Smart Development

November 23rd, 2009

I am happy to see my alma mater continuing to take a leadership position in resuscitating its venerable old buildings as it re-imagines its future ("Building the Future, Honoring the Past," September/October). As an alumna, I am happy to see Brown maintaining a connection with its heritage. As a preservationist, I am happy to see the University recognizing that rehabbing buildings is both sustainable and smart economic development, as preserving buildings often uses fewer resources than new construction while creating more jobs. Bravo, Brown!

Dolores McDonagh '80
Washington, D.C.


When I read the excellent reporting by Charlotte Bruce Harvey '78 on how Brown is tending its architectural heritage, I was reminded of something Ken Burns once said. When asked about the importance of preservation of place, he responded: "[W]e have an obligation to maintain these places ‚Ķ so that people may be in the presence of forces larger than those of the moment." That Brown is listening carefully to the echoes of its past may in the end be the most meaningful tribute to the late professor of art history William Jordy, who inspired so many future architects and students of architecture. No one was more passionate than Professor Jordy—who chaired the campus planning committee for many years—about the uniquely rich diversity of the University's architecture, which is surely a powerful metaphor for the inclusiveness of Brown's vision. Thank you for giving this alumnus yet another reason to be proud.

Raymond P. Rhinehart '62
Washington, D.C.

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November/December 2009