Mark Byrnes

Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.

How to Build a Rust Belt Art Boom

Aaron Ott, the first-ever curator of public art at Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery, talks about leading an uncommon cultural initiative across Western New York.

A 1959 Sneak Peek at Lisbon’s Metro System

Just before the transit service began, locals saw this short film on television and movie screens across the city.

Touring Milan’s Metro System in the ‘80s

Transit workers and passengers share their insights on the growing system in its early years.

A Community Restores Its Keith Haring Mural

Three decades after the beloved New York artist visited a school in Melbourne, the mural he made has finally been conserved after significant decay.

Imagining a ‘Canadian Anti-Tourist League’

In a short 1950s comedy, a small group of grumpy natives celebrate awful customer service in the hopes of keeping Americans away.

A Soviet Synthpop Tribute to the Private Vehicle

A love for cars among today’s middle-aged Muscovites surely traces back to this song from their teen years.

The American Heroes of St. Louis’s Gateway Arch

Monument to the Dream gives the construction workers behind an American design icon their proper due.

Understanding the Architecture of the Moscow Metro

Generations of Russian leaders have imposed their visions on the city's vast subway network.

An Action-Packed Guide to Houston’s Public Services

Before the law finally came down on him, an infamous Harris County commissioner proudly explained how he was spending taxpayer funds.

Life in a 1960s ‘Averagetown’

According to David Brinkley and a supercomputer, Salem, New Jersey, was the most typical place in America leading up to Lyndon Johnson’s reelection.

A 1990s Preview of a ‘Gateway’ for Cleveland

A local celebrity, dark backgrounds, smooth jazz, and a mysterious set of eyes surely sold the region’s corporate class on what’s now known as “The Q.”

A Musical Escape From Late-Apartheid Johannesburg

In the 1980s, the South African band Umoja made upbeat pop hits under the watchful eye of the South Africa Broadcast Corporation. It’s impossible not to love “Money, Money.”

‘This Tube Was Made for You and Me’

In 1966, the opening of Montreal’s rapid transit service was welcomed with a TV show and a song that praised the mayor who helped bring it to life.

A 1970s abstract transit map made entirely of dots in four different colors

The D.C. Metro Almost Had a Very Cool Abstract Map

A series of modernist transit design gems were discovered last week inside Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s archives.

Out of a National Tragedy, a Housing Solution

New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller used the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. to help create a superagency that would transform the state’s cities and suburbs. It didn’t last long.

John Portman posing in front of architectural models inside his office.

Making Sense of John Portman

Harvard’s Mohsen Mostafavi talks about Portman’s America and Other Speculations.

How to Care for Your Portman Hotel

Architects chime in on how to make the right interventions inside and out of the late developer-architect’s distinct buildings.

1970s apartment complex in downtown Buffalo

The Last Man Standing in a Doomed Buffalo Housing Complex

After a long fight between tenants and management, John Schmidt is waiting for U.S. Marshals to drag him out of Shoreline apartments, a Brutalist project designed by Paul Rudolph.

'Happy Holidays!' From New York's Parking Garages

For tourists in Midtown looking for the True Spirit of Christmas, photographer Chris Maggio knows just where to go.

Broadacre City model

When Frank Lloyd Wright Comes to Harlem

A show at Columbia University illuminates the celebrated architect’s vision for housing in America by placing it alongside the urban brick apartment towers he loathed.

Buckminster Fuller's Biosphere as it appeared during Montreal's Expo 67.

In Quebec, Buckminster Fuller's Domed Dreams Live On

A show in Montreal focuses on the province’s forgotten history with the geodesic dome leading up to Expo 67.