Art: The Empty Room

In the present age, monument building seems to have fallen on sterile times. A case in point is the latest John F. Kennedy memorial, this one to be raised by a Dallas citizens' committee three blocks from where the President was gunned down. To design it, Dallas called in Manhattan Architect Philip Johnson, 59, codesigner, with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, of Park Avenue's Seagram Building.

"Simple, modest and dignified—those were the words I had to go on," Johnson said. His scheme, after six months of study, was indeed simplicity itself. On a one-acre...

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