23 December 2020: President Trump has signed an executive order stating all future federal buildings in Washington DC be designed in a neoclassical style.
But no sooner had the ink dried than the AIA declared it would work with President-Elect Biden to reverse the order.
The mandate was first touted in February 2020 but has been pushed through in the final 30 days of Trump’s presidency. And while it stops short of outright banning modern designs, it states ‘classical architecture shall be the preferred and default architecture for federal public buildings absent exceptional factors necessitating another kind of architecture.’
In a statement on the AIA’s website, the organisation made short shrift of Trump’s ‘Executive Order on Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture’ stating it ‘unequivocally opposes’ the executive order.
‘Communities should have the right and responsibility to decide for themselves what architectural design best fits their needs, and we look forward to working with President-Elect Biden to ensure that,’ said EVP/Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA.
An official statement from the AIA added: ‘The AIA does not, and never will prioritize any type of architectural design over another.’