Nature Conservancy, Anonymous Posts and Demolition

One of the first posts I made to this blog (May 2, 2008) was about the Indianapolis chapter of the Nature Conservancy building their new state headquarters. A newspaper story at the time quoted the state director as saying. “We’re an international conservation organization. If anyone should be walking the walk of sustainability it should be The Nature Conservancy.” But the Nature Conservancy’s version of “walking the walk” is tearing down an 19th Century warehouse building so that they could build a new, LEED certified green gizmo building.

P4150094-758263.JPGHere is the building they claimed they couldn’t rehabilitate.You know those awe inspiring before and after pictures of historic rehabilitation projects? Well the picture above is the “before”, here’s the Nature Conservancy’s “after”.

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A couple of weeks ago I got two comments, obviously written by the same person, who said they were “a person that [sic] is very familiar with this project”. The poster said there was a “consensus” to tear the building down. Since there were numerous preservationists in Indianapolis who tried to assist the Nature Conservancy in figuring out how to reuse the historic building, I guess the “consensus” was among those already committed to demolition.

In response to my comment that another historic warehouse building in Indianapolis of about the same size was being rehabilitated for less than half the cost of the Nature Conservancy structure AND was going to be LEED certified the poster said, “Did you ever bother to ask what the building that is spending $68/s.f. is actually trying to obtain from LEED? I guarantee it is not LEED Platinum.” So here we go, a prepubescent 5th grade playground mentality, “Your LEED is only Gold. Mine is Platinum.” The idiocy of stars on spelling tests.

You are certainly welcome to go back to the earlier entry and read the comments that were posted in their entirety. I have the integrity to allow such comments to be posted. The writer of this one, however, had neither the integrity nor the balls to use their own name and posted as “Anonymous.” Quite a bit of courage that takes.
But don’t despair, the historic warehouse remains. Here it is.
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So, congratulations, Nature Conservancy. You not only are going to get a Platinum Plaque for your Porch from LEED. I’m also awarding you a Titanium Triangle for lacking the imagination of how to use a century old building which would have been the ultimate in recycling.

For those of you who contribute to environmental causes – pick someone else. The hypocritical and disingenuous Nature Conservancy doesn’t understand what sustainable development really is.