Tuesday, May 16, 2006

to save a facade...

We've all seen examples of muddling up a facade or building. We've all seen beautiful buildings of architectural significance snuffed out.

It's nice to see someone saving a spectacular facade.
I have heard from a friend who lived in Paris for years and worked in the construction trades, that developers in Paris were forced to keep the facades of buildings and preserve the character of the city.

Steve is often fond of saying (in his bitter moments) how a stereotypical American goes to Europe and loves the art and architecture but then comes home satisfied with strip malls and Walmart. They don't seem to realize we could be like Europe if we wouldn't keep tearing down and building newer and cheaper.

The facade at left looks a little bit Louis Sullivan-esque. And you know, they just don't make 'em like that anymore.


StuccoHouse said...

I lived in a building in Madrid that dated back to the 17th century. When I lived there the original interior was still intact. About 5 yrs ago, the building was sold and the interior gutted to make condos (well, the Spanish version)....but according to law they kept the facade and (my) balcony that overlooked the cobblestone street.

John said...

If you'd believe it, there are sections of DC that are like that too.

When I spent some time in Bavaria as an exchange student, I was (and still am) amazed that the house across the street was built in the year that Columbus "discovered" America. And, it was still used as a single family home. It doesn't make the Devil Queen with her 116 years seem all that old.

merideth said...

i was just watching some show on HGTV (real estate buzz, maybe?) and they did a segment on people who tear down homes in old neighborhoods to throw up mcmansions. It was tragic to see these gigantic eyesores looming over darling bungalows. I shudder to think what level of coolness those people tore down so they could have a media room.

Greg said...

After the ’89 quake in Santa Cruz many of the buildings in downtown suffered a lot of damage. There was a 2 story stone building on a corner and I watched in amazement as they secured the fa├žade with bracing and large beams. Then a guy with a huge crane and another with an excavator completely demo-ed the inside. It was like watching a ballet of giants as they every so carefully pushed in from the top and pulled debris out through the windows and doors. After it was rebuilt you would never have known.