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Biden administration overturns Trump’s federal building design mandate

Previous order promoted classical and “traditional” architecture above others.

March 04, 2021 |

Courtesy Pixabay

The Biden Administration has reversed course on the Trump Administration’s policy on designs of federal buildings.

Biden recently overturned the previous president’s executive order, “Promoting Beautiful Federal Civic Architecture.” That policy promoted classical and traditional architecture above other designs and required extensive justification to use other styles.

“Overall, the mandate inappropriately elevated the design tastes of a few federal appointees over the communities in which the buildings would be placed,” according to an AIA news release. In February 2020, AIA members sent more than 11,400 letters to the White House opposing the classical architecture policy.

AIA advocates for The Democracy in Design Act, which would effectively thwart the Trump executive order by codifying the General Service Administration’s (GSA) Design Excellence Program principles. It would ensure that the federal government maintain neutrality on architectural styles, the release says.

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