Museum doesn’t belong | AspenTimes.com

Museum doesn’t belong

Dear Editor:

When the City Council passes things like building an art museum in the middle of town that looks like the cast of MTV’s “The Jersey Shore” designed it, one must ponder and ask, what is the point of this embarrassing structure, and why would multiple people support it? What was put in the water cooler that day? Black Amex Cards?

What would the Paepckes say about this? Fritz Benedict? What about the 10th Mountain boys, or John Denver? “Rocky Mountain High … Paramus?”

If Aspen needs a new art museum, then it should match or at least be an amicable step-sister to the natural surroundings and inherent beauty of this precious valley.

Take a look at MCA-Denver. That is a fabulous structure and museum. It matches its industrial environment. It makes sense. What makes sense about this museum? I keep looking for something; I want to think that the council cares, that they are not corrupt, or selfish, or blind, or poorly versed in art history. I am just so sad. I hope the people who agree with me, and who live in town still, will do what they can to save Aspen.

Aspen does not need an art museum to match larger urban cities because it is not a large urban space. Sometimes it should be OK to say, “We made a mistake. This is the wrong thing. We thought we would be making a statement like the Guggenheim or the Tate. We thought we needed a new tourist attraction or cultural center to use for events – and that having it in the center of town would be useful.”

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But it isn’t. Take a look at some of the flops in architectural history and see where this is headed. Look down the road 50 years from now. Wouldn’t it be nice if Aspen still looked almost the same? Wouldn’t it be great if people stopped selling off every scrap of usable land in the valley and we just stopped expanding? What will be left of Aspen if it keeps expanding and urbanizing its infrastructure?

Aspen may have deep pockets who want urban culture inclusive of the town’s identity, but it is the wrong tone and the wrong place for such ideals and ideas. What makes a place special is its identity. Identity comes from forging one’s own path, independently, and not copying or competing with surrounding concepts or people. Individuality and independent spirit prevail when the ideas are ingenious and original, not chaotic, poorly conceived and ignorant to history, spirit and, most of all, love.

I think the City Council needs to read more Walt Whitman and not as much Walt Disney.

Eliza Flug

Seattle, Wash.