Originally built as a tourist attraction for the 1962 World's Fair, the Needle's design was inspired by an abstract sculpture of a dancer. As the city celebrates the structure's golden anniversary, the Jetsons-era tower is getting a fresh coat of paint to return to its original glow. "You still kind of believe in that future," says one fan.
The Howard Theatre in Washington, DC was once teeming with top entertainers and fans, but after it closed, debris piled up, and animals took shelter in the seats. Michael Marshall and Paola Moya were later tasked with redesigning the interior. They adorned walls in walnut panels and flanked the stage with hi-definition screens. They talk with host Michel Martin.
For the first time, the Pritzker Prize has been awarded to an architect based in China. Wang Shu, 49, is interested in preservation, working slowly and tradition — ideals that are often at odds with today's booming China.
Athenaeums are social libraries, cornerstones of a community where you don't just borrow books — you can visit cherished antiquities, hold talks, attend parties and even bring your dog. In Providence, R.I., the "Ath" is a 19th-century library with the soul of a 21st-century rave party.
The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial isn't the only monument in Washington, D.C., that's grappled with how to make a correction. At the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, more than 100 names have been misspelled. So far, 62 have been re-engraved.
The way Americans learn about African American history is largely shaped by architect Philip Freelon. He's designed most of the country's major African American history and culture museums — from the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC, to the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. And Wednesday there was a groundbreaking ceremony on the National Mall for his highest profile project to date — the new Smithsonian devoted to African American history and culture. Freelon stopped by after the ceremony to talk with Melissa Block about the museum and his design philosophy.
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