Thursday, July 21, 2011

Loyola Alumni Gym Follow Up

Past and Present
Nikon D7000 w/ 55-200mm lens, 1/400sec at f6.3, ISO200. Copyright 2011 Andy Marfia, All Rights Reserved.

I blogged back in May about how Loyola University was planning to demolish their historic Alumni Gym.  Not surprisingly, they've gone ahead with their plan, and I stopped by this week to take a few photos of the demolition.  The photo above shows the south wall of the building (still holding an American flag) through the pile of rubble.  Here's an overview:

Demo in Progress - Loyola Alumni Gym
Nikon D7000 w/ 16-85mm lens, 1/250sec at f8, ISO200. Copyright 2011 Andy Marfia, All Rights Reserved.

Leaving aside the architectural merits of this building, what I'm most struck by looking at this scene is just how wasteful it is to tear down a large structure.  The amount of energy used, raw material discarded and landfill space consumed-- is that really outweighed by whatever benefit is gained from a new building?  Certainly there are times when tearing something down makes sense, but I think as a society, if we truly care about things like environmental sustainability, our default first option should always be to adapt and reuse.

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