Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

14 November, 2013

Fear of a Black Tenement

Yesterday Isthmus published a piece on a proposal for a new high rise on East Wilson. It would be sandwiched between the Union Transfer Condominiums and Marina Condominiums. It has drawn the ire of condo owners some of whom would see their view of the lake disappear and be replaced by the windows of their next door neighbors.

While I think we should be packing people into the isthmus, I don't really have a horse in this race. What draws my ire is a comment by local architect and, by the sound of it, all-purpose asshole, Kenton Peters:

Local architect Kenton Peters, who designed both the Marina and Union Transfer buildings and lives in the Union Transfer penthouse, criticized the proposal for ignoring the needs and character of downtown Madison.

"Good architecture doesn't take a 20-minute discussion," Peters said.

Peters also said that offering rental studios and one-bedroom apartments would create the kind of problems seen in the Allied Drive neighborhood, one of the city’s more troubled neighborhoods.

"As I look at the building proposed ... I can say to you that I think what you're proposing will be the Allied Drive of downtown in 10 years," Peters said.

First, I laughed reading his nano-exegesis on good architecture because he designed the Marina Condominiums which is one of the ugliest buildings in the city. While his sardine can may be a crime against good architecture, in my opinion, it's his racially-charged comment that deserves attention. "Allied Drive" is a code phrase for poor black people and his insinuation that the availability of studios and one-bedroom apartments will turn the building into Cabrini Green is laughable at best, and racist at worst. He can't simply say that current residents of the condos on either side of the project don't want a view of someone else's living room and instead has to engage in race-baiting? What a douche nozzle.

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|| Palmer, 4:41 PM

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