Some history on the historical | AspenTimes.com

Some history on the historical

Dear Editor:There seems to be a weird trend for public officials to try to think for dead people recently. While I would never presume to channel or to speak for my good friend, Fritz Benedict, I am in a position to shed light on what he would do about the building on the corner of Galena and Cooper.I had a lengthy discussion with Fritz on this very subject, albeit regarding a different building. At the time, I was involved in the Highlands redesign and Fritz’s “beloved” A-frame base lodge was in jeopardy. The building assumed more emotional support and timeless stories than it did structural integrity – still we were looking for ways to “save it” – at a different site. And I, personally, needed Fritz’s blessing before I launched any kind of justification for its demise.Fritz laughed at me affectionately and stated that “the structure has seen its day in the sun.” He continued, “Times change and materials change and change is good.” He was a man of the future and while he revered the lessons of the past he was not sentimental about it. He would be the last person to support the preservation of a mediocre design that clearly has presented challenges from its inception. All you need to do is try to list the names of all the restaurants that have not survived the moat.Because of my profession (in the historical field), I feel I must add a qualifier here. Please do not construe the above comments to mean that I don’t support the historical preservation program in our community because I do, wholeheartedly. In some instances I would choose to be less accommodating than HPC has been. I am merely suggesting that there is a line somewhere beyond which preservation becomes impedimenta for the entire community – and this is the struggle that HPC deals with all the time. In this specific case, I’m hoping to aid their dilemma with a personal anecdote.Georgia HansonAspen

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