Architectural Intrigue at GSA

Who knew that the promotion of a career employee to be the new chief architect at the General Services Admininstration could be fraught with such intrigue? The Chicago Tribune reports today on GSA's decision to name Les Shepherd, an 18-year agency veteran, to its top architectural post. Apparently, earlier reports that the agency was set to appoint Thomas Gordon Smith, a professor of architecture at Notre Dame, to the position, set off a controversy. Smith, it seems, is a classicist, and some modernist architects argued that his appointment would set back recent efforts at the agency to improve federal design. Though denied the top post, Smith was named to a new "federal architectural fellowship."

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