To the Editor:
Yesterday’s article on the potential demolition of the Urban Environmental Lab raises the larger question of the potential tradeoffs inherent in the placement of the performing arts building on the site of the UEL. I am totally in favor of a performing arts venue, which is long overdue. However, if the University simply destroys a significant number of historic structures and the lovely Mary Sharpe Park on Waterman St. — as they did for the Manning Walkway with the Engineering building — the tradeoff would not be worth it. Norwood House on Waterman St., the two historic houses on Angell St. and the brick building for graduate students next to the Walk on Waterman St. are all significant components of the charm that defines Brown’s campus. Hopefully the space needs of a performing arts center will allow for keeping the 19th century vista along Waterman St., which is part of a beautiful stretch greeting everyone descending the slope toward Thayer. Moving the two Angell St. Greek revival houses, expensive as it may be, must be part of the solution.
Peter Mackie ’59