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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Prince George's County Maryland Talks Green but Walks Away

Adaptive Re-use: 

Exterior detail, Claremont High School, Hickory, Catawba County, North Carolina

               Prince George's County, Maryland has a tendency to say one thing and do another when it comes to economic development. The political elite de jour touts its support for Sustainability and Green but refuses to discuss actual tools for making these ideas a reality. For example, the connected few seem to think it is better to tear down old historic buildings and pave over open areas than to consider well establish and creative alternatives such as adaptive re-use. Adaptive reuse is the ultimate form of recycling because its retention of original resources and energy, its use of fewer construction materials and labor, its  reduced landfill waste; and its reduced energy consumption.  Of course the adoption of adaptive re-use presents a challenge to those in a hurry and too busy to be burdened by thinking about long term benefits. The adaptation of an existing historic building and its site presents a genuine challenge to architects and political visionaries. It is so much easier and convenient for a few to pull down and pave over rather than figuring out how to maintain the heritage of a structure, integrate the programming needs of the local and greater community, actually follow the planning process and the rehabilitation code, and  creating a successful adaptation.
               There are examples but they require someone to actually want to  at least consider the alternative which is too much of a bother for Prince George's County.  An example taken verbatim from a presentation by CBSA Architects[1] of the possible is:

 "Claremont High School which was originally designed by architect C. Gadsen Sayre of Raleigh, North Carolina in 1925. The three story, H‐plan building features classical terracotta trim on its red brick surface. Claremont High School was one of the flagships for the state's school consolidation program. CBSA Architects began the adaptive reuse in 1984 by converting the empty high school building and its campus, abandoned in 1972, into a community use arts and science complex. The original three story high school building was renovated to house the Hickory Museum of Art, the Catawba Science Center, the Western Piedmont Symphony and Hickory Choral Society and offices for the Arts Council. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2004, CBSA was commissioned to convert the 1950’s high school science/shop building annex into a new Aquarium and Planetarium for the Catawba Science Center. Auditorium renovations are currently under construction for the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The next phase of the campus development project will be to renovate and update the 1960’s three story classroom and library building, currently called the West Wing." [2]

[1] PowerPoint on line accessed December 18 2011
[2] CBSA Architects
226 Second Street NW
Hickory, North Carolina 28601

Ernest K. Sills, AIA, LEED AP
President, CBSA Architects

J. Steven Walker, AIA
Project Architect, CBSA Architects


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