There is an interesting (sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, but generally always disastrous) site called Preservation Fail that I have been following for a while. Apparently, no geographic area holds dibs on preservation failures, and every time I would see one of the dooseys posted on the site, I would be reminded of some of the less than historic remodels I have come across around Mississippi.
Take for example, the Beta Theta Pi House on the campus of the University of Mississippi and their 2011-2012 renovation. (And yes, I am trying to stop myself from saying “take for example, please…” but I just can’t). From the letters to the editor of the Beta Theta Pi Summer 2012 magazine:
…blown away by the house renovations at Beta Theta Pi–Ole Miss. I barely recognized it…No more fish bowl…
The descriptors “amazing” and “great work” were also utilized. Really? I do get the ‘barely recognized’ part–for comparison, check out the Before building.
The back of the building (yet to be “renovated”) remains in keeping with the 1964 design by architects Harold C. Brumfield and James C. Lee (Mississippi Department of Archives & History, Historic Resources Inventory). The angled roof and large expanse of glass offered contrast to the low height and the small windows of the original structure. The current juxtaposition just seems to call attention to the incongruity of the mash-up.
What’s your take on it, MissPres? Prefer the mid-century original, or the new Greek facade?