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Historically significant

Sally B. Woodbridge
Wednesday June 12, 2002

To the Editor: 

An article June 5 by Matt Artz covered the deliberations in the Landmarks Preservation Commission1s meeting on June 3 concerning Victor Touriel1s proposed development of his property at 2008 University Ave. Artz reported that in defence of the commission’s vote to designate the building as a Structure of Merit and thereby stop his project, Commissioner Malley said numerous alterations to the structure “added to the Victorian’s significance.” 

Malley said, “If you have a building that has changed over time, it in itself is part of the historical record.” 

Taking this statement to its logical conclusion, should we allow our historic buildings to be altered to enable them to acquire historical value over time?  

If Commissioner Malley’s statement represents the opinion of the commission, what does this policy mean for the future of historic preservation? 

Finally, if all the buildings 50 years and older having associations with the often mentioned names of their builders deserve to be recognized as Structures of Merit, will this action cheapen the currency of such designations to the point of making them valueless? These important questions deserve answers.  


Sally B. Woodbridge