A Brutal Lack of Love

August 29, 2010  •  Leave a Comment

A fellow Lowellian blogger, Corey Sciuto, mentioned in one of his posts, that I had left a comment on his blog about the lack of love that I have towards the JFK Civic Center.

Corey strikes me as being extremely well versed and seems to have his finger on the pulse of Lowell (and the world in general). So I felt that the appropriate response to him would be to head over to the plaza tonight to see if I could find some love and capture it on digital film.

Epic. Fail.

It. Just. Isn't. Happening.

I did try
 



And I tried again
 

 
 
And if I didn't have to get the building involved, I did better
 
 


The basic topic of his original post was in response to the exhibit at Boott Mills about Lowell and the Preservation Movement. Corey had mentioned that the JFK Civic Center deserved to be preserved because it is basically part of Lowell's history. My knee-jerk reaction was no, it needs to go (I have no love for the Freudenberg Building either).

The JFK Civic Center is of Brutalist architecture and it is just not for me. I see it has mono linguistic, no color commentary, cold pillars of concrete taking up space, not complimenting the space it fills.

Simply put, I love color. I love intricate details. I love guessing the history of an old building. I love seeing the stairways worn, the shingles covered with layers of paint, the roof a little crooked, listening to the walls that talk, tugging on the door that seems a little warped. It's all about character. I love knowing that an old building was well cared for, so it can continue to tell it's story for another 100 years.

Architecture of course is an art form. I am not a fan of Andy Warhol's artwork. At all. But I love Maxfield Parish and his work. I don't care for Thomas Kincaid's art but I find Dali's work beautiful, clever and amazing. Does it mean I want to see the work I dislike destroyed? No, of course not. So my knee-jerk reaction of getting rid of the JFK Civic Center was just that: knee-jerk. As much as I am recording digitally all of Lowell's great examples of architecture, I need to keep trying to find the love for stuff that I don't like. It is a great challenge!

I do understand what Corey is saying. That someday perhaps we will honor this modern architecture. That as a society we will eventually see their worth. And to that I say there is hope for people like myself. The following is a video that finds the beauty in architecture, from the viewpoint of a photographer. It is full of Brutalist architecture and I will confess, I get misty eyed every time I watch the video.

If there is any technical difficulties with the YouTube video, here's a direct link to Alex Roman's website

Edit: I actually prefer the video on his site over the YouTube video because the original soundtrack is so much more appropriate than the YouTube soundtrack. Not sure why they are different.




I also suggest that after you watch the video, do some reading on the making of it. You will be amazed and there is a very local connection involved with it.

Long live Lowell 5 and the Civic Center!

Now can someone pass me some enthusiasm?!


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