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Old May 13th, 2013, 04:58 PM   #10941
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Originally Posted by vitamin R View Post
Why? That arch was beautiful and the floor to ceiling glass really opened up the the whole space. What once caught the eye is now plain, pedestrian and ugly.
This doesn't make any sense! I thought they were keeping it specifically?

That arch is awesome, why would they remove it? What real architect would get rid of one of the structure's key architectural features?

The building looks so much stouter without the arch and far less welcoming.

Also, this may be my nerdy side peeking out a bit, but has anyone ever noticed how much the Schmidt Associates symbol looks like the triforce from the video game Zelda?
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #10942
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A lot of modernism proper (the Bauhaus movement, for example), was explicitly in direct opposition to the values that underpinned the arts and crafts movement.

If you want to know what architects really think, find out where so many of the most famous architects of the modern style have lived. A large number of them - say Mies van der Rohe - chose to live in extremely traditional buildings.
That's the irony of it. A lot of them designed these structures but would not live in them. They kept the traditional architecture for themselves while using the general public and their clients as guinea pigs for their architectural ideology.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:13 PM   #10943
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Originally Posted by CorrND View Post
According to the Property Lines post when Schmidt's plans were announced:

"The firmís new address will be 415 Massachusetts Ave. and the new entrance will reuse the historic leaded glass entrance archwayóthe only piece of the original storefront remaining on the building."



So I'm thinking this is one of two things:

1. They're doing some sort of restoration on the arch and this is mid-point in the project.

2. They're going to be cited by IHPC. I can only imagine that removing the last remaining piece of the original historic storefront would be an IHPC violation.
Thanks, I hope that is the case. It's hard to see how the arch will refit (some of the lines are off if you line up the seam in the terra cotta), but we'll see.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:50 PM   #10944
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Alright, the new design is clunky but it appears the arch will return.

Schmidt Associate posted this (with the rendering above) on their facebook page Friday:

"Though the plywood is down, construction continues. The finished entrance (rendering below) will harken back to the design of the historic storefront—once home to Boyd Automotive (1900s) and later Bethard Wallpaper (1920s)."
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Old May 13th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #10945
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The simplification of ornamentation that you saw in the bungalow, art deco, etc was not a bridge to modernism (unless you're talking about Miami art deco). Architecture has repeatedly gone through stages of simplification and over ornamentation. One only needs to look at the major simplification of European architecture following the Baroque and Rococo eras. The change in style that one saw after WWII was not natural, it was not built on the successes of the previous eras, it was a deliberate and brutal divorce from anything prior to its existence.

Modernism is not simply an architectural style, it is an ideology.
I am mainly concerned with the design legacy of the Modern architecture era, everything from skyscrapers to MCM schools, offices, stores and homes. Life's everyday buildings were indeed simplified, but they did not lack ornamentation or decoration.

Instead, it was done with different elements; look at the wooden screen just inside the first and second levels of the Public Assembly Room side of the CCB, and the marble wall coverings in the lobby, and the bright stainless wraps on the structural elements. Look at the plaza and columns on the Washington Street side. Even though you might not appreciate them, they are decoration of the space. Somewhat abstract and not terribly ornamental...but decoration nonetheless.

The social changes of the post-WW2 era were widespread, not confined to architecture. I am not a fan or a student of the Miesian school. Plenty of other architects just designed modern buildings...and clients built them... without purporting to make a social statement.


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Frank Lloyd Wright was an extremely egotistical architect who had difficulty seeing things beyond his own perspective. Frank Lloyd Wright's earlier works were beautiful, though hardly IMO breathtaking. He was a prime candidate for the emperor's new clothes ideology of modernist architecture.

I do not find the Guggenheim to be a masterpiece or beautiful. Just because it is famous doesn't make it good. The only slightly beautiful portion of it is the rotunda. IMO, it's a monument to Frank Lloyd Wright's ego.

I like Fallingwater, but not because of its style (the style is disruptive to the natural organic flow of the woodlands and not in a good way) rather because of its location and positioning. There aren't too many buildings built over water falls.
I can see that we will not agree on this, other than on Wright's outsized ego. But "it ain't braggin' if you can deliver". And he delivered.

Fallingwater's stone core rises organically from large rock outcroppings. Its cantilevered balconies and floor-to-ceiling glass allow visitors to be in nature; the cantilevers themselves mimic the rock colors and formations below. Its natural stone floor mimics a streambed (not least through the application of a specific wet-look Johnson wax...Wright was an original cross-promoter of his client/patrons' interests).

It is a building not necessarily meant to be appreciated as much from outside as inside, though it is certainly striking and completely settled in its place.

It may not even be his best house. Several of the "textile block" designs from the 1920's in California are equally deserving of notice.

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A lot of modernism proper (the Bauhaus movement, for example), was explicitly in direct opposition to the values that underpinned the arts and crafts movement.

If you want to know what architects really think, find out where so many of the most famous architects of the modern style have lived. A large number of them - say Mies van der Rohe - chose to live in extremely traditional buildings.
The Arts and Crafts movement may have been the dying gasp of guild craftsmanship, where Modernism more fully embraced modern materials and methods: aluminum/glass window systems with large plate glass; concrete and steel in place of wood and stone. Change in architecture was driven by other social and economic changes; I'd assert it was a reflection of social and economic change, not a driver of it.

Wright lived in a house that he modified greatly in Oak Brook, then at Taliesin and Taliesin West. He lived in what he designed, leaky roofs and all. He was driven around in a wild, modified automobile of his own design. He did design (clever, useful, and artistic) furniture and furnishings for homes. (For instance, the John Christian house in West Lafayette, IN.) That is one of the reasons I specifically cited him.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 09:18 PM   #10946
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But, they also partnered with Michael Graves for the NCAA headquarters at WRSP. That gives me hope for the MSA site..
They were the associate architects. He designed, they did the grunt work. Lose your hope.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 10:12 PM   #10947
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The Arts and Crafts movement may have been the dying gasp of guild craftsmanship, where Modernism more fully embraced modern materials and methods: aluminum/glass window systems with large plate glass; concrete and steel in place of wood and stone. Change in architecture was driven by other social and economic changes; I'd assert it was a reflection of social and economic change, not a driver of it.
Modernism didn't just embrace modern methods, it was an explicitly political statement in many respects. Handcraft was luxury for the aristocracy/bourgeoisie. Modernism was the embrace of mass production for the proletariat. (A new architecture for the new Soviet man, perhaps? Unsurprisingly, it was modernism that gave us the commie block.)

The mindset of the modernist architect was aptly captured by Ayn Rand in the character of Howard Roarke. He was the "people's architect" who claimed to be motivated to the betterment of society but ultimately was all about his own ego, and who didn't care what anyone else thought about his buildings and dismissed his critics as squelchers who didn't represent the actual masses. I suspect the Fountainhead was a dream sequence in which Howard Roarke in real life was the designer of Pruit-Igoe who invents this fantasy that he's actually the one who blew up his own building and not the city of St. Louis.*

In any event, I'm actually a modernism fan in a lot of ways. There are a ton of infill mid-century buildings that are great, MCM houses, Columbus, Indiana, etc. But let's not deny the many manifest shortcomings it exhibits and the profound public antipathy its practitioners have often shown towards anyone doing a traditional style.

And by the way, neoclassical does something no other architectural style can do: it anchors a place in the 2,500 year history of Western Civilization and makes a claim to transcendent values. (Gothic can do the same religious architecture).

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Wright lived in a house that he modified greatly in Oak Brook, then at Taliesin and Taliesin West. He lived in what he designed, leaky roofs and all. He was driven around in a wild, modified automobile of his own design. He did design (clever, useful, and artistic) furniture and furnishings for homes. (For instance, the John Christian house in West Lafayette, IN.) That is one of the reasons I specifically cited him.
I like Wright, but he's sui generis - and lived mostly estranged from other architects of his era.

* Yes, I know Pruit-Igoe was designed by Minoru Yamasaki, who also designed the Twin Towers in New York. That was not intended to be a commentary on 9/11.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 10:16 PM   #10948
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Ok, I admit it. I just wanted to find a clever way to pick on Ayn Rand....
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Old May 13th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #10949
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Instead, it was done with different elements; look at the wooden screen just inside the first and second levels of the Public Assembly Room side of the CCB, and the marble wall coverings in the lobby, and the bright stainless wraps on the structural elements. Look at the plaza and columns on the Washington Street side. Even though you might not appreciate them, they are decoration of the space. Somewhat abstract and not terribly ornamental...but decoration nonetheless.
I've heard this argument before (though for a different structure) and though I can understand the argument, I don't agree. The materials in themselves are lovely things to look at, but they are not decoration that is in anyway in the same category of classical architecture. It is similar to insisting the handle of a milk jug is ornamentation and seems to me, a desperation for beauty where one can find little. When there is no natural ornamentation to feed our senses, our minds start desperately seeking it wherever it can be found, much like starvation.


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The social changes of the post-WW2 era were widespread, not confined to architecture. I am not a fan or a student of the Miesian school. Plenty of other architects just designed modern buildings...and clients built them... without purporting to make a social statement.
Clients built them in effort to seem modern and futuristic. You are talking about an age obsessed with the future, eager to leave behind its bloody past. The emperor's new clothes became the standard.

One should also look at residential architecture at this time which remained very traditional. The majority of people when building their homes built them in traditional fashions. This is of importance IMO because it marks a difference in attitudes about architecture. The common people seemed to maintain their desire for tradition (even if simplified in the form of ranch houses and 1950's colonial revivals) but amongst business leaders, government officials, aristocrats, etc. (groups all prone to the desire to seem modern and cutting edge for both financial and social reasons) modernism was king and he had no room for traditional architecture in his kingdom.


Quote:
I can see that we will not agree on this, other than on Wright's outsized ego. But "it ain't braggin' if you can deliver". And he delivered.
Just as you said, we will not agree on this.
Quote:

Fallingwater's stone core rises organically from large rock outcroppings. Its cantilevered balconies and floor-to-ceiling glass allow visitors to be in nature; the cantilevers themselves mimic the rock colors and formations below. Its natural stone floor mimics a streambed (not least through the application of a specific wet-look Johnson wax...Wright was an original cross-promoter of his client/patrons' interests).
The foundations of rock do follow the flow of the environment, but the massive and blockish balconies obstruct the natural flow. They are shocking to the senses.

A material more subdued that blended in with the material of the trees would have produced a better piece of architecture. But again, Frank Lloyd Wright being a man of arrogance thought his blockish structure superior to the virgin forests themselves. He wanted his structure to stick out like a sore thumb so the viewer had no choice but to look at the structure.

Quote:
The Arts and Crafts movement may have been the dying gasp of guild craftsmanship, where Modernism more fully embraced modern materials and methods: aluminum/glass window systems with large plate glass; concrete and steel in place of wood and stone. Change in architecture was driven by other social and economic changes; I'd assert it was a reflection of social and economic change, not a driver of it.
As has been said, modernist architecture was an overreaction to the trauma of the events that preceded it. The issue is that once modernism was established it was completely intolerant of any other styles. It has a strong tendency to obstruct or directly deface traditional structures. In its more recent history its purpose has been to obstruct and destroy the natural organic flow of things (deconstructivist architecture for example, which is far from good architecture).

Modern architecture places itself under the flag of rebellion but is itself the architecture of "the man", it is the establishment, it is the architecture that cannot co-exist with other styles. The bully and dictator of the architecture world. It is ironic that the aesthetic ideology that mocked the Parisian salon attitude has become in itself the salon (and a more architecturally bigoted one at that).
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Old May 14th, 2013, 12:17 AM   #10950
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I've heard this argument before (though for a different structure) and though I can understand the argument, I don't agree. The materials in themselves are lovely things to look at, but they are not decoration that is in anyway in the same category of classical architecture. It is similar to insisting the handle of a milk jug is ornamentation and seems to me, a desperation for beauty where one can find little. When there is no natural ornamentation to feed our senses, our minds start desperately seeking it [emphasis supplied] wherever it can be found, much like starvation.
You kind of made my point. The natural beauty of crafted wood and stone are among the things I cited in the CCB.



Quote:
Originally Posted by socrates#1fan View Post
Clients built them in effort to seem modern and futuristic. You are talking about an age obsessed with the future, eager to leave behind its bloody past. The emperor's new clothes became the standard.

One should also look at residential architecture at this time which remained very traditional. The majority of people when building their homes built them in traditional fashions. This is of importance IMO because it marks a difference in attitudes about architecture. The common people seemed to maintain their desire for tradition (even if simplified in the form of ranch houses and 1950's colonial revivals) but amongst business leaders, government officials, aristocrats, etc. (groups all prone to the desire to seem modern and cutting edge for both financial and social reasons) modernism was king and he had no room for traditional architecture in his kingdom.
Nobody commits a substantial fortune to something ugly, or something s/he doesn't like.

I lived in a MCM house in SoCal...which was full of them. Most of "average" postwar LA and its environs were MCM houses when I lived there in the 70's, though certain enclaves stiil required Mission style. I take it as the standard because LA was really the first great US postwar city.

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Originally Posted by socrates#1fan View Post
Just as you said, we will not agree on this.

The foundations of rock do follow the flow of the environment, but the massive and blockish balconies obstruct the natural flow. They are shocking to the senses.

A material more subdued that blended in with the material of the trees would have produced a better piece of architecture. But again, Frank Lloyd Wright being a man of arrogance thought his blockish structure superior to the virgin forests themselves. He wanted his structure to stick out like a sore thumb so the viewer had no choice but to look at the structure.
How do you miss the rock outcrops that form the waterfall and knobs on the hillside? They are every bit as "organic" and "natural" as the trees. He built on what he found, in a manner to mimic what was there with a man-made structure.

After all, NO architect has yet designed an invisible or camoflaged house.


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As has been said, modernist architecture was an overreaction to the trauma of the events that preceded it. The issue is that once modernism was established it was completely intolerant of any other styles. It has a strong tendency to obstruct or directly deface traditional structures. In its more recent history its purpose has been to obstruct and destroy the natural organic flow of things (deconstructivist architecture for example, which is far from good architecture).

Modern architecture places itself under the flag of rebellion but is itself the architecture of "the man", it is the establishment, it is the architecture that cannot co-exist with other styles. The bully and dictator of the architecture world. It is ironic that the aesthetic ideology that mocked the Parisian salon attitude has become in itself the salon (and a more architecturally bigoted one at that).
I draw a major distinction between the theory and social commentary of (a small subset of social) architects, and their actual work. I really don't care what they thought or wrote about their dream society; I care about the buildings they left for us to enjoy (or not). They didn't build their buildings out of ideas and words, they built them out of steel, concrete, aluminum, glass, stucco and stone, to a drawn plan that was the product of their artistic imagination.

I cited Wright...whether or not he functioned in isolation of the Miesian environment, whether or not he was an egotist, he was a modern architect and a bridge to traditional styles.

Eero Saarinen designed beautiful and striking modern buildings; two of his three best (Miller House and North Christian) are a mile or so apart in Indiana. I neither know nor care what Saarinen thought his architecture should be or do: I can look at it for myself, walk in it, and decide what I think of it.

J Irwin Miller was not trying to shock, control, or prescribe a manner of living. I think his life work is clear: he was dedicated to furnishing Columbus, Indiana with modern beauty. And he succeeded.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #10951
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You kind of made my point. The natural beauty of crafted wood and stone are among the things I cited in the CCB.


Not really. I'm pointing out that such a standard for beauty is aesthetic starvation. The equivalent of eating grass and worms in a time of famine. It is hardly a compliment to the style.

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Nobody commits a substantial fortune to something ugly, or something s/he doesn't like.
Really?
Rich people do it all the time as a means of gaining social status. Spending vast sums of money to purchase "cutting edge" art and building "cutting edge" homes.
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I lived in a MCM house in SoCal...which was full of them. Most of "average" postwar LA and its environs were MCM houses when I lived there in the 70's, though certain enclaves stiil required Mission style. I take it as the standard because LA was really the first great US postwar city.
Interesting. I've always found that mid-century houses tend to be more traditional, though I suppose there are always exceptions to the rule.
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How do you miss the rock outcrops that form the waterfall and knobs on the hillside? They are every bit as "organic" and "natural" as the trees. He built on what he found, in a manner to mimic what was there with a man-made structure.
He did not build it to mimic the environment nearly as much as people claim. Looking at the structure one can clearly see how dramatically it clashes with the environment. He built it to be seen, to take away attention from the natural beauty around. I've already stated why this is, and I hate to be repetitive.
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After all, NO architect has yet designed an invisible or camoflaged house.
No, but many of them have created homes that flow and work with the environments they were in. Frank Lloyd Wright couldn't even do that. Just because someone claims that something blends into the environment doesn't make it so.
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I draw a major distinction between the theory and social commentary of (a small subset of social) architects, and their actual work. I really don't care what they thought or wrote about their dream society; I care about the buildings they left for us to enjoy (or not). They didn't build their buildings out of ideas and words, they built them out of steel, concrete, aluminum, glass, stucco and stone, to a drawn plan that was the product of their artistic imagination.
Everything is connected. You cannot separate architecture and social commentary anymore than you can separate architecture and the human spirit. They come in one package.
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I can look at it for myself, walk in it, and decide what I think of it.
As can I, which is why I find modern architecture to be nonsense. I do not judge a structure by the name attached to it but by the structure itself.
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J Irwin Miller was not trying to shock, control, or prescribe a manner of living. I think his life work is clear: he was dedicated to furnishing Columbus, Indiana with modern beauty. And he succeeded.
Succeeded in creating a mecca of modern architecture? Certainly (I'm not one to condemn the tourist dollars it brings into this state's coffers). A beauty? No. Though Columbus is beautiful (its courthouse is unique and beautiful), IMO its beauty is not in anyway thanks to the modernist architecture built within her boundaries.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #10952
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My eyes are glazing over.....
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Old May 14th, 2013, 02:45 PM   #10953
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Holy thread takeover!
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #10954
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #10955
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My eyes are glazing over.....
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Holy thread takeover!
Got anything better?

No one took the bait when I posted this:

Was on Mass Ave late afternoon/early evening Saturday. We had front-row seats at Bru, then walked up to College and back. It was the tail end of the Cultural Trail grand opening celebration. Ragtag marching bands, costumed oddities, the Pedal Bar, pre-prom diners, street (Fringe) theater in front of Metro, bazillions of cyclists, a few pre-Pacers enthusiasts, a young woman striking a provocative pose on the brick head sculpture. It was a cool urban experience. It underscores the need to PROGRAM our corridors.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #10956
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Can I hold out hope that they partner with Michael Graves again for MSA? Pretty please?
Yes!

And I should temper my disdain and say I wish them well and hope they can produce better work moving forward. It seems that we're stuck with them. Maybe they'll get rich and hire some design stars fresh out of college.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #10957
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I said the same thing to a friend.

The power of programmed spaces.
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #10958
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That sad little building under the highway on College south of 16th street is moving forward towards rebirth. I think it's been empty and graffiti covered my entire life.

Picture doesn't show up
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Old May 14th, 2013, 03:59 PM   #10959
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.. delete
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Old May 14th, 2013, 04:01 PM   #10960
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Can I hold out hope that they partner with Michael Graves again for MSA? Pretty please?
I wonder if he would actually participate in something like if he were to be asked? I wonder what his attitude towards Indy is nowadays? I don't particularly care for most of his work, but it would be nice to give him more due here in a prominent location. I respect his legacy enough for that.
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