Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Concerns About the Stock House Replacement

I didn't go to the Georgetown Community Council meeting on Monday. I know that Holly Krejci would be totally welcoming, but I've still been reluctant to attend these meetings since I'm not a neighborhood resident. (But just now I took a look at their website, and I saw that "All residents or friends of the Georgetown neighborhood are encouraged to attend." OK, now I have no excuse.)

It sounds like the Paper Noose showed up, though, and he's provided a good account of what happened.

I haven't been down there since early Saturday morning, so I haven't seen the demolition so far. But apparently everyone has discovered that downtown Georgetown now has "a view of the interstate, as well as increased noise, normally buffered by three stories of brick."

Oh, yeah. I didn't even think of that.

Holly has summarized the community response about the demolition and building replacement in a letter to the Landmarks Board. I'm not surprised, but I am a little disappointed with the community's insistence on having Sabey's architects try to emulate the gorgeous 100-year-old buildings on Airport Way. I'm afraid that any Johnson Architects attempt at "classic and traditional ... brick" will end up looking less like the rest of Georgetown's Airport Way and more like Disneyland's Main Street, USA.

But Johnson's efforts at modern and industrial might have failed spectacularly as well. And, as I've said before, the community's opinions are worth more than mine. I'm sure if Sabey builds something that Georgetown is happy with, I'll be happy with it too.

From Holly's letter to the Landmarks Board:

1. With regard to the design of the new building, the community is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping with the classic and traditional design elements of the other buildings, including the brick and arches. We very much want a design that is compatible and complementary with the remaining buildings rather than something that is a radical departure and modern. Ultimately, we do not want to see something magical replaced with something ordinary.

2. With regard to setting the new building back, there was a simple majority in favor for the new building being set back 10 feet from the street. This will of course depend on the design of the new building and its ability to maintain continuity with the mass of the buildings as a whole.

3. With regard to the remaining portion of the stock house wall, the community is overwhelmingly in support of preserving the remaining portion of the wall to help maintain the continuity of the mass of the buildings and to protect the business district from additional industrial views.

For over a century, the mass and scope of the brick buildings, including the Stock House wall, has protected the Georgetown community from the freeway and the railroad. The buildings provided beauty in our gritty industrial area. And when the Stock House wall was partially removed, the view was that of the freeway and the railroad. It, in effect, added more industry to our already industrial-burdened community...

No comments: