Design: A Pied Piper of Hobbit Land

Michael Graves' new office building is dangerous Pop surrealism

The new Public Service Building in Portland, Ore., is nearly completed—on schedule and within budget. Yet the storm of controversy the building has raised is likely to rage long after its official dedication on Oct. 2. The issue is style. With this one brazen gesture, the architect, Michael Graves, 48, attempts to supplant modern architecture's heroic industrialism with postmodern architecture's heroic . . . what? Perhaps it might be called Pop surrealism that uses classic design elements the way Walt Disney cartoons used the...

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