Message - Saving an International Style Building

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Posted by  Mike Tennent on February 06, 2003 at 08:21:31:


I'm not an architect, so please bear with me.

In 1948, a community center was built on St. Simons Island, GA in the US International style. Time and neglect from budget cutters has taken its toll and it was recently closed due to structural weaknesses. An engineering study shows it can be restored, but at a cost of $3-$4 million.

I'm a member of the advisory board for the center, and we have recommended to the county commissioners that it be restored. However, we are dealing with commissioners who have no knowledge in architecture and little interest in spending much time in learning. The "lead" commissioner on the issue doesn't want to read a book, look at a bunch of pictures, or be lectured.

What he wants is a short, concise statement of what the US International Style is, why that matters, and why the building is architecturally significant enough to save. He has promised to share this with the other commissioners if its convincing.

The local architects we've contacted say they don't know enough about it to write something. My own internet search hasn't turned up anything I could re-write or massage into something useful.

I came across this forum in my Google search, so I'm throwing myself at your mercy.

We need help. I can go shoot some digital pictures so you'll know what we're dealing with. Is the kind of statement the commissioner wants practical? Can anyone here take a crack at it?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give us.


Mike Tennent

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