Dear Lord, save Notre Dame from modern architects

I think there was a collective groan heard round the world - and perhaps in France especially - when French President Macron announced that there would be an "international design competition" to build a new spire for Notre Dame Cathedral after the recent fire.

For one thing, why not get a Frenchman to design it?  This isn't really a big deal to me, but it seems like it ought to be a big deal to the French people: Notre Dame is after all the national church of France.  The old spire, and indeed the whole church were achievements of the French.  Are they no longer capable of such feats?

But my bigger concern is that some kind of "cool", Post-modern steel and glass spire will be shoe-horned onto this gorgeous Medieval gothic cathedral.  And it will look cool...at first...state-of-the art...for a while, until trends change.

My attitudes toward "improving" upon classic architectural idioms by "supplementing" them with modern forms were firmly set during my time at LSU.  If you go to the main quad in the center of campus, all around the Quad are stucco-covered, Italian-esque buildings, with matching red tiled roofs, fountains, and rows of beautiful arches all around the quad.  Except on one end.  There is Middleton Library.  An orange and green cube, that apparently fell from outer space and landed in the center of the quad.

At the time it was built, Middleton library was the latest and greatest, the cutting edge in architectural trends.  But now, while the rest of the quad continues to look timeless, the Library just looks dated.  And ugly.

The same phenomenon is clearly visible a short walk away.  The old LSU Law School is a Classical building, very much resembling the US Supreme Court, modeled after Greek and Roman architecture.  Attached to the back of it is the new Law School, a modern hulk of concrete and glass that makes no attempt whatever to blend with the old building.  While many people still admire the beauty of the old Law School, again, the new school looks strikingly '60s or '70s.  It looks dated.

Why?  Why do the various classic idioms remain timeless while Modern architecture - while initially admired - ultimately looks dated, even ugly, within a few decades?

This video explains why quite well, and I hope and pray that if any new spire is added to Notre Dame, it will be in the gothic style, and fit seemlessly with the rest of the structure so that - in a few generations - rather than looking like a strange (and very "2020's looking") addition, it will instead be taken for something (like the 19th Century spire) that could have been a part of the original construction all along.

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