I really like the idea of transforming old, defunct buildings and structures into new practical and forward looking spaces, much like Union Station in St. Louis. It made me think of Trolley Square in Salt Lake City. http://www.trolleysquare.com/history-gallery.php P.s. There are some great images here, and it seems like a pretty smart way to display high quality photos. Simple but smart.
Turns out that I am actually into facadism, I like the idea of maintaining an aesthetic integrity and historic quality, while updating a building’s utility. I loved the work done in Boise not too long ago, when the south 8th Street (BoDo) historical district was updated. http://www.cityofboise.org/Departments/PDS/Historic/HistoricDistricts/page11057.aspx But I don’t know if I’m that into the bureacracy, “land use law”, zoning, government regulation . . . sound like a lot of technical writing. Not really my idea of a good time, but that’s just me. Historic Preservation (Tyler, et al, 2009) explains just how many hoops surround the whole preservation vs. development issue. I’m glad there are people out there who do this stuff. Who knows, maybe I could end up being one of them?
For me, I am interested in the ideas surrounding “landmarks” and “heritage” and how it changes meaning over time. What is interesting to me is how these struggles represent cultural values, why certain locations and artifacts have special meaning, and how these set of values are used in the conceptual struggle between “public” and “private”. This stuff is hard to wrap my head around. But walking around downtown I have begun noticing the aesthetic integrity of some of our downtown blocks. I’ve noticed that they tend to maintain an average height, the ‘tall’ buildings tend to be the flashy ones like the Idanha and Adelmann buildings, or completely modern. I think it’s a nice mix. Here is my favorite photo that expresses those sentiments.
p.s. I know the author and have permission to post this here.
So just for good measure, I thought I should share my favorite facade ever, the remnants of the library at Ephesus in modern Turkey. It is supposed to have been quite like the library at Alexandria in design and size, being second only to the more famous of the two. I wonder what kind of legal and practical work it takes to keep this thing standing in good condition? Who oversees it? I’ve never checked, maybe I will. I wonder if they could ever build it onto something, or would I prefer to see it in its humble remains? I don’t know, I’m officially on the fence on this one.