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Uncovering Montpelier's Hidden Past
Perhaps the undeniably wonderful results will put an end to the debate over the rightness or wrongness of the Montpelier restoration (September/October). What's not to like about this lost treasure now found? Congratulations to the Montpelier Foundation for a thoroughly responsible and well-executed restoration.
Elm Mott, Tex.
The September/October issue of Preservation had an exceptionally fine collection of articles, especially the one about Montpelier. In my opinion, restoring the house to the time of James Madison was exactly right and will enhance our appreciation of the fourth president. I am eagerly looking forward to the next issue.
Phillip W. Cornelius
I visited Montpelier five years ago. It truly was a magnificent structure. I find it absurd that $24 million was spent to destroy one historic building to obtain another. Resources for historic structures nationwide are in such short supply that it makes no sense to fritter them away in this manner.
Kudos on your most recent issue of Preservation, filled with many fascinating articles. I enjoyed reading about the Montpelier restoration and am glad that you finally mention the brilliant preservation architect John Mesick, who has worked on dozens of the most important public and private projects for decades. Also, The Back Page, concerning the groundbreaking work of Margot Gayle in preserving cast-iron buildings, shows that one person can make an enormous difference.
Christine I. Oaklander
I really enjoyed the articles on Montpelier and Chicago's "Marble Palace" in the September/October issue. These are shining examples of the type of story that I enjoy most in Preservation, with a good balance of history, restoration methods, and before, during, and after photos. I am certainly glad to see that both properties have been accurately restored.
David W. Messer
Goodbye to Yankee Stadium
The first time I went to Yankee Stadium was when my mother, Dorothy Ruth Pirone (shown above with my grand-father, George Herman "Babe" Ruth), was appearing for an Old Timers' Day game ("End of an Era," September/October). I remember stepping through the gangway and seeing this magnificent green grass shining in the bright sun. I was in awe, because my mother told me it was my grandfather's house. I fell in love with Yankee Stadium that day and have loved it ever since. I know what people mean when they say that ghosts are there—the ghosts of all the greats who played in this cathedral of baseball! What will happen if it is torn down? Do we really want to destroy this monument to baseball history? I toured the stadium last February with my family. We stood at home plate and looked at what my grandfather looked at. I could hear the echoes of games past, see my grandfather trotting around the bases, doing that little skip when he came across home plate toward Lou Gehrig, who was there to shake his hand. If the city tears down The House That Ruth Built, future generations will never experience this magic.
Linda Ruth Tosetti
Tulsa's Deco Gems
Your July/August article understates the devastation of what is now downtown Tulsa. Yes, the Art Deco skyscrapers are wonderful, but they are surrounded by nothing. No retail, no housing, not even any restaurants worth describing. Twenty-five years ago my adopted city, Seattle, approved a downtown land-use plan that encouraged mixed uses and density. Combined with strong preservation efforts, our downtown and its nearby neighborhoods have prospered. Tulsa needs to fix what one blogger in that city called a "land use planning process [that] is broken beyond repair." Until then, tourists in the area should instead visit nearby Bartlesville, with its wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright hotel and its surprisingly sophisticated history museum.