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Re-adapt Searles School buildings

In her letter to the editor, Ruth Heuberger writes: “We’ve witnessed plenty of destruction that we later bemoan.”

 To the Editor:

A prominent architect, Cass Gilbert b. 1859, coined this maxim:  “Public buildings best serve the public by being beautiful.” Each age has its best of good architecture that we’ll never see the likes of again once demolished. We’ve witnessed plenty of destruction that we later bemoan. A creative solution could be found to re-purpose at least one elegant building of the long-vacant and solidly-built Searles Middle School, and Gymnasium in the center of Great Barrington.  (Of course, if we lived in a Utopian world of high purpose and true civic-mindedness, it might give new vitality and pride of place for the students and teachers of the branch of the Berkshire Community College around the corner.  In case it has escaped anyone’s notice, BCC occupies a make-do, adapted, former garage.)

As well, if the former public elementary school adjacent to the buildings found well-designed re-use as a corporate headquarters without destroying the original structure, surely the same could be done for the original Searles buildings. Great Barrington had the chance once. Errors of judgment were made and that time is gone. Many creative and competent citizens live in Great Barrington, able to offer experience and help. Hopefully, a wiser decision can be made this time respecting the good and needs of all who make their home here, while at the same time reflecting the past.

Ruth Heuberger

Oak Street

Gt. Barrington, Mass.

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