Re: Re: Destruction of Hailing Station

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@phil wrote:

Much of what seems to be lost in the conservation debate is the degree to which buildings are appreciated for reasons way beyond their architectural merits or otherwise. Whilst an ‘expert’ might say it is of no architectural significance, they might just as easily miss out on other issues that are just as important.

Well put, phil.

Granted, there is a certain logic to speaking of buildings only in context of their architectural merit. But of the things that are lost when we treat buildings like they are stand alone objects, mere appendages to the landscape, are the things that make cities and spaces interesting: we lose sight of the stories, shapes, and personal landmarks that connect us to a place.

The problem with praising or damning a building by its architectural merit (whatever that means) alone is like judging the merit of a person by the health or disease of the body they inhabit. You may as well look at a medical chart rather than a person. There’s a weirdly eugenic approach to the ‘raze it all and let the architects sort it out’ approach that seems unwilling to even contemplate what other things, rather than shiny new health, buildings are good for.

I like this shed, and I like certain abandoned lots, and I think that any discussion of old v. new ought to consider the possibility that many people, architects or not, have reasons for defending their personal ruins. And of course we don’t think of these things until our favorite little landmark that we assumed would be there forever, is gone, or about to be gone.

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