National – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced that it strongly supports legislation proposed that would thwart an anticipated executive order mandating classical architecture as the preferred design style for federal courthouses and other federal properties.
The proposed “Democracy in Design Act” (H.R.7604) would override the executive order by directing “the Administrator of General Services to ensure that the construction and acquisition of public buildings in the United States adheres to the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture.” By codifying the General Service Administration’s Design Excellence Program principles into statute, Congress will ensure the federal government maintains its current neutrality on architectural styles.
AIA has taken a multi-pronged approach to stopping the executive order. In February, AIA members sent more than 11,400 letters to the White House condemning the mandated designation of “classical” architecture as the preferred style of all federal courthouses, all federal public buildings in the Capital region, and all other federal public buildings whose cost exceeds $50 million. Additionally, AIA leadership issued letters on Feb. 6 and Feb. 20 to the Trump Administration strongly opposing the order.