Friday, August 09, 2013

New England Reflections (Cont.): The Platypus Travels Part XXVII

The old and the new.

The Old State House, now a museum, sits like the little house in Up between its colossal neighbors.  Unlike that little Victorian, no one is planning on demolishing the Old State House.  World cities have different ways of solving the problem of old and new.  There are some, as is the case with many European cities, that impose strict zoning laws (building or even renovating in Venice is a matter for Unesco).  Others say "out with the old and in with the new."  Many cities, like Boston, attempt to reconcile past and present either by creating an historic "downtown" district (see Redlands California) or preserving specific buildings and then letting the modern city grow up right around them (Boston's choice).  As we toured Boston, this odd and abrupt juxtaposition seemed to be everywhere.  The old Puritan capital was transposed over the modern city like something out of a Charles Williams novel.  For New England, I think that's appropriate.


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