Letters to the Editor, April 5-8, 2014
April 4, 2014
Chris Hague needs to get a life
It is little wonder why the so-called community watchdog, Chris Hague, has not been appointed to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. He has applied twice in the last several years, but was denied membership both times. If Mr. Hague really has a genuine interest in serving the public interest he may want to take a page from the book of how a real community interest effort like C.A.R.G. (Citizen’s Aligned for Responsible Growth) under the leadership of the former Park City Mayor, Dana Williams, addressed citizen concerns in the 1990’s.
Unlike, Mr. Hague’s approach, C.A.R.G attacked the issues rather than the people. It was a constructive rather than destructive forum which resulted in reasonable and fair decision making. Mr. Hague likes to constantly try and deface, discredit or demean staff members, appointed and elected government officials rather than focus on the issue at hand and work with civility within the public process. In my former position as Community Development Director for the County, I repeatedly invited Mr. Hague to personally meet with me or other staff members he was criticizing to discuss his concerns. He declined to meet. The county is very fortunate to have such talented public servants on staff and in office who serve with passion and drive for the betterment of our community.
Mr. Hague needs to reconsider his approach as a community watchdog, or better yet, get a life doing something different.
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KAC design offers healthy variety to Main Street
Since the recent public unveiling of the Kimball Art Center project, letters to the Park Record have offered both praise and criticism of the proposed design. As an architect whose firm worked in many communities with strong historic preservation efforts, these are thoughts based on my experiences.
Two letters I’ve seen expressed the opinion that the design does not fit the character of an old mining town. I see this a bit differently. Consider: first, while it is true that there are not other structures like the proposed design on Main Street, it is also true that as you view the architecture that is present on Main Street it is far from homogeneous in its makeup, either in character or in architectural style. The current Old Town architecture is not a "Williamsburg-type" setting where every effort has been made to recreate a piece of history long past.
Further, I believe it is important that architecture be expressive of its time. The proposed design, as one of the supporting letters stated, is "intriguing and bold." I agree. And, it provides a wonderful engagement with the street. Old Town Park City is a perfect place for this project, and I believe it is an appropriate fit for this quasi-public facility. The richness that comes from the contrast between the good old, and the good new, in my opinion, cannot be overstated. It improves the inherent value of each, and the character of the community in which they reside. As the Council, and City and Planning staffs consider the proposed project, I urge them, along with the citizens of Park City, to give The Kimball Art Center the opportunity to move forward with the proposed design.
Gordon Mills, FAIA
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Bold KAC design would not be out of place
Editor, The Kimball Art Center expansion project is long overdue. It is clear that our local residents along with the Kimball Board members and everyone else associated with the Kimball, more likely than not, want to see the project completed, sooner rather than later. The few critics are reluctant to see change occur and are not willing to concede that an anchor structure such as is proposed, will be viewed as a positive and compelling addition to the center of our city.
There are a few facts which must be considered when thinking about the new plan. Guidelines for historic additions require that the new portion not be an imitation of the original style but rather reflect on architecture of current time making clear what is historic and what is not.
In regard to the building height exceptions it should be noted that "church spires, bell towers and like architectural features subject to Historic District Design Guidelines may exceed up to fifty percent(50 percent) above the zone." The architectural feature of the concept does not have habitable space above the 32-foot limit, therefore, it is in compliance subject to the approval by the Planning Director.
Most important is the fact that this will be a centerpiece to attract visitors to our city and to be enjoyed by those who reside here. You only need to look at contemporary style museums in other places of historic interest to see how well they work together. The Pyramide du Louvre in Paris, the Museu Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Sainsbury Centre in England, the East Wing of the National Gallery, Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilboa, Spain are but a few examples of contemporary style museums in areas where older buildings are also located. And you only need look at the fabulous Salt Lake library to see how contemporary style can fit in to a traditional setting. The library architecture is so special we take our out-of-town visitors to Salt Lake just for a tour! Andy and Rick Barros
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