Aesthetic Crimes

Having lived in many countries, I can say with confidence that the Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden is one of the most agreeable gardens I have seen. Every single day there’s something different to be appreciated in its many layers of interest: colors, smells, sounds, etc. However, I’m very concerned about some “decisions” that have been put in place there. “Decisions” that in our opinion (I’m writing in the name of other frequent walkers) are contributing to discharacterize the original beauty of the conception.

First it was the tall, large, intrusive cement curbs that break the harmony of the lines of landscaping-replacing the old wood ones. By the way, cement is being used a lot in the park, to replace original wood and stones! Then, some benches received a terrible Army gray paint which is completely intrusive. Why not let the wood be wood? Or at least paint the benches green? Other things followed, such as the poor choice in replacing plants: rare, beautiful, multilayered species are being replaced by cheap, common, anywhere nursery kind of things-and what’s worse with very uninteresting visual effects.

Last but not least, some days ago, we saw a contractor replacing the old teak wood benches with plastic ones! And of course, gray, and very short so that “nobody sleeps in them.” But nobody sleeps in the wooden ones either, because they already have iron bars to prevent people from doing that.

Who are the people responsible for such aesthetic crimes? Why not allow beauty to be still beautiful? Does it offend? We hope not! The argument is usually money, but with little money and discerning taste, things can be maintained without destruction. - Elide Valarini Oliver

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