I'm Tired Of This Number....

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by TraditionalFrog, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. TraditionalFrog

    TraditionalFrog One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Ind.
    http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/indiana/1920s-South-Bend-theater-facing-demolition

    Why, oh why must everything old be demolished? Yes, I know it costs to do restoration, especially when structure is involved, but still... I think preserving our past is important, even if it isn't a church, government building, or old battle field.

    I'm not against libraries at all (I use mine regularly and a I'm bookworm), and I'm glad South Bend wants to expand theirs, but surely there are other options. Nice they want to preserve an aspect of it by saving the tiles, but...

    Reminds me of the debate a few years back of wanting to build a Wal-Mart on a civil war battle field. Happily, from what I gather, Wal-Mart was out of luck. It's just sad so few people care about history, especially if it isn't from the 1800's on back. :(
     
  2. We get this in the UK a lot. I tend to fall on the side of folks who argue that you have to take into account how rare the buildings are, how important architecturally (often tied up in the rarity) etc. etc. While there's a solid case that things shouldn't be torn down just because they're old, neither should mediocre, or ten-a-penny buildings be saved, just because they're old.

    I'm afraid that 1920s cinemas just aren't very rare or important. If it was a Frank Lloyd Wright cinema, maybe they would have a case.

    Now, my reasoned position would be that if the building really is structurally unsound, it should be torn down. If it is actually sound, it should be refurbished and repurposed. It is surely much, much cheaper to refurb than to demolish/rebuild?
     
  3. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    One would think. We had a Walmart near us and they moved up the road to become a super Walmart (three times the size). Target bought the building the old Walmart was in, tore it down to the ground, and rebuilt a building exactly the same size with the only difference being the cosmetics. The building wasn't even 20 years old. It was the weirdest thing ever.
     
  4. skyvue

    skyvue Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,221
    Location:
    New York City
    I get your point, but I think extant 1920s cinemas are all too rare. Whether they're important in the larger sense, I'm probably not the one to say, but they're damned important to me. Many's the time I've donated to preservation/restoration campaigns for individual theatres that I might never get to visit. I can think of few structures I'd rather help save than classic bijous.
     
  5. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Weird (make that stupid) editorial choice to provide a picture of a construction sign, rather than a picture of the actual building. Very unfortunate that a cultural institution should be behind this. Why can't they use the theater for the library? I suppose it would double the cost.
     
  6. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    The problem with old theatre buildings is usually that they're full of asbestos and other things that have to be remediated to allow renovation. It takes several million dollars to fully restore and rehabilitate a small theatre -- and the bigger it is, the more it costs. And that's probably all it comes down to --unless there's a local sugar daddy willing to step up and pay the bills, the deck is heavily stacked against preservation.

    That said, I'm always in favor of preservation if it's at all possible. Given the shoddiness of modern construction practices, I imagine there'll be very few modern buildings that will still be standing in a hundred years, so given the choice I'll always go with an older one -- it's a better foundation to start with.
     
  8. Undertow

    Undertow My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,127
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA, US
    Don't worry TraditionalFrog, many buildings in Des Moines - wait, who am I kidding - most decent buildings in Des Moines have faced the wrecking ball to make way for a parking lot, or 1980's-1990's office abomination. Now no one uses those buildings and they aren't worth two damns.

    Our library demolished the beautiful Deco American Institute of Business building designed by Norman Vorse.
    Here's 1920's AIB:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the 2002 Des Moines Public Library (which they'd moved from our 100 year old City Beautiful building housed next to the river):
    [​IMG]
     
  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    In about ten years, they're gonna have some serious issues with that roof. What do they do, play minature golf up there?
     
  10. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,158
    Location:
    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    That looks like a legitimate attempt at a green building. I'll bet having grass up there cuts their air conditioning costs drastically. I would think they engineered the materials to have a good life expectancy, but I'll also bet that the turf is easy to remove so as to get to the actual roof surface itself. It may not look like much from this angle, but I applaud the designers and the library for doing something progressive and bold.
     
  11. kiwilrdg

    kiwilrdg A-List Customer

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Virginia
    Sod roofs were first used to prevent rotting of the roof shingles. If the sod has a good peat or clay base it will keep air from reaching the roof.

    With modern materials it makes even better sense but I hope the proper materials were used.
     
  12. Undertow

    Undertow My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,127
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA, US
    The roof may be nice looking, but the boiler has to be replaced every 5 years or so. We're on our third. Apparently in order to be "green", one must purchase an unusually lame boiler?

    The floors creak, too; they're the removable panel kind. The collection is sparse, especially concerning reference materials and historical documents. Nothing like the original library - a la City Beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    The original library is still standing, much of it gutted and parted out at salvage shops for ridiculous prices. It's now the World Food Prize building, whatever that means. [huh]
     
  13. It's still an ugly building. Here's what our library, built in 1991, looks like. I call it "The Beached Whale." :p

    [​IMG]
     
  14. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,003
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    Not all old buildings are valuable as viable spaces or human beings. There are times I have walked into old buildings that are just old and dilapidated and/or claustrophobic, and not old and prestigious. Many people feel this way. Today's construction techniques allow bright and airy spaces that weren't possible, or thought of, years ago.

    Special old buildings should be saved for their beauty, if that's what they possess, but not all old buildings fit that bill.
     
  15. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,003
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    That's one of those buildings that looks like it was done just to be different, attractiveness be damed.
     
  16. Apparently the old Des Moines Library is now the World Food Prize Foundation's "Hall of Laureates." Here's a description from their website:

    As a special tribute to Nobel Peace Prize winner and World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug, and to provide an enduring foundation for all of the programs he created, the World Food Prize Foundation took on a $29.8 million capital project to restore the century-old Des Moines Public Library Building as the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

    Open to the public starting in Spring 2012, the Hall of Laureates will serve as:

    --a world-class museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture and fighting hunger;
    --a convocation center at which to hold events during the World Food Prize International Symposium -- the
    Borlaug Dialogue;
    --a home for the expanding Global Youth Institute, which aims to inspire the next generation of leaders;
    --an educational facility featuring interactive displays on hunger and food security;
    --and a conference center and event space available to other groups and organizations for their meetings and
    other activities.

    This magnificently restored Beaux Arts space celebrates the spirit of giving, emphasizing the importance of global food security. Dr. Borlaug is honored for his role as the Father of the Green Revolution and the man who has saved more than one billion lives with his innovations in agriculture. The building also pays tribute to the World Food Prize Laureates and Iowa’s agricultural and humanitarian pioneers for their significant contributions to the global fight against hunger and helping to feed the world and improve the lives of others.



    http://www.worldfoodprize.org/en/hall_of_laureates/welcome_to_the_hall_of_laureates/
     
  17. Touchofevil

    Touchofevil

    Messages:
    12,243
    Location:
    Northern California
    Lifeless, ugly, and uninviting.
     
  18. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,003
    Location:
    Isle of Langerhan, NY
    I don't know if it's the camera angle, but that front entrance must be fun when there's a downpour.
     
  19. Undertow

    Undertow My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,127
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA, US
    This is true. There are certain older buildings - quite old - that have been taped back together, shimmed into place, had foundation supporters installed, windows bricked up, updated doors reattached, new facade's installed and they STILL look poorly, as evidenced below. Notice that these are likely 1880's buildings each with a fairly disgusting facade; the facade on the left was a 1920s installation with an update in the 50's or 60's and the facade on the right was a beautiful...chocolate facade...from the 60's. The entire block was torn down for a sculpture park.

    [​IMG]

    On the other hand, that dreaded concept of "progress" often comes into play and some fashionably rich socialite swoops in, buys a building, destroys it and builds some squatty, brown dump in its place just so said socialite can have his name last on for decades.

    [​IMG]

    Was traded for this:

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.