Originally Posted by Tyler Xyroadia
The rise of Modernism and Brutalism in the 60s and 70s was paved on an architectural holocaust commited against countless treasures from the turn of the century.
Actually, that architectural holocaust started in the late 1940s, and was caused by neglect and a desire to get away from the "old ways" associated with a war-torn past, as well as to take advantage of new building technology and a new kind of aesthetic that the world had never seen before.
Your opinions toward modernist and brutalist buildings are exactly the same as the opinions towards classical architecture held by common people in the early post-war era. They thought they were stuffy, heavy, old, dirty and rundown, ugly pieces of shit with not enough windows, no AC, and dark, narrow hallways. They looked at the ornamentation on buildings like the Singer Building in New York and wondered why anyone would ever find such flamboyant and grimy features beautiful. But they didn't tear them down for the purpose of replacing them with modern buildings; they tore them down because it was cheaper and easier to do so, and modern buildings replaced them because that was the style at the time.
Buildings typically last about 35 to 50 years before they require extensive repairs, often costing millions of dollars. The rise of modernism coincided with the end of life period for many buildings constructed at the turn of the century, and it was simply cheaper to replace them than spend millions on repairs. This is exactly what we're experiencing with modernist and brutalist buildings today. We're losing them because they're near the end of their lifespan, we don't find them aesthetically pleasing, and it is cheaper and easier to simply destroy them and build something else.
The tower of my city's second City Hall, which stood from 1903 to 1964, was removed in the 1940s because it had never been maintained. By 1960, most of the building's architectural features were removed because they were falling off, and the building was actually quite ugly. Contrast this today; our third City Hall, built in 1964, had a crumbling concrete facade that was dirty and falling off in places, window frames that weren't energy efficient, and a floor plan that essentially shunted workers into their offices. Three years ago, we stripped the building to its bones and built an ugly Post Modern shell around it, with a new facade, energy efficient windows, and open lobbies where people can relax on their breaks and the public can mingle with the town council. In about 50 years, we'll probably demolish the building entirely and build our fourth city hall, and I'm sure 100 years from now people like you will complain about what a loss the "turn of the century" (2009) design was.