If you'll allow me to use the cliché "Good news, bad news," I've got a real-life example. First, the bad news is that our oldest son came from New Jersey to stay with us while he recuperated from neurosurgery at VCU Medical Center; second, the good news is that, (1) he was treated by a world-class neurosurgeon, (2) he has fully recovered and is now back at his job full-time, and (3) I had hours each day to look out the window of his room but I was never bored! Why? Because I was staring at the north side of the West Hospital building.
As the days passed, I became completely entranced by the very magnificence of the structure the architectural complexity and, if a building were a living thing, the sense of stability and longevity which exuded from its presence. Later, when my son became ambulatory, we walked around West Hospital. That's when I first became aware that it is an absolute monument to Art Deco design.
So when I read a recent article in your paper that this building is being considered for demolition, I felt a few comments were in order. One comment comes from someone I recently met; he said that the West Hospital is "Rockefeller Center cum Richmond." Now, who would ever take down the Art Deco Rockefeller Center? And my own comment is: Why take down a building that can be functional for another hundred years (like Old City Hall and a couple of other downtown hotels), while "new" construction like "new" City Hall is being strapped together to keep it from falling into the streets?
Please, let's continue Richmond's practice of protecting its architectural gems and historic legacy. There's a lot of life left in them ol' bones!
Dennis D. Flynn, DDS
Last week we published a story about the efforts of a Hanover County church to publish a help-wanted ad that used the phrase "Jesus-loving" in the Richmond Times-Dispatch ("Times-Dispatch Accepts Ad; Publisher Apologizes," Street Talk, Dec. 21).
We erred in writing that there were six days between the time the church's pastor complained in an e-mail that his ad had been rejected and the time publisher Tom Silvestri responded to him and accepted the ad. It was only two days. Style regrets the error.
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