An internal New York Times email, acquired by AN today, announced that Michael Kimmelman would start this fall as the New York Times’ new chief architecture critic. Citing Kimmelman as “one of the paper’s great writers”, Jonathan Landman, deputy managing editor, wrote how Kimmelman started at the paper of record as a music critic and “swiftly morphed into an art critic.” And now after four years as a foreign correspondent, he will fill out his all-purpose critic portfolio as architecture critic.
In the same memo, Kimmelman is quoted describing his abiding interest “in how we live, in how buildings actually work, in city planning, public policy, neighborhoods, communities and characters”—intriguingly local interests not on best display in his magazine marquee profiles of Oscar Niemeyer, Shigeru Ban, and most recently Peter Zumthor.
Meanwhile in an Architectural Record web story, “Vote: Who will Replace Nicolai Ourossoff?” put up on June 17, the top choice of 12 was Chicago Trib’s Blair Kamin with 79 out of 685 votes. A close 2nd Place went to LA Times’ Christopher Hawthorne with 76; with third (69) and fourth (66) going to Atlantic Monthly’s Witold Rybczynski and AN’s Julie Iovine. In Arc Rec’s vote, Kimmelman attracted the fewest votes, 18, in a slightly eerie confirmation that what architects and what the paper of record think are very different. But that is hardly new news.