Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Turning Point

I'm not usually drawn to photographing flowers, but I couldn't help but notice the WARM DAYS (low 80s) and the PROFUSION OF BLOSSOMS throughout the city. It seems, with the time change, that SPRING has moved into Savannah, suddenly. The weekend brought opportunities for reading in the warm sun on the back porch, walking the beach, wearing a favorite fairweather vintage dress, buying fresh strawberries from Florida (though they weren't very good yet...) Peeps - the bright yellow marshmallow chicks - are also now in season. Mmm.

Today, another Turning Point occurred in the public hearing room at the Metropolitan Planning Commission in downtown Savannah. A landmark project was APPROVED for Part I: Height & Mass Review, after a laborious and surreal initial hearing last month. The design of the Savannah College of Art & Design Museum of Art and the Walter O. Evans Center for African-American Art, purportedly the largest in the nation, has the overwhelming support of the Historic Savannah Foundation, The Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, Savannah Development & Renewal Authority, and numerous private citizens who spoke passionately and wrote in support of the project -- and now, the Approval of the Historic District Board of Review, to proceed with Design Detail. The Museum will be a major contribution to the city, a star in SCAD's urban campus, the result of 31 years of historic preservation by adaptive re-use of over 50 of Savannah's great buildings. Admittedly, I wish every last person was as convinced as we are that this is the right design on the right site in the right city, but I suppose the drama, the twists and turns of events, the web of powerful people the controversy has drawn, makes for a much more exciting movie. Really - the movie's in the making. But we've got to get on with the making of a modern Museum of concrete and glass within and in preservation of a Ruin of Savannah grey brick, the 1854 UpFreight Warehouse for the Central of Georgia Railroad.

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