Fallacies of the application to demo Birely Tannery (BT) SHORT VERSION

The would-be demolitionists’ claim in bold, followed by response.

1. Refusal to allow BT demo will kill the project: It won’t. Pinnacle/OPX, consultants to the City had a site plan with the hotel/CC and BT preserved. The project can be scaled back and designed around a preserved-BT. It has already been scaled back once so 200+ rooms and 24,000sf CC is not sacrosanct. This claim is political pressure on the HPC. 

2. BT is in poor to fair condition: wrong, the applicants neglect any assessment of the brickwork and stonework which is in good to excellent condition. Since the bricks and stone masonry constitute virtually all the cladding and a majority of the load-bearing points it is absurd to overlook them. The BT is eminently repairable because the dominant walling of brick and stone is in good condition.

3. The BT has lost ancillary buildings and is now depressed below the grade of the Carroll Creek park promenades so it has lost its historic context and integrity: from a historic preservation viewpoint the ancillary buildings and setting are important to have, but in tight urban settings it is common for these to be lost, yet for the remaining building to be considered worthy of preservation. (Think Barbara Fritchie House garden, think Schifferstadt.) The BT’s depressed location relative to the promenades is an opportunity to highlight the history of the Creek and flood control with imaginative stairways, ramps and wall displays and landscaping.

NOTE: this weakness of the case for demolition was dealt with at greater length here:


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