Although my own previous enthusiasm has been for syntactically rich languages like the Algol family, I now see clearly and concretely the force of Minsky's 1970 Turing lecture, in which he argued that Lisp's uniformity of structure and power of self reference gave the programmer capabilities whose content was well worth the sacrifice of visual form.
The ALGOL compiler was probably one of the nicest pieces of code to come out at that time. I spent hours trying to fix and change the compiler. Working with it so closely affected the way I think about programming and had a profound influence on my style.
There is an appreciated substance to the phrase "ALGOL-like" which is often used in arguments about programming, languages and computation. ALGOL appears to be a durable model, and even flourishes under surgery — be it explorative, plastic, or amputative.