The Boston Globe published a ludicrous article today about William Rawn, the architect behind the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, aka Donald Trump’s Neon Pompadour (emphases added):

Bill Rawn talks down to you as an equal. Almost 6 feet 8, he glides through a room like an elegant giraffe. You learn when you engage him that he is a listener, not a talker. He absorbs far more than he emits.

It is this listening skill, along with great talent, that has helped make him a stunning success as an architect.

“Listening is a problem for architects,” Rawn says. “In architecture school, we do our own projects. There is no client, no budget. You’re doing it all by yourself. You find your own voice, which is good, but you don’t learn to listen to other people.”

Unlike architects with defiant signature styles, he does not design Statements.

“He is modern and contemporary, but not Frank Gehry off-the-wall,” says Winthrop Wassenar, former director of facilities at Williams College and project manager for Rawn’s ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance which opened in Williamstown in 2005.[…]

No one quite knows how to describe Rawn the architect. You hear the words “elegant” and “understated” a lot. Some call him conservative, but compared to what? He is no hidebound proponent of red brick. He prefers the word “contemporary,” and that sounds right.[…]

Today, Rawn is the go-to architect by elite colleges and universities for performance centers and dormitories. What he is most proud of are his repeat clients, such as Dartmouth, Williams, Swarthmore, and MIT.

His buildings are easy on the eye, and they wear well. He incorporates natural light whenever he can with extensive use of glass. Many of his buildings are LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for environmental sustainability. In renovating an ancient swimming pool building at Bowdoin into a recital hall, he used a geothermal system to heat and cool the place.[…]

[H]e garnered high praise for his theater at Williams [Ed: from whom?] and for The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Md. the second home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra that opened in 2005. But his range extends to a horticultural center at Mount Auburn Cemetery, a synagogue in Wellesley, a federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a luminous little fire station in Columbus, Ind.

What do they have in common? Rawn is a design democrat with a small “d’’ who likes to put people from all walks of life close together, “rubbing shoulders,’’ as he puts it. Things can get tight, as in the Williams theater lobby, which is fine with him. He believes in density.[…]

And now, a retrospective of Dick Swart’s interpretation of the theatre Rawn designed:

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