Why a marketplace for architecture? To quote none other than Winston Churchill: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
And they not only shape us as individuals, but as a society as well. In the depths of the Great Depression William Lamb’s 102-story skyscraper, the Empire State Building, became an instant American cultural icon bolstering national pride, and a sense of possibility and faith in an economic system whose foundations were foundering. The dignified beauty of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, a merging of designs by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer built in the late 1940s, still symbolizes our hope for a more harmonious world. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Monsanto’s efficient little House of the Future in Disneyland instilled in millions of young children (myself included) and adults as well, the promise of modern living that was well within reach. Great and even minor architecture imparts positive gifts to individuals and society beyond economic measure. I think these gifts need to be recognized and celebrated.
There are also several thousand houses and residences around the world – such as the Millard House in Pasadena, California, featured here in this premiere issue of ArchitectureForSale Quarterly, – that are iconic, inspirational, and function on the same level as high art. Yet, these priceless treasures are not valued equally with other art forms. All of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses on the market today could be purchased for the price of one Mark Rothko painting – with dollars to spare! And I believe this is an issue worth exploring and addressing.
Architecture is not just about ego, making a statement, and money. True, there is some of that. But more importantly, every true work of architecture offers a singular lifestyle that is of immeasurable benefit to the happiness and, as Richard Neutra would argue, the health and sanity of its occupants. In the vast ocean of Real Estate Hype, where so many ordinary tract houses are considered “stunning,” and builders’ speculative McMansions are called “dreamhouses,” a real marketplace for architecture is not only deserving, but long overdue. Here, homes of architectural merit great and small, from priceless legacy treasures to modest Mies condominiums will be celebrated. Great residences and building’s stories will be told, market data will be shared. Buyers, sellers and their agents will have an engaging and convenient place to find and showcase architecture. Your participation is invited.