Architecture is, according to a pervasive Western tradition, what transcends building. To most theoreticians, architects, and historians of the twentieth century the absurdity and the comedy in pronouncing ornamentation the principal part of architecture remained self-evident until Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown's daring dictum in the concluding sentence to their book Learning from Las Vegas. To give ornament a principal position, that is, to construct decoration or ornament for ornament's sake, is tantamount to creating an architecture that is tied to 'the times' and fading away in time, as opposed to one transcending time. Ruskin's elevation of ornamentation to a principal part of architecture creates a crisis of identity for the latter. Despite a changed sentiment toward ornament in the last four decades, Ruskin's 'surprising' statement remains a source of discomfort, if not embarrassment, to many scholars of Ruskin's aesthetic theories.