Monday, December 27, 2010

Flight From Orthodoxy (part II)

In many of my posts I have championed the moral and economic value of property rights, but however contradictory it may be, I also passionately believe in the need to preserve our architectural patrimony. I hold architecture to not only be one of the most noble manifestations of man's artistic impulse, but it is a window into the zeitgeist of a people. As I read through Richard Nickel's Chicago: Photographs Of A Lost City, my heart broke as I saw the 100's of irreplaceable architectural gems that had fallen to the wrecking ball. I was even more horrified to learn that in many cases the wholesome destruction of these treasures was actively encouraged by the city in its efforts at "urban renewal." But, there are no simple answers, rather we must strive to balance between the need to preserve history and to need for new generations of architects and builders to build and create. We must balance the need to respect the aesthetic needs of a community with the rights of individual owners. At this point, we are certainly not erring on the side of preservation.,7,1,1,32

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