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Banished Brutalism: Death knells abound for building style

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/12/2017 By MATT O'BRIEN, Associated Press
This April 3, 2017, photo shows the John E. Fogarty Building, a former government building in the Brutalist architectural style, in the middle stages of demolition in Providence, R.I. 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. (AP Photo/Matt O'Brien) © The Associated Press This April 3, 2017, photo shows the John E. Fogarty Building, a former government building in the Brutalist architectural style, in the middle stages of demolition in Providence, R.I. 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. (AP Photo/Matt O'Brien)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — 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.

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FILE - In this July 9, 2006 file photo, soccer fans watch the World Cup final match between Italy and France on an outdoor screen in front of Boston City Hall, built in the Brutalist architectural style in Boston. 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. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this July 9, 2006 file photo, soccer fans watch the World Cup final match between Italy and France on an outdoor screen in front of Boston City Hall, built in the Brutalist architectural style in Boston. 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. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki, File)

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.

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, buses wait outside Preston bus station, described by The Twentieth Century Society as "one of the most significant Brutalist buildings in the UK," in north west England. 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. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2013 file photo, buses wait outside Preston bus station, described by The Twentieth Century Society as "one of the most significant Brutalist buildings in the UK," in north west England. 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. (AP Photo/Jon Super, File)

Now, the era's aging structures are being declared eyesores and slated for demolition in cities around the world. Or, as in Washington's Union Station, their austere features have been softened.

FILE - In this March 15, 2016 file photo, Metro trains arrive in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station in Washington. When the 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. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

FILE - In this March 15, 2016 file photo, Metro trains arrive in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station in Washington. When the 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. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
© The Associated Press
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