Thursday, January 21, 2016

One of the ways Palm Beach County is losing our history: "I have a better idea."

If you're a regular reader of this blog you know my thoughts on historic preservation. And many of you know my efforts over the years. I can say with confidence that my record contains more than words. Let's say I've walked the walk and I've talked the talk.

Five more historic buildings were lost yesterday (1/20) and many more will fall in the future and once they're gone they're gone forever. I don't know much about those buildings or the people involved in saving them but my heart goes out to them. It was a huge loss.

Many other buildings are heading towards destruction in Palm Beach County and it's only a matter of time. It could be demolition by neglect, by fire, or in most cases it's because, "I have a better idea." You can see this form of structure demolition right here in Lake Worth vis-à-vis the Gulf Stream hotel. Now a few are coming out of the woodwork with "a better idea."

Note that all these ideas are coming out now, many years after the debate began. At the point where the people in Lake Worth can envision a finalized historic building some people want more analysis which is really "paralysis by analysis". My fear is these 'better ideas' will end up with the Gulf Stream hotel being a big pile of debris in the end.

Below is the news story by Brian Entin at NBC5/WPTV from yesterday (1/20) and hope this is a reality check for all those people who say they care about saving our history. An excerpt from the text of the news segment:
     Historians and local architects showed up to the site Wednesday afternoon upset.
     They say the homes were built in the early 1900s and are historic.
     "It is a setback. But it is still important land. Important ground. The goal was to bring that back. Restore it. Bring back the memory and create a place where the residents of this area could reconnect with their history," architect Timothy Hullihan said. It's unclear how the preservation project will move forward.