Is “Green” Being Used to Validate Removal of Our Layered Cities?
By Barbara Campagna
My last posting was a plea to stop viewing everything as black or white – architecture, politics, life. The last sentence in that posting was, “So, while green has been the color of the decade, maybe gray should be the color of the next.“ And now I think that’s the perfect sentence to start off this essay with.
As many of my regular readers know, I have had the great fortune of living in five fabulous cities in my life – Buffalo, NYC, Seattle, Washington, DC and Winston-Salem, NC. Each one is different; each one tells a different, important part of America’s story. Each one makes me happy in different ways. Buffalo represents my family core and the location of some of the greatest architecture in America. New York City’s visual chaos and aural cacophony inspire me and wake me up with every visit. Seattle reminds me of the delight we can find when we juxtapose sublime nature with man-made innovation. Washington balances beaux-arts city beautiful planning with elegant new green thinking and the sadness of sequestration. And Winston-Salem, with its hyphen, represents how a modern city can flourish by acknowledging its founding Moravian fathers, its tobacco-funded growth and most recently its banking revival. Each of these cities struggles with its past. But I believe it is this struggle that makes them and us richer and more fascinating. If only everyone thought that way.
Photo (above): This corner in downtown Winston-Salem has a 1929 third scale version of the Empire State Building in the vacant Reynolds Tower, a 1966 curtain wall office tower and an also vacant classical courthouse. Both the 1966 skyscraper and courthouse are listed in the National Register.