If David Dillon, architecture critic at the Dallas Morning News from 1981 to 2006, were still alive he’d be 78 years old. Dillon died in 2010, though when I think about it now it doesn’t seem so long ago that I heard the news. He was one of the most respected US architecture critics when he died, though he hadn’t written regular columns for a few years. In “Architecture criticism and the public” from a 2009 issue of Texas Architect — one of Dillon’s last pieces and included in this collection of his best writings — he explains how he took a buyout from the newspaper in 2006 and then states bluntly, “I will not be replaced.” Yet readers of DMN, or people starved for serious architectural criticism online, know that the paper does have an architectural critic: Mark Lamster. He was appointed to the post in 2013, also taking a professorship at University of Texas Arlington. The two positions are related. As Kathryn Holliday points out at the beginning of her edited collection of Dillon’s articles, a partnership between DMN and UTA emerged after the David Dillon Symposium in 2012, which itself took place one year after the formation of the David Dillon Center for Texas Architecture at UTA. In other words, Dillon’s sudden, untimely death in 2010 at the age of only 68 led to a critic filling his old post at the paper and a new educational entity that helps in extending Dillon’s approach to criticism, in which accessible writing aided in enabling meaningful public debates over changes to the built environment, further into the 21st century.
Read the original article by A Daily Dose of Architecture here.