(Photo by kimberlyfaye.)
Should we preserve historically significant ugliness? Because we need negative examples, to know what to avoid? For contrast? Because history matters? Even the 1970s?
But the church won in the end:
"Historic preservation was never meant to be more important than the very people or purposes that buildings were meant to serve... This 1970s Brutalist-designed building ... would have bankrupted this congregation and forced it out of downtown where it had been for 100 years. That makes no sense."Sense! Should we make sense? How much more of history, art, and architecture would be lost to us now if we'd been making sense all these millennia?
Are you more convinced by the "make sense" argument — this place is bankrupting them — or by the passionate desire to demolish what is indisputably ugly?
Do you not worry that perhaps it is not ugly, not permanently ugly, and you are blinded by the aesthetics of our time? I remember, after graduating from art school in 1973, feeling quite sure the ornamentation on buildings like this was a hideous mistake and our cities needed to be stripped clean of it. Thank God I was powerless.