Skip to content
CityLab
Design

Should Cities of the Future Look More to the Past?

A conversation with philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus about the importance of traditional architecture.
relates to Should Cities of the Future Look More to the Past?
Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Cities of the future are rarely imagined to include Corinthian columns, but for philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus, who established the Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame a decade ago, "Classical architecture and traditional urbanism represent a culture’s highest aspirations."

Driehaus is fine with density and mixed-use but is less convinced by more contemporary approaches to them. He seems to blame modernism for sprawl (I’d argue instead that the refusal to actually hire architects for these projects, modern or otherwise, is more on target) but keeps an open mind: his foundation funds the restoration of mansions from the Gilded Age as well as architectural excellence in low income housing.