Proposal is a good fit
I fully support Clemson’s proposed design for the new Spaulding Paolozzi Center.
Clemson President James Barker’s Oct. 20 column in The Post and Courier provided a wonderful summary of its merits and aspirations, which I will not attempt to improve upon; however, as a graduate of the Clemson School of Architecture and alumnus of the Clemson Architecture Center here, I can attest to the program’s investment in the community and its need for a permanent home.
As to the appropriateness of the design, we must remember that great cities such as Charleston are not uniform in their aesthetic, but offer widely varied examples of great architecture — each unique to its time.
Even today, these buildings reflect honesty, rigor and thoughtfulness in the way they addressed programmatic needs and responded to their specific environments with enduring materials and meticulous attention to detail.
These landmarks remain relevant and provide historical milestones because they brought to bear the best problem-solving approaches of their day in pursuit of great design.
I believe that the Spaulding Paolozzi Center design embodies these principles and that it will be a fitting addition to the architectural fabric of Charleston for many years to come.
American Institute of Architects
Charleston Board of Directors
Building out of place
Here we go again with Clemson trying to build an out-of-place structure in downtown Charleston.
For the proposed new building to be, in Clemson President James Barker’s words, “an architectural landmark in the City of Charleston, an icon of thoughtful design and fine construction, a center for design innovation,” then let it prove that new construction can be all of that, while it respects and reflects the fabric of this historical place.
Build it the way it’s currently designed outside of the historic district.
Or build it within the historic district and recast it to show how a modern building can work in harmony with the quality, look and feel of its historic place.
Clemson failed its initial attempt to build an out-of-place building in 2005. Was nothing learned from that experience?
City Ordinance 54-240 says developments should be prevented “which are not in harmony with the prevailing character of Charleston or which are obviously incongruous with its character.” Let the prevention of the Spaulding Paolozzi Center as now designed begin.
A study in contrasts
Reading Clemson President James F. Barker’s article about the Clemson Architecture Center reminded me of a scene from the movie “My Cousin Vinny” where the judge said an argument was “cogent, well-reasoned, and well presented. You are overruled.”
Nevertheless, perhaps we should have at least one really ugly and out-of-place building in the city to remind us why it is so important to preserve the city’s beautiful buildings.
Give preliminary approval
I support the design of the proposed new Spaulding Paolozzi Center, which will house Clemson University’s programs in architecture and historic preservation here in Charleston. I also urge the Charleston Board of Architectural Review to grant the design preliminary approval at its Oct. 23 meeting.
I have worked with architects in Charleston for 35 years, and I find the design an example of architecture at its finest in this city. The building is city- and site-specific in an extremely well thought out manner; in this it meets the most important requirement of any good building in Charleston or elsewhere.
The building will be built of substantial materials and its construction will require a high level of craftsmanship. I think the design is quite beautiful.
I urge the board to let the architect be the architect and not allow the design to be watered down by critics. Charleston, and the students who will have the privilege of studying there, need a building like this.
Former member (1993-2003)
Charleston Board of Architectural Review