Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Yet another contrarian speaking up: My View of ‘The Gates’

photo by Lincoln Karim

Someone referred to me as a "Contrarian" in my attitude towards the Gates. Is this another Gates Contrarian?

Yet another contrarian speaking up:

My View of ‘The Gates’

by Evelyn Fitzgerald, Landscape Designer, New York

I went to visit ‘The Gates’ today in our beloved Park. It felt like it was judgement day after the end of the world, as though the place I had known was gone. We were mindlessly following each other in long lines, cheerful, well dressed, well travelled folks congratulating ourselves for creating a park more beautiful than God could mak
e. Owls, hawks and falcons, among other wild creatures, watched us from the tree branches, blending into their surroundings so that we never saw them above us.

We were on our way to the gates of heaven to be judged on all that we had accomplished, not realizing yet that we had failed. We had neglected to take care of the living world, or to learn the design processes which shape its complex built structures such as trees, dams, nests, hives, reefs, etc. Self-renewal, time, change, suitability to the eco-system and adaptation are factors that drive their design. But instead we built gigantic, monolithic, obvious, static structures. With what techniques? . . . By pouring vinyl into molds repeatedly producing identical objects in quick succession that can be put together by workers who are not availed any skills, mastery or contribution in the construction of what they make.

We take pride in our ‘creative’ achievement while overhead, the hawks Pale Male and Lola persistently build their new nest based on what know-how? . . . On technology transmitted over time in ways we don’t comprehend, as we fail to see it, choosing to celebrate ‘The Gates’ instead.

Michael Popowski, of Bayonne, New Jersey, who took this great picture, writes about The Gates:

Central Park is beautiful all year round and the Gates take away from Central Park's natural setting; creating a construction zone illusion. However, in specific area's of the park the project works, in other areas it does not work. Overall a bit overdone and over the top!