Move Roswell Forward.. A Call to Action from Lew Oliver

This post is an email that was distributed today to members of the Roswell community by local resident and world renowned architect, designer and town planner Lew Oliver.  Lew is passionate about seeing Roswell move in the right direction and has influenced countless plans and designs here in Roswell with one of the most notable being the redevelopment of the Old Bricks into an incredible cluster of high end residences in Mill Village.  Please take a moment and read his call to action regarding the upcoming vote on a demolition permit for two old structures in Historic Roswell...

This Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. The Roswell Historic Preservation Commission will convene to review a request for the demolition of 2 structures located on South Atlanta Street, just north of the Square (adjacent to and to the left of Spiced Right BBQ).  These structures contain historic material likely from the mid-late 19th century.  Adam Orkin will be the developer with the mission, a man brave and resolute in helping us in the reconstruction agenda.

The issue is not that the structures are historic…they are in fact.  They contain 19th century materials and traces of the past.  They are, however, very much compromised, obscured, to use preservationist jargon.  The larger issue is that they are in the direct path of progress.  The progress I am referring to is not as it has been in our recent past, where great buildings, streets, or the environment are sacrificed for the sake of a degraded landscape, which currently surrounds and in fact forms the spine of our City.  The progress I am referring to is the implementation of the Andres Duany (DPZ) scheme for providing Roswell with a real heart, a commercial and civic realm with no equal in North Georgia.  Andres is commonly known as the world's greatest living town planner.  I for one, will promote his brilliant vision above other agendas.  This new town center will provide our neighborhoods vital neighborhood services, increased pedestrianism, and will begin to transform Roswell from blight to brilliance. It is the next historic district. 

Most of you know that I am a former Historic Preservation member myself, having partnered with many of you in restoring the Old Bricks, amongst other projects.  I do not take this position lightly.  But there is the big picture to consider…one which will usher in new vitality to a musty historic district.  This is the course of great places.  To remain the same is decidedly non-historic in world history.  

Staff will likely recommend denial, unless their mission now includes the new vision.  All major projects in the Mill Village that we now accept as a part of our neighborhood fabric, (both phases of the Old Bricks) were not recommended by staff.  They are charged with  "preservation" agenda above the creation of place.  This is standard issue, one which is sanctioned by the Department of the Interior (whose presence is not evident here).   We must help them change. Please be present if you have something to say.


Lew Oliver