Brutalism: Death knells abound for building style

Providence, R.I. • When an exposed concrete subway vault near the U.S. Capitol was painted white this spring, riders rejoiced at the brightened Washington Metro station. But some preservationists were unhappy, complaining that a “cardinal rule” of the Brutalist style was broken. Brutalism, which got its name from a French word for raw concrete, has been sparking public battles ever since the architectural style flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, spawning buildings from Boston to Belgrade. Now, t...

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