Letter to the editor: No more boxes

To the editor:

Having worked in the fields of architecture/engineering for years and lived in/visited many places of great architectural diversity and beauty, I wonder: Is there anything more imaginative beyond variations of a “box” encrusted with metal or fake rock/stone being built in Lawrence today? Don’t the architects, contractors or developers have any design sense other than rearranging building blocks? Are these “designs” plucked from a catalog? Isn’t Lawrence, with its historical structures and quaint downtown, better than that?

Overkill growth of apartment complexes and houses in the southern and western borders of Lawrence and along main business corridors, e.g., Sixth Street, 31st Street, Iowa Street, is turning Lawrence into another suburban sprawl. Johnson County used to be charming; now it is sadly like most suburban areas throughout the country: box stores, strip malls, monotonous endless cookie-cutter housing developments, empty businesses, deserted and neglected houses and apartment complexes, and dwindling woods, natural growth and meadows.

I would hope that Lawrence is proud of its historical heritage and would show a little more pride and taste in its new construction and remodeling. The apartments with a commanding view atop the hill overlooking Alvamar are nothing more than vertical rectangles, devoid of character with fake stone facades. KU’s main campus remains beautiful (except for Wescoe Hall), but it keeps pushing west- and southward with buildings of curtain walled and metal boxy structures which are as interesting as post-war structures throughout Europe. Is Lawrence becoming another Johnson County?


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