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Commission on a Mission

September 22, 2004

Dear Editor:

Once again, Frank Gruber hits the nail on the proverbial head. (“WHAT I SAY: A Landmark Tale of Two Garages,” September 20, 2004)

Our Landmarks Commission is flexing its whimsical hubris again by picking off willy nilly another highly commonplace plan book carpenter craftsman and canonizing it into the lofty realm of 'landmark'.

I suspect this has less to do with the merits of the object itself, and more to do with preventing yet another condominium project from seeing the light of day in the interests of 'neighborhood preservation'. Their action, and the neighbor opponent manner in which it was effected, should remind everyone just how vulnerable their property is to the capricious meanderings of our Commission on a Mission.

I hope the property owner has the energy to appeal this nonsense to the City Council, and I hope that body has the fortitude and common sense to reverse the designation.

On another note, there is more than a little poetic justice in the Commission's rejection (for the present) of Ms. Bea Nemlaha's proposed garage. I recall her successful efforts to quash another neighbor's garage dreams. What goes around comes around, although in the end I suspect with her connections she'll get what she wants.

If the City Council corrects the nonsense about the 19th street property, perhaps Ms. Nemlaha can relocate that charming bungalow garage to her property so that we can celebrate it there for all eternity.

Eric Charles Parlee
Architect, Resident, Former Planning and Architectural Review Board Commissioner

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