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Contrast vs continuity for new development in historic communities

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Steven Semes’ recent From Contrast to Continuity: A New Preservation Philosophy, a take on the divide over appropriate development for historic areas, seems to be resonating along the local email networks this weekend:

Thoughtful preservationists and citizen activists are increasingly frustrated with the stylistic biases of authorities who seem blind to the visual consequences of their judgments. Over the last few decades, increasing numbers of architects have renewed traditional architectural practice, creating fresh new essays in historic styles — neither copies of preexisting buildings nor banal “background buildings,” but worthy new neighbors — and these need to be accepted by the authorities as models of appropriate interventions in historic settings.

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