Steve Lackmeyer is all over the SandRidge dustup and the ramifications thereof. If you haven’t been keeping score, here’s where things stand:
- Despite a negative staff recommendation, the Downtown Design Review Committee approved the SandRidge plaza proposal;
- Preservation Oklahoma has appealed the Committee’s decision;
- A “group of Oklahoma History fans” has put up a site called KeepDowntownUrban.com.
You already know what I think of this plan, so I’ll just quote this bit from William H. Whyte (hat tip: Aaron Renn):
It is significant that the cities doing best by their downtowns are the ones doing best at historic preservation. Fine old buildings are worthwhile in their own right, but there is a greater benefit involved. They provide discipline. Architects and planners like a blank slate. They usually do their best work, however, when they don’t have one. When they have to work with impossible lot lines and bits and pieces of space, beloved old eyesores, irrational street layouts, and other such constraints, they frequently produce the best of their new designs — and the most neighborly.
Any fool can hire a bulldozer, and many do.