Michael Kimmelman’s name had been floating around as a possible Ouroussoff replacement for a few weeks, but his appointment was finally made official a few days ago. While Kimmelman has primarily served as an art critic at the paper, he has written some nice architecture articles.
Most surprising about his new position is not his interest and experience in art and music, but that he will not take on Nicolai Ouroussoff’s title of “Architecture Critic”, but will rather be named, “Senior Critic.”
While most Twitter reactions to the news have been negative—seeing the NYTimes’ refusal to hire a new architecture critic as a rejection of the field—Kimmelman’s range may prove to be a good thing. The paper is quoted as saying, Kimmelman’s interest are “in how we life, in how buildings actually work, in city planning, public policy, neighborhoods, communities and characters, in architecture as a complex and contradictory discipline, a true generalist’s profession and synthetic art.”
Since it was the seeming lack of these exact interests that we critiqued Nicolai for, Kimmelman’s new position may be what we asked for. Sadly, it is at the expense of the position which was fought for so strongly by Ada Louise Huxtable decades ago.