My, my, two full pages of an Open Letter ‘Advertorial’ from a reader, David D. Turner, March 2018 issue. Such a notable deviation from the usual content! Part of the diversity we desire?
Being somewhat familiar with the controversy surrounding the development of the St. Luke in the Fields property, I read the letter with interest, and I thank you for publishing this viewpoint.
As a congregant and supporter of the church, Mr. Turner has an inside seat to hear what is presented to the community.
I have learned that theological arguments can rarely be won, despite erudite knowledge on the subject. But for the outsider, all we can do is study the use of certain words, and that is what stuck with me after reading it.
As an example, one focus is the new apartment building built on the south west corner of the church block. He asks “What values and beliefs about the church and, for that matter, about G-d, does the apartment building proclaim, and how does that proclamation compare to the meaning of what was there before?” As evident by the rows of townhomes that still exist along Hudson and Barrow Streets, the church has always utilized the property for income-producing uses, first by building townhouses around the entire block except the church front, and later by school buildings, also income-producing, and lately with more housing, even rehabbing the old townhouses as part of the plan.
Then, it turns personal, quoting the Rev. Stacey, describing her being assaulted by angry persons on the street, defying any “efforts at reasonable conversation.” She stated that “These folks are not evil” but the hate speech was. Mr. Turner was not one of those attackers, thankfully, but he posits that she was “rhetorically casting us in the role of the devil.” By characterizing the act of building a building as “a methodology of violence: secrecy, indifference, power, and the fait accompli” we are faced with the chasm of unimpeachable divisions.
In the end, to live in a city of buildings, and to consider the act of building as an act of violence, precludes any harmony or equanimity of urban life. The community needs to find a way to live with St. Luke.
—Brian J. Pape, AIA, LEED-AP