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Ted Stevens
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This, I believe, is a cultural problem, not one of regulatory process. As long as architects such as "Mudd" (or anyone who wields power and control over our built environment) deem structures such as these as insignificant or simply not "under the realm of historic preservation", we'll always have this argument. As long as they don't even think that this is an issue, it will remain one. Architects are trained from the very beginning to dismiss the subtle beauty of older buildings, unless a popular preservation movement or the fame of a building's designer designates that building "significant". The quiet buildings like those on Couch Street, or the "prototype" buildings like the Galaxy are seen as worthless, which is why so few are left. No one is up in arms about the brick building at W. Burnside and SW 13th that will soon be replaced with yet another cheap gimmick. No one will lament the destruction of the careful brick detail at its cornice. "Mudd" claims to "greatly value preservation". Obviously not if I'm writing this right now. It would have been more accurate to say that he/she values the preservation of certain properties to his/her personal liking. To those of us who have an honest concern for historic preservation, it's not just a beauty contest where only the "best" win. Preservation also considers sustainability. Scraping everything to the ground is just foolish when parking lots or even bare ground abound nearby. The neighborhoods of the inner east side (and in many other cities in America) were literally covered with well-crafted and often beautiful buildings. They're just about all gone now, with only a few scraps left. Meanwhile, the noble attempts of some to preserve these last scraps of our past are dismissed by "Mudd" and others as "obstructionism". Some only want to save the best. Unfortunately, even the "best" properties are almost all gone now.
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Feb 4, 2011