Many have claimed that this will hamper the creativity of architects.
The Trump administration plans to mandate beauty standards on federal buildings commissioned for over $50 million by the General Services Administration, a move intended to curb the influence of modern design and to promote the architecture style that birthed the nation’s most iconic government buildings, including the Supreme Court and the White House.
According to The New York Times, the plan has been initiated by the National Civic Art Society, a non-profit organization that seeks to advance the Greco-Roman style that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson chose in order to purposefully connect the nation’s capital “to the ideals of republican Rome and democratic Athens.”
“For too long architectural elites and bureaucrats have derided the idea of beauty, blatantly ignored public opinions on style, and have quietly spent taxpayer money constructing ugly, expensive, and inefficient buildings,” Marion Smith, the chairman of National Civic Art Society, wrote in a group text message, reports the Times. “This executive order gives voice to the 99 percent — the ordinary American people who do not like what our government has been building.”
According to a draft of the proposal reviewed by the Times, proposed structures could receive an exemption from the architectural standards if the designs were to receive special approval from a committee and a green-light from the president.