Henry Hope Reed, historian, is dead at 97

tags: New York City, New York Times, Henry Hope Reed, walking tours



Henry Hope Reed, an architecture critic and historian whose ardent opposition to modernism was purveyed in books, walking tours of New York City and a host of curmudgeonly barbs directed at advocates of the austere, the functional and unornamented in public buildings and spaces, died Wednesday at his home in Manhattan. He was 97.

The death was confirmed by Paul Gunther, president of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Walking historical tours of New York are now staples of the city’s cultural menu, but when Mr. Reed first began leading them for the Municipal Art Society in 1956, they were novel enough to be the subject of a news article in The New York Times.

Modernism was in favor at the time, but a reporter accompanying a tour on the East Side of Manhattan, north of Union Square, described how persuasive Mr. Reed’s bias against it was: “The tour ended at Pete’s Tavern,” the reporter, John Sibley, wrote. “Over their drinks, the hikers reviewed the tour. The flamboyant architectural adornments of the last century had impressed them, but they bemoaned the encroachment of bleak and sterile streamlined apartment buildings.”...



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