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PRINT December 2002

Philip Nobel

PHILIP NOBEL

1 Sam Mockbee Let us now praise famous men. It can be hard for an architect to do something high-minded—build for the rural poor, say—and not come off as a missionary or a Birkenstock kook. Sam Mockbee was neither. He didn’t play the game of shock (you know who you are), but neither did he condescend with the traditional forms it is always said “people” crave. Still, his low- or no-cost buildings in Hale County, Alabama, could rival any avant production (and didn’t look out of place at this year’s Whitney Biennial). One, a community center for Mason’s Bend, has a fish-scale wall of overlapping Chevy Caprice windshields; it cost less to build than ten square feet of SoHo Prada. Mockbee died on December 30, 2001. He was fifty-seven.

2 Jared Della Valle and Andy Bernheimer If measured by opening night crowds and cameras, “A New World Trade Center” at the Max Protetch

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