A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 14, 2014
“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us”

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965) said in October 1943 about plans to rebuild the bomb-shattered House of Parliament:

“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.”

The quotation is very popular, but is often incorrectly given as “We shape our buildings, and afterwards they shape us” or “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us” or “First we shape our buildings, and then they shape us.”


Wikiquote: Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill KG OM CH TD FRS PC (Can) (November 30 1874 – January 24 1965) was a British politician and statesman, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He was Prime Minister of the UK from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953
(...)
We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.
. Speech to the House of Commons (October 28, 1943), on plans for the rebuilding of the Chamber (destroyed by an enemy bomb May 10, 1941), in Never Give In! : The best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches (2003), Hyperion, p. 358 ISBN 1401300561

28 October 1943, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 8, col. 7:
COMMON’S SHAPE A FACTOR.
Churchill Proposes Oblong Building to Protect Party System.
LONDON, Oct. 28. (AP)—The bomb-shattered House of Parliament should be rebuilt with its ancient oblong shape, said Prime Minister Churchill today, because a semi-circular chamber “appeals to political theorists and enables every group to move around to the center, adopting various shades of pink as the weather changes.”

Proposing to Commons that it name a committee to consider plans for rebuilding, Churchill remarked, “We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us.”

Google News Archive
24 January 1981, The Hour (Norwalk, CT), “Today in History,” pg. 16, col. 3:
Thought for today: We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us—Sir Winston Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965)

Twitter
architecture quotes
‏@archquotes
“we shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” - winston churchill
7:52 PM - 2 Jul 2009

Google Books
Wit and Wisdom of America’s First Ladies:
A Book of Quotations

Edited by Joslyn Pine
Dover Publications, Inc.
2014
Pg. 36:
Winston Churchill said, “First we shape our buildings, and then they shape us.” The same is true of our highways, our parks, our public buildings, the environment we create. They shape us.

Twitter
Philosophers’ Mail
‏@PhilosopherMail
‘We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us’ – Winston Churchill (Herzog and de Meuron, Stone House, 1988) pic.twitter.com/uTGaoloov6
12:36 PM - 10 Sep 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBuildings/Housing/Parks • Sunday, September 14, 2014 • Permalink