To the editor:
We walked to town this evening, the four of us — a pleasant recreation after a card game — taking the sweet-scented route down Melson Alley, emerging at the Methodist Church and out onto Third Street to see the new construction there near the bus stop.
“I hate that building!” said one of us.
“It’s too tall,” said another.
“It blocks the view of downtown — our Christmas view,” said the first.
“I kind of like it,” I said, then looked again. “It’s what you get when you have an urban growth area. This is the price we pay for theoretically keeping things rural outside of town.”
We continued down the alley, past this new chipboard monolith, until we could turn and look back up at its water-facing aspects — a handsome and intricate geometry of peaks and coves and plenty of windows, it seems to me.
“There,” I said, this is what I like — this side.”
“It blocks the old white church — you can’t see it any more, it’s obliterated … and that’s not a good thing.”
And then it struck me: The front of the new edifice
(behemouth, actually) has been given a lot of attention because that side will be seen by shoppers and real estate photographers from below. That’s the prestige side. But the side offered the neighbors, ranked behind it up the hill … that side is nothing but a wall — a rude, windowless, blank, affronting, f-you of a wall.
I’m sure no one actually considered or planned this. It’s just, who gives a fig for the back of something? What do we care what’s behind us?
Do you get my point? Do you see?
Short of having Wyland turn it into a Whaling Wall, what the hell can anyone do about this thing?