Daily Archives: August 20, 2010

‘Calling facadism preservation is like saying that you can preserve polar bears as rugs.’

Indirect quote via DaveM at ODT Online:

Inaccuracy
Submitted by DaveM on Fri, 20/08/2010 – 9:39am.

I am sorry to see an inaccuracy in a previous ODT report repeated here: that the proposed design ‘closely replicates the existing facades’. It closely replicates only one of the four Princes Street facades, and the remaining three could not even be described as loosely replicated. They look quite different to what is there presently, but do attractively incorporate some stylistic cues from the old buildings.
Facsimile is not a good solution – we wouldn’t preserve the Treaty of Waitangi by photocopying it and throwing away the original. Or, as an American historian says: ‘Calling facadism preservation is like saying that you can preserve polar bears as rugs’.
The historical significance of these buildings is high – much higher than their modest but attractive design would suggest. It is shallow to rank heritage based on how many turrets or frilly decorations something has.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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