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Ralph Lauren Donates Millions to Name Peter Eisenman ‘Charles Gwathmey Professor of Architecture’ at Yale


Starchitect, tough talker and suspected-fixer of Super Bowl XLII, Peter Eisenman, has been named the first Charles Gwathmey Professor of Architecture at Yale. The title was bestowed upon him thanks to a donation by fashion icon Ralph Lauren (estimated to have cost around $3 million), who had been a friend and admirer of the late architect who passed away in early August, shortly after completing his mixed-review restoration of Paul Rudolph‘s Art and Architecture Building on Yale’s campus. Eisenman, who was already teaching at the university under visiting status, will now enter into a five-year position there as was stipulated in the Gwathmey Professorship:

Eisenman said he is honored to be appointed the Charles Gwathmey. “I was always a Jiminy Cricket on Charles’s shoulder, telling him ‘Charlie do this’ or ‘Charlie don’t do this,’ Eisenman said. “But now that I’m carrying his name, he’s sort of become my conscience.”

Walking through the corridors of Loria Center, Eisenman said he felt at once sorrow and joy at the announcement of the position.

Speaking of Yale and architecture, we should mention another visiting professor, Leon Krier, might start popping up here and there. Krier, who has served as Prince Charles‘ right hand man in hating on modern architecture (he was also the master planner for the crumbling, dangerous Poundbury development), will be traveling to San Diego this week to apparently tell the city what it’s doing wrong, likely complaining about all the modernism and skyscrapers. This is the first stop on what could become Krier hitting the lecture circuit, following the publication of his recent book The Architecture of Community. Could this the first step toward getting Prince Charles’ over in the US to start messing with our architecture? Our paranoid xenophobia says “Yes.”

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