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Archive for Monday, March 13, 2006

Out of character

A proposed addition to the former Carnegie library building makes no attempt to fit with the structure’s historical character.

March 13, 2006

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It is difficult to understand how the proposed addition to the city's Carnegie library building at Ninth and Vermont streets can pass the various local hurdles associated with preserving historical properties.

Time and time again, those associated with historical preservation have caused architects and builders to alter proposed projects and meet stringent additional requirements because a project falls within a certain number of feet of a building that has been designated as historic.

Architectural drawings show an addition to the north side of the Carnegie building - which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places - that is totally foreign to the design of the old library. In no way does it complement or fit with the old structure. It is a cold, glass and metal addition stuck onto the north side of the building.

Other historic buildings in the area include Plymouth Congregational Church, and the Carnegie building certainly falls within the "environs" of that building. When other builders have had to be so careful not to upset those charged with preserving the historical integrity of a building, having to change or alter the design in order to proceed with the project, how does the Carnegie project pass muster?

Maybe it is a case of whom you know and who the architect is.

Giving a green light to the Carnegie addition is going to make it extremely difficult for the local historic protectors to deny other architects and builders permission to proceed with their projects no matter how out of character such buildings may appear.

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