On Ruining Paris, by Claire Berlinski

April 6, 2016

Let’s start figuring out how to do this kind of journalism. This is an experimental month: I want to figure out how to do a new kind of reporting that involves you, the investor and the reader. I figured the piece I’ve promised to City Journal about Paris’s architectural vandals would be a good place to start. Here are my questions:

Tour Montparnasse

The Montparnasse tower is a highrise of such menacing ugliness that it’s become a landmark. Tourists are fascinated by its bleak destructive power. Copyright Claire Berlinski


From the Gallo-Roman era to the recent past, almost everything Parisians built was beautiful, in many cases more beautiful than anything else in the world; and at least, not aggressively ugly. After the Second World War, Parisians lost this ability — entirely. What has been built since then is at best tolerable, and at worst, among the ugliest architecture in the world.



Do you see “sensuality and poetry” in this?




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The author :

Claire Berlinski is journalist, academic, consultant and writer.