THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD by Susan Goldman Rubin

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Ten Buildings People Loved to Hate
Age Range: 9 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is utterly fascinating to read that so many buildings now considered not only beloved landmarks but also part and parcel of the cultural and historical landscape were reviled, attacked, and genuinely despised when they were first constructed. Who knew that it took over a century for the Washington Monument to be built, and that it was jeered at as a “stalk of asparagus?” Or that the writer Guy de Maupassant ate lunch often at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place in Paris where he didn’t have to see the structure he called “disgraceful.” The Flatiron building and the Guggenheim museum in New York, the exquisite Glass House in Connecticut, King Ludwig’s castle, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the underground Walker Community Library in Minneapolis, and the Golden Arches of McDonald’s are included in this roundup of now-beloved former eyesores. Rubin quotes from contemporary accounts and clearly describes how each building was planned and constructed. Blue-toned photos—like architectural blueprints—are plentiful; occasionally a page is printed in white text on blue, which adds interest, if making it a bit harder to read. Young people looking for material for school reports will find a gold mine here; it's excellent for a study of changing tastes and public opinion, too. If only the painter Jackson Pollock’s name had been spelled correctly. The excellent brief bibliographies include videos, Web sites, and interviews as well as books. (glossary, notes, bibliographies) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: July 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1435-3
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2001




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