Ada Louise Huxtable is the doyenne of architecture criticism in New York, if not the world: as architecture critic at the New York Times from the early 60s until the early 80s, and more recently, at The Wall Street Journal, the petite woman has defined the profession as one of true criticism rather than genuflection to the giants about whom she writes.
She has been a vociferous proponent of preservation when it means saving the worthwhile stuff; and an advocate of the new when the new means progress. Her new book, "On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change," chronicles the best of her writing. It's being published this month by Walker Books.
The book begins with one of her first pieces in the Times: a review of Le Corbusier's 1962 Carpenter Center at Harvard, continued by an essay on modernism through the decades. The reader in effect has the opportunity to trace the roots of modernism and the movement's evolution through its post-modern phase, observing these phenomena through Huxtable's feisty yet elegant prose about not only architecture, but the well-planned world to which the profession aspires.