Dear Mrs. Wright,
The controversy over the last few months about the design of the proposed townhouse development should not hinder the opportunity to gentrify the neighbourhood, despite the large opposition to the architectural style. The firm chooses to stand by the minimalist design, regardless of the hostility.
Neighbours have fought against neighbours, and false rumours have filled the social media. Much of what is being said is entirely contrary to more than a half-century of best practice in the field of historic preservation. Practitioners in conservation have strongly favoured contemporary design for new construction in historic districts, encouraging the gentrification of neighbourhoods for decades.
I believe that the design of the townhouse development is in-line with a half century of preservation, philosophy and practice, contrary to the allegations of their opponents.
Most of the historic districts were piecemeal developments built over a period of decades house-by-house, owner-by-owner. Thus, unlike modern subdivisions, they contain numerous styles and sizes, and it is this richness that gives them their character. They are mosaics, made up of many distinctive parts. No one style predominates so it is not useful to prescribe stylistic limitations. Therefore, most local historic district guidelines do not include “style” as a criterion to be considered. These radically different styles co-exist peacefully in our historic districts. In fact, the differences between adjacent structures bring details into focus. The evolution of styles will not cease, and that is precisely the reason why preservation professionals strongly support integrating modern design in a historic district. The richness will continue to get even richer as our own generation adds to the mix.
I understand your concerns; however, substantial changes to the design will increase the design fees considerably. The proposed design represents the architectural style of our time....