Sorry, city leaders, but the decision to purchase the waterfront towers as the new City Hall is unacceptable. There is no “civic pride” in entering a nondescript, glassy tower lacking any architectural thought.
Yes, there are expensive repairs and improvements to be made to historic City Hall, but that is the case with any historic structure, and Stockton is on its last leg when it comes to remaining historic buildings.
If costly repairs were the only thing taken into consideration with historic structures, none would exist. It is noted in the article that there are “no plans to demolish” City Hall - just wait until it has been vacant for more than a year and see how things deteriorate further, or (surprise) catch fire. Then there will be no choice but to raze it.
I recently returned to Stockton, my hometown, after ten years of living in the Bay Area. I am very happy with my decision, and there are many pluses to living here; however, the dedication to preservation here is appalling, and upsetting to me.
Those leaders in the 19th and early 20th centuries had it right by designing public buildings to have a grand presence, instilling pride in our society. There seems to be a newer school of thought that spending a dime on a historic and grand public buildings is poor form, because it appears wasteful.
One must think beyond the physical investment and to the larger investment into city pride. There are other, more visible issues in our beautiful city, but just once, it would be nice to see the leaders double down on preservation.
It is not the easy way out, but it is easily the most rewarding.