Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Oxymoron Commission

A reliable source informs me that Racine's Landmark Preservation Commission has voted against returning the Civil War cannons to Monument Square, the cannons original location. Now I have mixed feelings about the cannons on the square issue, but what is the point of having a Landmark Preservation Commission if it opposes the preservation of landmarks?

And while we are on the subject, what would you call a conservative preservationist? A preservative?


Anonymous said...

First of all, are the cannons truly considered a "landmark"? If so, if the commission voted to destroy the cannons I would understand taking issue with that, but moving the cannons to a different location is not going to harm the cannons. In fact it might make them more desireable and noticeable depending where they go.

Denis Navratil said...

The cannons have been on Monument square for a very long time. If I am not mistaken, they have always been part of the civil war monument on the square. That would certainly meet my definition of a "landmark." As I said in my post, I have mixed feelings on the issue, but it certainly seems fairly clear that the cannons are a landmark and that a landmark preservation committee ought to try to preserve the landmark. Otherwise what is the point in having a landmark preservation committee? Your point about destroying the cannons is, I think, not relevant because it has not been proposed, nor is destroying the cannons the only way to destroy a landmark. For example, we could move the Wind Point Lighthouse to the Regency Mall parking lot without destroying it. But we would have destroyed the landmark in the process.

Anonymous said...

No the cannon are not a landmark. There are part of a monument and by taking that part off the monument you are not preserving that monument. I don't know that the Civil War Monument in question is in fact a landmark. I think it rises to a level above a landmark. A landmark marks a boundry or a site, like Woodrow Wilson slept in this hotel in 1917. Or this house belonged to W. Horlick so don't knock it down for a stripmall. I think a memorial monument to Racine's Civil War Vetereans deserves more respect I don't know why the Landmark and Preservation crew was involved to begin with. Perhaps because those that want the cannon off the Square knew that the L and P would vote this way.
The Cannon were not part of the Monument in 1884 at its dedication, but were put in place sometime before 1891. Long enough to be considered part of the Monument.

In keeping with the argument that more space for people and greenery is more important than this Monument I have a proposal. We have a pretty cool bronze statue of Rev. Martin Luther King on at the intersection of MLK and State(I think it is State.) It sits atop a five or so foot tall and rather wide block of marble in a in nice common. Perhaps the DRC, City Council and L and P would like to remove the block of marble and place the statue on the ground so as to add more space for public use or greenery? This is not in Downtown put we should get the DRC involved in the movement as they appear to have considerable influence over some mebers of the City Council. anon2

Anonymous said...

Dang, sorry about the type-o's but you get the point.

eric said...

Ah, the fringe benefits of living in a smallish town.