I wish I'd found the following two videos a couple of days ago when I first wrote my blog about Davidson County allocating money — more than $600,000 — to refurbish the exterior of the Old Courthouse. This story first appeared in The Dispatch several weeks ago and my blog was in response to some of the criticism the county's action has generated among several Dispatch readers.
Some of the criticism, I felt, showed a stunning disregard not only for the appreciation of historic architecture, but for history itself.
Both videos eloquently express the way I feel — more than I could myself — about preserving and/or renovating historic structures.
The first clip was taken from CBS Sunday Morning and the pertinent segment is entitled "Buildings: What's New is Old."
Pay attention to what Vanity Fair architect critic Paul Goldberger has to say near the end of the clip: "Historical architecture is part of our culture, just the way art, music and literature are part of our culture. Architecture is the only one (of those three) that's around us all the time, every day. It does its magic on us every day."
The second clip is a "local" piece by MyFOX 8, showing some of the historic buildings that stand majestically in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.
One critic wrote about the Old Court House, "Paint a picture and let's move on," more or less implying the building had outlived its function, if not its form, and who would miss it anyway if it ever fell in on itself?
Which left me to wonder, Why paint a picture when the story is standing right in front of us?