Sending Apple Back to the Drawing Board in Georgetown

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The dispute between Apple and the Old Georgetown Board over the design of the company's proposed building on Wisconsin Avenue ["Apple Store Design Hits a Glass Wall Again," Metro, Feb. 5] has me wondering: What is historic preservation really all about?

I had naively assumed the goal was to preserve old buildings of historic significance from the ravages of modernity. But the building Apple intends to raze is 24 years old. As I understand it, the board doesn't even concern itself with the interiors of these allegedly historic buildings.

What is clear to me now is that historic preservation is about creating a facade of history without particular regard for the history itself. This is dangerously close to a homeowners' association telling a homeowner that she cannot plant a particular kind of bush in front of her house. So is historic preservation really only about a few uptight architects trying to foist their superficial sense of architectural fashion on the rest of us?



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