10 May 2012

knee-jerk preservationist

There was a time when I was quite the knee-jerk preservationist but now I'm more of a both-and kind of person (you CAN have it all). That is, you can have historic buildings but the built environment can be enlivened by a mix of good buildings. I was taken by a description of the Kirkland Oil Field Office in Hennessey, Oklahoma. It was designed by Elliott + Associates Architects and was written up in the May 2012 issue of Architectural Record as part of a section on The Short and the Tall of It. Here's what the author, Beth Brooke, had to say of the building: "Elliott + Associates principal Rand Elliott, an Oklahoma native with a long list of renovation and adaptive reuse projects under his belt, understood that filling the gaping hole [left by a disastrous fire] did not lie in a historicist approach. Instead, he created a bold, 21st-century building that relies on proportion and scale to fit into its historic context. The building is sensitive to the 25-foot-wide lots and the height of adjacent buildings as well as other details of the surrounding vernacular." We had a disastrous fire in Alfred two and a half years ago and I can only hope that the gaping hole will get filled so deliciously. The picture is from the Architectural Record website.

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