California State University, Northridge WordmarkOviatt Library WordmarkOviatt Library Catalog Wordmark
Author Blake, Peter, 1920-2006.
Title No place like Utopia : modern architecture and the company we kept / Peter Blake.
Published New York : Knopf, 1993.
Book Cover

 Floor3  NA737.B55 A2 1993    IN LIBRARY
Edition 1st American ed.
Description xvi, 347 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Note Includes index.
Summary For more than half a century, Peter Blake has lived in the mainstream of contemporary architecture and art. As writer, magazine editor, critic, and practicing architect, he has numbered among his friends and acquaintances (and occasionally enemies) virtually all of the major figures of modern architecture, and a good many famous artists as well. In this crisp and lively memoir, he brings them - and the time he shared with them - vividly and memorably to life. The anecdotes are memorable. Here is Frank Lloyd Wright (regarded by Blake as a perfect example of "the Artist as Ham," though he greatly admired his buildings) exploding at the discovery of young Blake's savage review of his Autobiography ... Bertrand Russell trying to escape visitors by hiding up a tree in Pennsylvania, as he calmly puffs away on his pipe ... Buckminster Fuller tap-dancing on a drafting table to demonstrate the metrical affinity between bebop and a new mathematical system he is working on ... Mies van der Rohe at work, stolidly gazing at a model of an ITT building while assistants scurry around making alterations ... Marcel Breuer telling how he invented his famous chair ... Philip Johnson delightedly answering a solemn question about heat loss from a visitor to his glass house: "The heat loss is absolutely tremendous" - and beaming from ear to ear. But No Place Like Utopia also has a deeper theme: how modern architecture, born and raised between the wars and after with a strong sense of social and political idealism, in the 1960s gradually fell back into its ancient role as an elitist pursuit dedicated to flattering the rich and powerful. Only now, as Blake makes clear, can we see the beginnings of a return to its original principles. From the push-and-pull of politics, culminating in the witch-hunts of the McCarthy period, to heady days in the magazine business, first with Architectural Forum and then with the brilliant but ultimately doomed Architecture Plus, Peter Blake has always been energetically involved with his art and with his era. No Place Like Utopia is thus doubly valuable, as a wonderfully readable historical and personal document, and a pungent commentary on where modern architecture went wrong and right.
Subject Blake, Peter, 1920-2006.
Architects -- United States -- Biography.
International style (Architecture)
Architects -- Psychology.
Architecture and society -- History -- 20th century.
Related To Online version: Blake, Peter, 1920-2006. No place like Utopia. 1st American ed. New York : Knopf, 1993 (OCoLC)622952891
ISBN 0394548965
OCLC number 26404190