Historic Preservation Of The Status Quo?

The Wall Street Journal's architecture critic wonders if sometimes historic preservation just means that we prefer the 'stagnant status quo.'
January 8, 2004, 7am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"I have been watching, with wonder and disbelief, the beatification of 2 Columbus Circle, né the Huntington Hartford Museum, a k a the lollipop building (so-named, for better or worse, by me)... The most basic preservation question is not being asked at all. What will be lost, and what will be gained? The proposal being rejected out of hand is a promising solution by a talented young American practitioner that will reclaim an abandoned building of debatable merit for a desirable cultural facility... There is a great deal more at stake than this one building. When preservation distorts history and reality in a campaign of surprising savagery, it signals an absence of standards and an abdication of judgment and responsibility. It has lost its meaning when we prefer a stagnant status quo." [Editor's note: This URL is accessible by non-subscribers for a period of 6 days.]

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Published on Wednesday, January 7, 2004 in Wall St. Journal
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