Max Page: Architect backs Jones expansion

Thursday, October 14, 2021

If you are an academic it’s nice to have your book quoted by someone other than your mother. Unfortunately, that sometimes means your ideas are used to bolster campaigns with which you disagree.

The opponents of the Jones Library project have quoted my argument in “Why Preservation Matters” that we be must be more mindful of historic preservation as a key component of any climate change mitigation strategy.

I am, however, completely in support of the Jones project — and not apologetic about it.

We must work to preserve more of our existing building stock. That does not mean we do not build anything new. The plan for the Jones incorporates much of the original structure, while making a highly energy efficient addition and renovation. And there are other social justice considerations — like universal access for the disabled, more space for English as a second language classes, better space for children and teenagers, and suitable and safe space for the priceless archives, including those of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.

The new Jones will strengthen a vibrant, walkable downtown — that too is key to addressing our carbon excesses — and signal that we will embrace the chance to create public institutions of the highest quality and openness to all.

Max Page