Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Talk About Adaptive Reuse!

This 13th Century church in Maastricht, Netherlands, was re-purposed as a sensationally beautiful, contemporary bookstore. In the USA, we tend to tear buildings like these down because developers feel that the buildings are too difficult to adapt or that they are simply in the way of the developer's objectives.

Because of the dearth of historic preservation incentives, history and culture goes down with bulldozers and wrecking balls. Our own home town of Baltimore has demolished some fabulous old buildings to make way for such projects as high-rises and hospital expansions (requiring huge parking garages).

We do not oppose development, but we see projects like this as examples of the historical benefits and possible magnificence of reuse. The simple comfort of historical space and the urge to reflection they provide is immeasurable.

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