25 Brook St.,
We should like to ask you to carefully consider the plans for the old Allegheny Post Office building and the Buhl Planetarium.
Firstly, it would appear to us to be a great mistake to dismantle the oldest working scientific instruments of their type. They, together with building constructed to house them, play an important part of your history. In England buildings are listed not only for their architectual merits but also for their historical value. Here, the interior would be afforded as greater protection as the exterior, taking into account the nature of the construction and its contents.
Please do not think that I am arrogant. Many mistakes are being made here now. In our market town, the powers that be have just given our Grade 11, Elizabethan style Carnegie endowed library to developers as part of a deal. They have our old library for nothing plus a 150-year lease on a large plot of council-owned land. The developers built a new library at no cost to the council.
The new library is near completion. It is housed in a block of flats (apartments) of questionable architectural merit and the developer will make a huge profit selling them as Knutsford is one of the most expensive parts of the U.K. in which to live. We do have 150-year lease on the new library but the construction is so flimsy that all Knutsford doubt if it will still be standing in 150 years. It is widely held to be of poor design.
This monstrous carbuncle stands between Regency, Greek Revival, ashlar, Court House and a large, redbrick Georgian house. Both are listed and are an important part of our civic history. Our new library development too has won a competition but is stands badly against two listed buildings. The architects obviously have no empathy with C18th/earlyC19th architecture.
Please do not link the Art Deco with C19th classic. The marriage of the buildings, from such backgrounds, can only end in tears. They have no common elements. The floor to ceiling glass wall, replacing the east Indiana limestone wall seems particularly incongruous. And, although the "nightlight" building might join the buildings together physically, it will not work aesthetically.
Iain P. Douglas and Sandra Douglas