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February 23, 2011

Inbox — Feb. 23, 2011

Letters to the Editor

Correction
Last week, The Taste Bud incorrectly listed the address of Chicago Gyros. It’s located at 2317 Brownsboro Road.

Save Facades
I was extremely disturbed to read the news that the Landmarks Commission and the Waterfront Development Corp. were circumvented by the Mayor’s Office and that Todd Blue will be allowed to demolish his iron-facade buildings on Main Street. Why should the city ultimately reward a building owner for allowing his building to deteriorate even further over the last nine months (since being denied an emergency demolition permit in May 2010)? Why has this case turned out so radically different from the case of the old Victorian house on Frankfort Avenue that Frank Faris was court-ordered to give away — yes, give away — instead of tearing down?

The article stated as part of the Main Street deal that “hopefully” the building facades could be preserved and that the city hopes to allocate $450,000 toward this work. Anyone who has worked on historic buildings knows you must be determined to save a feature in order to save it. If you are only “hopeful” to save a historic feature, it is most often lost. If Blue is not absolutely committed to restoring the existing historic facades (which I am not convinced he is), the city’s $450,000 will be taken, and the facades will still be destroyed — because this is always the easier way.

It sounds like in the next 90 days, it will be determined whether the existing facades can be saved or not. They need to be saved. The article stated if the facades cannot be preserved, then plan B would be “recreating facades with similar architectural appearance in any future development.” As an architect, this option is absolutely NOT acceptable. We do not need a Disneyland on Main Street. “Recreating” historic facades deteriorates the value of the authentic facades still standing.

I have asked the mayor: As a citizen of this city and as a professional architect, what can I do to ensure these facades are saved and restored? As mayor of this city, what are you doing to ensure this valuable urban asset is maintained?
Jennifer Charles, Architect, J C Architecture, Downtown

Misinformed Views
In response to the “Behsearland” letter (LEO Weekly, Jan. 19): The writer who sarcastically opined that educating children about Noah’s Ark as a myth akin to Santa Claus has misused some of his information to bolster his position. Copernicus and Galileo (and let’s not forget J. Kepler) were Christians trying to refute the church’s stance on Terracentrism. He uses an impressive list of scientists, mathematicians, etc., to prove what? The biblical version of Noah’s Ark and the flood is one of many similar accounts, likewise, found in the Babylonian, Greek, Indian and Polynesian cultures. Does he suggest an entire world of various cultures from antiquity to the present is misinformed? A classic liberal arts education in America used to blend secular and Christian theological disciplines. It still should.
Troy Kimmel, Jeffersonville, Ind.

No Mercy
Just before Thanksgiving, a woman in my neighborhood moved, leaving behind a large tomcat that may or may not have belonged to her. On several occasions, I saw this cat on her front porch and heard him yowling for food, shelter and, likely, companionship. Not long after, I found this same cat in my yard, eating a squirrel he’d killed. I walked up to him and asked, “Sweetheart, are you that hungry?” His face told me what I needed to know. He now comes into my home and feeds and sleeps when he wants.

If the two dogs left in the “care” of Karen Williams had not been chained and caged, they might have been able to get away and find a food source, and perhaps even shelter from all the wicked weather we had earlier this month. They were unable to do so and thus froze/starved to death in a neighborhood we might not have suspected — probably within the earshot of neighbors who ignored their howls and within the sight of anyone who cared to glance their way. What I resent most about this woman being confined in jail is that she now has what she denied two creatures — food, shelter, heat and companionship.
Misty Lee, Schnitzelburg