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MENTION THAT YOU WRITE about architecture and chances are that whoever you’re chatting with will want to talk about real estate. Chances are, too, that they’ll think you’re splitting hairs should you suggest that real estate and architecture are not the same thing. There’s nothing unusual about the mixup—it’s right there every day in the arts-and-leisure sections of our newspapers. All developers are wise to the idea that projects can be made more palatable when coated with a veneer of "good architecture.” A similar veneer occurs in the press, where much of what comes under the cover of architectural criticism is actually real estate reporting coated with informed opinion. No one should dispute the critic’s obligation to monitor real estate’s role in shaping our urban environment, but a chain of circumstance begins to link itself together when developers determine the subjects our most

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