Bunker Hill Park

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Someone suggested that the park could become the repository for historic architectural fragments, a sort of outdoor museum of the city. With that in mind I walked past SCI-arc and the adjacent land soon to be developed into residential gold by Richard Meruelo. The SCI-arc building originally served as the Santa Fe freight depot around a hundred years ago. Meruelo's flat land was part of the facility and much of it is still covered by tan cobblestones. Acres of land densely covered by heavy rectangular bricks of solid stone. Each one hand made. The neighborhood story goes that they were used as ballast in cars returning from the East after delivering a load of fresh fruit.

These stones could be used to pave the plaza at the bottom of the hill or the pathways in the gardens. They're not native, but they are substantial, have seen a lot of history and show it. This would bring the texture that dreaded places like City Walk fail to achieve, the wear of use on real materials that cannot be faked and that contributes so much to our sense of investment and permanence. City Hall is among our best buildings and the stone covered civic plaza would lend to its dignity.


  • Great idea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 15, 10:09:00 PM 2005  

  • I definitely see your point about using stone with some sort of historical significance. The idea of using archaeology to guide the construction of a park is interesting.

    However, archaeology is a broad field - and choosing what to pull from archaeological collections is a more significant decision than one might initially think.

    Museums have problems dealing with these sorts of decisions all the time these days.

    Thirty years ago there was a story of western expansion and progress that a museum's collections could tell. The collection served as a visual reminder of different parts of a widely accepted narrative.

    These days, however, there are lots of narratives that people use collections to demonstrate: oppression and extermination of native inhabitants, exploitation of immigrant groups, environmental ruin, etc.

    I feel that there would need to be a theme, or at least the willingness to accept some dark aspects of our shared history into a theme, that would guide the incorporation of archaeological things into the park.

    By Blogger ubrayj02, at Mon Sep 19, 10:50:00 PM 2005  

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