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Fred Leeson

Excellent analysis. I'll add more later.

Fred Leeson

Preservation/restoration does not have to mean frozen in time. When new materials can do a better job than the originals, they should be allowed as long as the original color, appearance and proportion remain. Back in the 1970s, I watched a Portland Landmarks Commission meeting when an architect (I can't remember the name) proposed adding a decorative element made of fiberglass instead of cast iron to the facade of a cast-iron building where a portion of the original column was missing. I assumed that George McMath, the commission chairman and father of the city's landmarks ordinance, would object vociferously. He was a bulldog for doing restorations in accurate ways. To my surprise, he approved the fiberglass decoration. "Victorians would have loved fiberglass if they had had it," he said. So somewhere in Old Town, unbeknownst to us....

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