Change in Architectural Style. Good or Bad?

It is evident from the readings that change in architectural style was not a very popular subject among the preservationists at the University of Virginia and in the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I can understand the argument of preserving the campus with Jeffersonian architectural style, but I believe part of what makes a college campus unique and beautiful is the range of architectural style in the buildings. In certain aspects the Jeffersonian style should be kept, such as the actual buildings Jefferson designed himself. After the Main building on the campus burned, there is no question that the only thing to do was restore it back to its original state. Jefferson’s idea of architecture was too attached to the campus and historically relevant. The fraternal also provide a significant example of Jeffersonian architecture that was  relevant to impose and has influenced the style of fraternal houses built today. Fraternal houses are for the most part easy to spot on any campus based on their style and add class and charm to what is considered by some to be a degrading part of college life. Change is also good for a campus though. For one it breaks up the monotony of the building styles, and like the proposed idea of a modern physics building, is evidence of progress in a rapidly evolving world. It is sad in a way that the Campbell Hall expansion had to “tiptoe” around the Board of Visitors in its untraditional style. Who is to say in 125 years the Campbell Hall expansion won’t be seen as revolutionary and historically relevant? Likewise in New Mexico change in style was also pushed away, but for different reasons. When a city beautiful plan was imposed for the city of Santa Fe, people living in the city were afraid the new Beaux Arts style would take away from the uniqueness of their city. I am in agreement that the Santa Fe style should have been predominant to the city. Like the restoration of the rotunda on the University of Virginia’s campus, the restoration of the Governors Palace was also the best plan to initiate. The cities responsive argument to modernism is arguably more relevant than that of the University of Virginia. The point is made that tourism largely affected the economy of the city and these historical buildings in the Santa Fe style were one of the main attractions. What would have become of the city if it had not been for this prevailing style of architecture unique to the region that was incorporated into the cities history? Though modernism was not stopped as the city grew to a large size, it did not completely interfere with the uniqueness of the Santa Fe style historical buildings. It is an early architectural style that highly influenced the region because of Spanish and native American building types, and is still a main economic and unique factor of the city today.


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