Architectural Lobotomy...

Like may people who share my appreciation for architecture, whenever I see bad things happen to a building, my heart is saddened just a bit.

Well, this time I saw it, as it was actually occurring. I was walking down Belmont Ave just east of the Red Line this past Saturday, and first saw this bazaar cutting on the underside of the bay windows on this familiar building.

As I continued down the street, I heard the sound of a saw and realized that this building was being disfigured right in front of my eyes.

This man was actually cutting into decorative carved limestone on the underside of the bay windows. Limestone which is at least a hundred years old, and would cost tens of thousands of dollars to replace.

I crossed the street to see if I could find out why they were permanently f**king up the facade of this lovely old building, but I couldn't get their attention. They either couldn't hear me, or were ignoring me.
I understand this is just one of thousands of similar buildings in Chicago, but that does not make it right to destroy such detail. Whatever reason it was that they felt the need to do this destruction, there has to be a better way to handle it.

I will be up that way again this weekend, and I am dreading what will be left.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a terrible shame! Shame, shame on them - whoever made this decision. Please keep us posted!

ChiTownGal (in my former life)

12/20/2005 8:05 PM  
Blogger Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

*bangs head on desk*

I am reminded of how my friend Larry Giles, architectural salvager extraordinaire, regularly states that he sometimes thinks people should have to pass a test to be able to own buildings.


This is especially shocking to me because in my part of the North Side of St. Louis, historic buildings get messed up because of decades and decades of absolute economic starvation in the area. A lot of the buildings we've lost or are in danger of losing have literally fallen in on themselves from being empty for so long. There are two different blocks within a five minute walk from my house that each only have one house left on them, and the roof of the house has collapsed (I don't mean long gone, I mean they both fell in within the last four months.) and there is a huge pile of loose bricks laying in front of the house, in the middle of the vast lawn that used to be a normal residential block. So it's strange to me to see a small-scale, partially residential, humble but beautiful old building getting fucked up apparently because of the fancy store going in below, in an area where real estate and commerce are booming beyond my neighborhood's wildest dreams. Man, no money at all or too much money, when idiots are involved the buildings get ruined either way!

12/22/2005 11:21 AM  
Blogger Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/22/2005 11:23 AM  

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