Trump’s politics is as tasteless as his buildings

What the destruction of historic Bonwit Teller store tells us about 2016

It is hard to ignore the parallels between Donald Trump’s most recent claim to fame, and his very first in 1979, when he bought the Bonwit Teller building in order to demolish it and make way for the garish Trump Tower.

bonwit
Conservationists fought to preserve the bas relief sculptures, seen here on the top storey.

The 12-storey Bonwit Teller building was arguably the famed Warren and Wetmore architectural firm’s most important art deco contribution to New York City’s streetscape. The sumptuous construction materials used were timestamped by a bygone era: platinum, bronze, hammered aluminum, yellow faience, along with walnut, cherry, and satinwood. Like the grand old Bonwit Teller building, Trump has taken a wrecking ball to the Grand Old Party, bulldozed political decency and decorum en route to turning the 2016 election into a spectacle of entertainment. Only time will tell how long his newest structure, built atop the smouldering rubble of once-respected institutions, will last.

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