Letter: Aspen squared

Never before have I read so much negative press on a building designed by a “world-class foreign architect.” I agree with all of the negative commentary! It is an ugly, offensive, obnoxious, square building that does not fit into our quaint mountain town.

The other day I drove by the beautiful Basalt Library, designed by Michael Hassig, of A4 Architects, based in Carbondale. The building is very attractive and artistic and fits perfectly into the landscape. Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson and her board needed the prestige of having an acclaimed international architect design their museum, and look what he came up with — a square, rusted-steel-looking birdcage! How hard is it to design a square building? Hassig, I am sure, would have created a design far more sensitive to preserving the historical feeling of Aspen.

My girlfriend wanted to go to the museum’s rooftop cafe Sunday morning after a class we took together because she wanted to take in the view of Aspen Mountain from that vantage point. After sitting at the table with the best view of the mountain, I immediately heard the video re-enacting the Black Dynamite blasts that happened on the day of the museum opening. Does the management really think that it is enjoyable to listen to machine-gun sounds and bomb blasts while trying to have a pleasant conversation with a friend? I was appalled by this affront of my senses once again. It was bad enough hearing it at the base of the mountain the day the dynamite was blasted the first time, but to have to listen to it over and over again while eating was more than I could endure. Wouldn’t elegant classical music or soft jazz create a more comfortable, appealing atmosphere?

My final suggestion is that Heidi and all the powers that be wear iPads on their heads and see how they like it! Where is their sensitivity and compassion? It is pretty sad what has happened here in Aspen. Thanks, Mick, and all who are responsible for this abomination!

Cheryl McArthur