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James S. Ackerman, chairman of the Fine Arts Department, has attacked the design of the School of Education's new Larsen Hall and has suggested establishing an ad hoc committee of three specialists from other universities to advise the President and deans on architectural appointments.
In an article in the fall issue of Connection, a Graduate School of Design magazine, Ackerman said that "though a building lasts longer, costs more, and can cause more discomfort than a professor, we often acquire it with less care and expert advice."
Ackerman said that "our present policy of scattered appointments has caused static around the Yard. If I were on an appointment committee. I should call attention to the success of a few firms--Sert, Jackson, and Gourley; Stubbins, T.A.C.--in sensitively responding to our physical and aesthetic requirements."
He attributed their success "not only to their being good architects, but to their having the time and opportunity to understand our needs better than the harried outsider who jets in from far off for a few hours of conferences.
The architects of the Ed School "castle"--Caudill, Rowlett and Scott--are from Dallas. The firms Ackerman praises are in the Boston area.
Ackerman also criticized the use of departmental committees to plan buildings. "Without an autocrat, everyone gets more or less what he wants, and that makes chaos. Someone should retain the authority to represent the General Good."
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