You’re also a member of the Commission of Architectural Review (CAR). Can you speak to the importance of this organization and the success of its mission?
The CAR has been around for at least 50 years, and currently oversees about 6,000 properties in the city. The mission has grown and the level of professionalism has gotten more and more focused. It is a relatively sophisticated commission. Without the CAR, without the doctrine of old and historic districts, we would have lost a lot of our heritage and our urban fabric. It takes that type of organization to keep that essential fabric, which is what gives our city its character and culture.
And you don’t see modern architecture as at odds with an historic architectural culture?
Yes I do, no I don’t. You always have to deal with that conflict. At what point is it damaging? How far do you extend into modernity? At what point are you being too historicist? Our commission supports a lot of historicist detailing; good or bad, it will be supported politically. Very seldom do people have the energy, time or client to create modern architecture. The balancing point in neighborhoods can be so delicate, how far do you go or not go?