The Polyester of Architecture
November 2, 2009 11:56 AM
Everything was bad in the 1970s. Our presidents ranged from the criminal to the criminally self-righteous. Our economy figured out a way to be in both recession and hyper inflation at the same time. Rock music had become so overproduced that that day's music ain't got no soul. There was "The Bob Newhart Show," but that was about the only thing to be happy about.
And in that era was created the Edgewater Hotel's addition of horrors. The crummy, nothingness of the facade was to architecture what polyester was to fashion. To add insult to injury it was built in the publicly owned right-of-way. Some nominal public access was written into the easement, and so today if you want you can go up on the hot gravel roof and share the scenery with heating and cooling equipment.
Now developer Bob Dunn has proposed to make it right. He would eliminate the most awful aspects of the 70s addition and replace it with a spectacular rooftop akin to Monona Terrace. And, having learned our lesson, the City will insist on maximum public access to a real public amenity.
Even the remaining die-hard opponents of the project as a whole love the proposed new Edgewater rooftop.
Richard Nixon, stagflation and the Captain & Tennille are mercifully gone. And like them and polyester bell-bottoms, so should the current Edgewater facade.