Many conservatives and anti-Trump partisans have derided Trump’s personal lifestyle, and his manner of interior decoration. Some believe his apparent opulence means he is not able to identify with the common man, the blue collar worker, or even the poor. This is problematic since under any other circumstance, conservatives would praise the style and design of, say, St. Peters, or the elegance of Monticello, or traditional design of any traditional residential home. Trump’s lifestyle and his promotion of classical architecture seems to call forth negative assessments that pushes many into the realms of leftist and progressive political ideology.
This is all the astonishing given that Trump possesses the most conservative, or traditional, architectural tastes of perhaps all the candidates in the Republican field. Many confuse his opulence as being somehow in opposition to an elegant simplicity that we might find in a traditional, yet poorer comparatively, neighborhood. However, despite his wealth, the manner of his architectural tastes reveal something serious and pertinent to his public opinions and, maybe even, the personal order of his soul. His tastes are not those we find in totalitarian or authoritarian regimes.
“Architecture aims at eternity.”
– Sir Christopher Wren
Admittedly, this is somewhat disconnected from many of his constructions in various cities that resemble a modernist design as a skyscraper. But this is not always the case: Mar-a-lago, Yorktown, 610 Park Avenue, the Vineyard Estates, Estates at Trump National, his assuming of the Plaza Hotel, and countless golf clubs, resorts, and international properties, are all traditional in significant respects.
“Architecture is to make us know and remember who we are.”
— Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe
There is nothing modern about Trump’s personal taste. Compare to, say, the Guggenheim (an upside-down ziggurat pointing to Hell):
Or 1 Columbus Circle (which resembles a Politburo in the sky):
Trump’s taste is an explicit rejection of modernism. Conservatives should rejoice. His private residences is nothing but a celebration of order, symmetry, elegance, proportion, with an acknowledgment to history, honor, and virtue. In other words, Trump’s personal lodgings are refections of traditional architecture and things that build up human nature, not seek its destruction.
For example, Trump does not live in an abode that looks like this:
Modernism is a complete blurring of the line–that is the Truth. It is also full of chaos and a rejection of order and symmetry. The construction is hard (as in cold), and resembles nothing of refinement. Trump may be a populist, but he is not a man of the modern world in his tastes and idea of beauty.
Roger Scruton’s BBC special on the abhorrent destructiveness of modernism is perhaps the best example of how such an idea tends to destroy the human soul, and alienates us from Home–or the metaphysical reality that we are human beings who need beauty in our lives because such beauty represents the divine that exists within us all. Trump, in a significant way, knows this:
Nothing beats an entrance where there is a sense of order, and symmetry. Proportion also is evident here. Everything here is within balance and it focuses the eye on an orderly representation out of a chaotic world:
The outside architecture of his Palm Bach home is evident for its beauty and balance. There is an harmony in the central building here:
Trump lives in an anthropomorphic way even though his wealth would allow him to not live in such a manner. This means that he lives in a way that compliments the human form–that does not strike down the nature of humanity like we see in more modernist constructions. Everything in the way he lives seem to respect humanity in style and development. His personal taste is uplifting of the human spirit, or human soul, not destructive of it. The places he lives (his multiple residences) and his home (in NYC) is a manifestation of rationality, a compliment of the mind’s ability to know. The first picture of his home in Trump Tower is ordered and respective of western traditions and classical design.
“Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.”
— Ernest Dimnet
Every day, we go home to our neighborhoods, and live in homes that, on a more simplistic level, reflect the same ideas we see discussed here. Many ideologues live in places that defy human nature. Many artists, emphasize the emptiness of life, like Tracy Emin’s bed. That, to the modern man is “interesting.” There is no doubt in my mind that Trump would find Emin’s bed a foul and dishonest representation of life. Hell at least Trump believes life can be well-lived. Emin’s bed says, there is no good life, only the ugly life.
Trump lives and vacations in houses and condos like noted above (Palm beach, Mar-a-lago), not this:
Has anyone bothered to ask why he rejects modernism? Why does his good taste (even if it is not your own) necessitate a classicist commentary on his wealth? His life is no different from the metaphysical implications of living in something like this:
Order, proportion, harmony, and simplicity all reflect something divine about our world and our humanity as it pertains to our participation in Nature. Check out Daniel Lee Architects. Lee designs and builds homes from the most simple and elegant, to the more opulent and gilded.
Trump lives in real homes with real materials–not contrived plastic replicas. He lives in homes of classical art, and I would suspect we all would live in a similar manner with all the ordering of Nature if we could afford it. Most of us already do with the means we can afford.
Everyone organizes their homes, and purchases their homes, based on a sense of order and spacial design–A sense that we should live our lives with our loved ones in a place that we can find Nature, or the Law of Nature in the ordering and decoration of the home.
“…Men in those days had convictions, we moderns have opinions, and it requires something more than an opinion to build a gothic cathedral…”
— H. Heine
Trump lives his personal life like he’s replicating a cathedral of old. Winston Churchill once said “We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.” Let us not forget the important insight into someone’s soul that comes with the personal choice of how we live and what buildings we want to spend our time residing.
In significant respects, Trump lives close to beauty and his tastes are traditional–an explicit rejection of the modern world for timelessness.