Saturday, January 10, 2009

Romish Contrasts

Catholic Church officials say razing the Rochambeau (right) would help highlight the restored Basilica of the Assumption (left).(Sun photo by Kenneth K. Lam) Jun 1, 2005
(caption and photo from Richard Layman)

June 2005, Looking East-Northeast

Feb 11, 2007, Looking East-Northeast

(caption and photos by Jacqueline Dupree)

20 M Street looms to the rear of the St Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church in the exact position that thwarts the latter's sensible relocation for accommodating the promenade of the South Capitol Mall.

Relocated St Vincent de Paul Church
next to South Capitol Mall

Washington, D.C.'s oldest Jewish Synagogue moved several blocks in 1969 to accommodate WMATA subway construction
and placed next to I-395

NCPC 2001 "Memorials and Museums"

close up
showing church like building suggestive of the idea of a few hundred foot relocation of St Vincent de Paul Church

The South Capitol Mall this relocation would have accommodated, appeared on the cover and throughout the U.S. National Capital Planning Commission's 1997 publication of "Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century."

Cover: U.S. NCPC's 1997
"Extending the Legacy: Planning America's Capital for the 21st Century"

South Capitol Mall at M Street

South Capitol Mall at the Anacostia River

Alas the Roman Catholic Church is nowhere near as civic-minded.

Peter Hans Kolvenbach
Born November 30, 1928
Elected 29th Jesuit Order Superior General September 13, 1983;
Resigned January 14, 2008

And the U.S. has a government totally subservient to Rome.

"W" Stadium

Best Demolished Landmark

The fact that the Rochambeau Apartments was knocked down reveals just how vulnerable old buildings are in the city. The 101-year-old Rochambeau, with its signature dormer-style front, was impeding the Archdiocese's plans to create a campus around the Basilica of the Assumption, which is in the midst of a $35 million renovation project. Never mind that the Rochambeau sat along Charles Street where office buildings are quickly being converted into condos, the Archdiocese wants to use the site as a prayer garden and told the city that it would cry "freedom of religion" in court if denied a demolition permit.

It's true that one person's old decrepit building is another's link to the past and people in Baltimore get surprisingly touchy when the wrecking ball swings. But it's also true that these old buildings, whether warehouses or tiny wood-frame homes, offer Baltimore an edge over other cities that have already torn down much of their old stock or missed out on the heyday of America's industrial architecture. Just check out the buildings that were spared, like the Bagby Building near Little Italy and the A-framed foundry on Aliceanna Street that now houses Pazo's. These structures serve as Baltimore's fire wall against looking like, say, Crystal City, Va., or downtown Silver Spring, places that have the ambiance of an airport mall.

A poster allegedly from the poor building's point of view.
In the window of the nearby Craig Flinner Gallery.
(caption and photos from Richard Layman)

The Roman Catholic Church decides to tear down the Rochambeau apartment building in Baltimore to clear the view around its Basilica of the Assumption, yet apparently, they did not object to Theodore Lerner's 20 M Street project looming behind the St Vincent DePaul Church in Washington, D.C.

Richard Layman:
Losing My Religion- Continued

Beside the [misplaced] Lump of Coal...

Physical Realities Of Lerner's 20 M Street Project

Physical Realities Of St Vincent de Paul Roman Church