FROM Philip Kennicott
Museum of the Bible opens in Washington DC The $500 million Museum of the Bible opened today, just off the National Mall. It’s the brainchild of the Green family, the owners of Hobby Lobby, also known for the Supreme Court decision Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. That’s the ruling that gave companies the right to claim a religious objection to providing female employees contraceptive health care coverage.
Watergate Offices; Trump Hotel t The lobby of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in the Watergate Office Building Photo by Frances Anderton Buildings can be architecturally significant, and politically important. What about when they are both? DnA visits the Watergate Office Building, famed for the June 1972 burglary of the DNC offices on its sixth floor. Now it is home to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. We learn about the fascist architect who designed it, the Mad-Men-era architectural styling that is now making a comeback, and its unforgettable role in a scandal that finds echoes right now. The Atrium of the Old Post Office Then we visit the Trump International Hotel in the former Old Post Office. Ethics watchdogs say that the hotel violates the terms of its lease with the General Services Administration, now that Donald J. Trump is president. The GSA begs to differ. What no one disputes is the restored building is still a wonder in decoratively carved stone, tile and woodwork with a soaring atrium that has not been tarnished by the addition of lots of gilt and over-sized chandeliers. Photos by Frances Anderton
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture A hundred years after the idea was first floated, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture will open its doors. The museum houses over 17,000 artifacts, each telling a story about the African-American experience. From the horror of a child's shackles to the drama of its architecture, we hear reactions to the building from a journalist, a critic and two of its architects.
Is D.C. Too Square for Frank Gehry? Back in 2009, Frank Gehry won a competition to design an Eisenhower Memorial to be built near the Mall in Washington, D.C. Initially people liked his central idea: large steel tapestries telling stories about the life of the soldier-president. But then intense backlash followed. Now the architects has cut key elements of the design. But will that be enough to placate his critics?
Can 'A Separation' Help Close the US-Iran Divide? A Separation is nominated for Best Foreign Language Picture and for Best Screenplay, even though it was written in Farsi. The Iranian film is not about politics or war, but about two families working out problems common to people in all parts of the world. When the film won the Golden Globe as best foreign picture, director Asghar Farhadi offered a simple message. Rather than thanking his crew or family, he acknowledged his fellow Iranians , "I think they are a truly peace-loving people." Can a film do anything to change America’s longstanding animus toward its country of origin?
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?