Editor’s Note

Cite 77 was guest edited by Anna Mod and Christof Spieler. Editor Raj Mankad contributed the following note:

Cite has always mixed an appreciation of high design with a shot of down and dirty civic engagement. The cover of the first issue, published 27 years ago, was graced by the image of a sewer manhole. “Trading Toilets: The Subterranean Zoning of Houston” shared the feature well with a review of the Renzo Piano-designed Menil Collection and an interview with Cesar Pelli.

Few cities have their own architecture and design magazine. When Cite was launched in 1982, Houston was the landing pad of the world’s star architects, the Dubai of its day. Houston had bucked the trends of the national economy and anything seemed possible, until the banks failed and the price of oil collapsed. Cite persisted. It catalogued the lost opportunities, lamented speculation unaccompanied by considered urban planning, and pointed to the troubling patterns underlying a rapidly changing environment. It was there for each new loop road; there for struggles over light rail, condo towers, and changing neighborhoods; there to bear witness to the oddities and unexpected joys of the city.

This issue focuses on memory, on key parts of the built environment that are lost or threatened, and, in the remarkable case of Kraigher House, rehabilitated. To remember is radical. It is an elemental step towards imagining a more humane and livable environment. Indeed, the current local headlines are reminiscent of 1986. We are faced again with making sense of a boom gone bust. The times call for a recommitment to Cite’s role as a forum for thoughtful debate and, through that debate, an instigator of collaborative action.

To accomplish our goals, we need your participation and support. The options are varied: sending us tips and feedback, contributing to our newly launched website, OffCite.org, writing magazine articles, or volunteering to help distribute the magazine. We welcome input from anyone interested in the built environment—architects and designers, city planners and developers, real estate agents, community activists, artists, and civic-minded individuals.

Raj Mankad


Guy W. Carwile; Amir Kasem; Margaret Culbertson; Stephen Fox; Catherine Gavin; Randal L. Hall; Amanda Hayes-Valentine; Anna Mod; Barry Moore; Polly Morrice; Max Page; John Pluecker; Christof Spieler; David Theis; and Steven Wolfe.