LETTER- Bad business at Beta House
Thanks for ["Demo dilemma When is an old house worth saving?" December 6], and thanks in particular for mentioning the Nimmo House success story.
Lithic Construction definitely deserves credit here, but that may not be the only difference between the two scenarios. Another is good faith. As the principal organizer of the effort to preserve the Nimmo House, I can tell you that all parties to that effort communicated openly and honestly with each other, overcoming the potential animosities that might arise in such a situation.
So far, however, the Jefferson Scholars' crusade has marched forward without a shred of goodwill or candor. Jimmy Wright has been belligerent toward preservationists and contemptuous toward City Council. He has scoffed at public opinion, despite his project's reliance on public financing. He and VMDO say they've taken the preservation option seriously, but they have offered no credible evidence to support that claim.
Bob Moje is not a neutral judge of the Compton House's condition. Whatever his qualifications as a structural engineer or preservationist (and I suspect they are minimal on both counts), he is the lead architect for a project that stands to bring well over a million dollars to his firm.
If he'd wanted to work this building into VMDO's design, he could easily have done so. Instead, he's given your readers an unpleasant display of partisanship bordering on hackery. If this house is a patient on life support, Bob Moje is as qualified to pronounce on its condition as Bill Frist was to pronounce on Terri Schiavo's.