Sometimes the choices made in historic preservation efforts aren’t always clear-cut.  Increasingly, there is debate over what is worthy of preservation and what is not.  Many years ago I photographed this vibrant 1960’s-vintage metal facade which spanned across two adjacent storefronts in Hays, Kansas.  At the time, I admired it for its classic aqua panels, quirky lines, and just the fact that it made me smile.  It’s fun!  And, as one of a handful of facades with a strong presence on the street, it was memorable.

Then, several years later, there was a push to “restore” and “revitalize” the immediate downtown area.   The master plan called for the removal of this particular facade.  Much history was lost in the redevelopment process; should this facade be counted among the losses?  Or do you feel that the two early 20th-century facades (both needing restoration) which were revealed are the stronger asset?  Take a look at the Before and After images below:


The 1960's metal facade in all its jaunty glory...

The 1960’s metal facade in all its jaunty glory…


...and the original structures revealed.

…and the original structures revealed.  Image courtesy of Google Street View.

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