Letter: Protect our federal buildings

Published: 2/13/2020 12:01:25 AM

I urge Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Chris Pappas to join the American Institute of Architects in public opposition to abhorrent revisions to the GSA’s Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture. We need to strengthen protections for government buildings under the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (AWCPA).

As a civil engineering student I know that architecture is a solution to a problem. Architecture is designed with intention and reflection for the environment and surrounding communities, and with awareness of place in time.

The guiding principles are currently that major emphasis should be placed on the choice of designs that embody the finest contemporary American architectural thought; development of an official style must be avoided; design must flow from the architectural profession to the government and not vice versa.

Silencing and devaluing the collective architectural profession through an executive order is wrong.

Conflict of interest exists: David Insinga, GSA’s chief architect, resigned last week. Trump’s first appointment (November 2016) was a member of the National Civic Art Society, which is devoted to furthering Trump’s personal aesthetic. Trump has re-branded a federal building into a luxury hotel. The Trump family has profited from diplomats at Trump hotels and has abused powers of office for personal financial gain.

I urge Hassan, Shaheen and Pappas to voice public opposition and strengthen protections for federal buildings under the AWCPA.



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