its Destruction, Wall Street Journal, 12/3/2012.