Editor's note

Earlier this summer, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to renovate Manhattan’s Penn Station and restore it to its former glory. To the many architects and urban planners who considered the 1963 demolition of the original building a tragedy, this was welcome news. But what happened to Penn Station is only one of the many failures of preservation. A panel of architecture professors describe other American structures they wish could have been saved – particularly innovative or resplendent designs that succumbed to the forces of decay, development or discrimination.

As Hurricane Harvey approached the Texas coast last week, some communities ordered residents to evacuate, while others let them decide whether to stay or go. Texas A&M political scientist Ashley Ross, who has studied disasters and the views of emergency managers, explains why there are no formulas for deciding whether to order evacuations.

And as automation and artificial intelligence technologies improve, human workers are increasingly likely to find themselves working alongside, or assisted by, computerized systems. Researcher Andreas Graefe discusses how that will affect journalists, and journalism.

Nick Lehr

Editor, Arts and Culture

Top story

A photograph of Penn Station’s interior from the 1930s. Bernice Abbott

Remembering America's lost buildings

Kevin D. Murphy, Vanderbilt University; Carol Willis, Columbia University; Daniel Bluestone, Boston University; Kerry Traynor, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; Sally Levine, Case Western Reserve University

We asked five architecture experts to name one building or structure they wish had been preserved, but couldn't resist the tides of decay, development and discrimination.

Environment + Energy

Science + Technology

Economy + Business

  • Venezuela: Why Trump’s sanctions won't work

    Marco Aponte-Moreno, St Mary's College of California ; Lance Lattig, St Mary's College of California

    New US sanctions against Venezuela deliver a clear condemnation of the Maduro regime's authoritarian maneuvering but overlook two key problems: Russian meddling and the humanitarian crisis.

  • Why Hurricane Harvey donors shouldn't boycott the Red Cross

    Brian Mittendorf, The Ohio State University

    There are reasons to channel Harvey aid through the nonprofit despite evidence that it wasted money following Haiti's earthquake and fumbled Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.

Ethics + Religion

  • Explaining the Muslim pilgrimage of hajj

    Ken Chitwood, University of Florida

    Each year, Muslims from all over the world go on a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, known as hajj. A scholar explains its spiritual significance.

Health + Medicine


  • Education isn't a commodity for labor

    Steven Fesmire, Middlebury College

    Education in the United States is becoming increasingly tied to job preparation. But 20th-century philosopher John Dewey knew that such a focus would mean sacrificing the true goal of education.

Politics + Society

From our international editions

Today’s quote

While job loss and unemployment can cause individuals’ own health to suffer, studies have shown that mortality rates go down during a recession.


How can job loss be bad for health, and recession be good for it?

Ann Huff Stevens

University of California, Davis

Ann Huff Stevens