Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't blame historic preservation

From the NY Times:

It’s not preservation that’s at fault, but rather the weakness, and often absence, of other, complementary tools to manage urban development, like urban planning offices and professional, institutionalized design review boards, which advise planners on decisions about preservation and development.

It’s that lack, and the outsize power of private developers, that has turned preservation into the unwieldy behemoth that it is today.

Today decisions about managing urban development are frequently framed as decisions about what and what not to preserve, with little sense of how those decisions affect the surrounding neighborhood.

Worse, these decisions are mostly left to the whims of overly empowered preservation boards, staffed by amateurs casting their nets too widely and indiscriminately. And too many buildings are preserved not because of their historic value or aesthetic significance, but because of political or economic deal-making.

Instead of bashing preservation, we should restrict it to its proper domain. Design review boards, staffed by professionals trained in aesthetics and urban issues and able to influence planning and preservation decisions, should become an integral part of the urban development process. At the same time, city planning offices must be returned to their former, powerful role in urban policy.

That’s the way things work in Europe, where vibrant contemporary cities like London, Berlin, Paris and almost any city in the Netherlands blend old and new without effacing their normal evolutionary processes.


Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to be reminded that New York was sold to Europeans for the equivalent to a lap dance today?

Anonymous said...

Hey Crappy, where are the latest pics of the Weener Boy-- the biggest piece of Crap Queens has these day? I think the daily release of his latest perv pics deserves a place of honor on this site dedicated to $hlt our borough aspires to. After all, we are told daily that his constituents continue to love and support him, right? Let's celebrate him!

Missing Foundation said...

Wow, not even an intelligent response by the hacks on this topic .... or from the public of Queens that are by and large kept completely ignorant on the topic of community preservation.

When I see the bike nazis and the waterfront advocates (that simply sustain the developer's grabs) full of rosy cheeked articulate youngsters, and gatherings of smug self satisfied preservationists that make a room look like a tableau from 1980, its striking what the problem is:

its the preservation community themselves. There is no real effort to sell the concept to the rest of the city.

Its a bit like the economy: a few have it are getting richer and the rest are clueless as to how they are getting shafted.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an effort to take preservation initiative from the community (the 'amateurs' dig) and give it to the connected (the 'professionals') as they do in Queens where the public has no real say on what happens to their communities.

Anonymous said...

Anon No. 2:


Anonymous said...

Anon -1

You have to admit we're a bit short on weiner here today.

Anonymous said...

Sure, hack, and just how long can you keep everyone in Queens ignorant on community development and preservation issues but introducing bullshit like Weiner?

The Claire Shulman cohort will not be around forever.

Anonymous said...

Oh, but I do blame
the ersatz preservationists
like the 4 Burros, Rego Forest, Queens Hysterical (and other local societies), HDC, yadda-yadda, for the sorry state of preservation in Queens.

They've been pussy whipped too long and are suffering from Stockholm syndrome.

They're afraid to hold their pols' feet to the fire, lest they be retaliated against by them!

The Flushing Phantom said...

more frequently scheduled Dragon Boat races will solve the problem.

Suck up to Asian interests to provide the funding to preserve American history.

Anonymous said...

Are you too lazy to be CONSISTENT?

Queens Crapper said...

I wish I understood what the hell you meant by that comment. Both these articles relay the same message.