[So, I wrote this post a few weeks back and promptly forgot about it. Yikes! Since Mercenary Amelia is on vacation and I’m currently immersed in techsoup.org, this seems an appropriate time as any.]
Mercenary Amelia and I caught a movie the other day–Hot Fuzz–at the local theater.
It was both hilarious and explosive. See?
Not only that, but the film is really well done, surprisingly subtle, and thought provoking.
Here’s the rundown–a straight laced London cop is reassigned to a sleepy community because he’s making all the other officers look bad.
The town is notoriously peaceful, bucolic and historic, but there’s something sinister just beneath the surface. All of a sudden, members of the community start suffering from fatal and improbable “accidents.”
Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that one community member, whose home doesn’t match the community’s historic fabric, meets a brutal demise.
Hot Fuzz is a lot funnier now that I’ve attended my fair share of community meetings dealing with development and preservation. And the film really got me thinking about what is and isn’t historic preservation.
Take the Wren’s Nest–it’s a McMansion Original Gangsta. See the before:
And the after:
Worth preserving? Of course! It’s a significant structure, one of only two of its kind remaining in Atlanta, and the home of one of the more significant authors of the 19th century. Plus, it was originally built by George Muse when he was 16. Muse, for those of you native Atlantans, went on to found Muse’s, a men’s clothing store downtown, now lofts.
Okay, now how about something like the Plaza Theater itself:
Worth preserving? Totally! It was built in 1939, maintains a sleek art-deco character, and that sign! Wow. It’s the only one of its kind in this town, and has some neat sordid history.
But just because something is old, does that make it worthy of preservation?
What about, say, for those of you in Atlanta, Emory Village in Historic Druid Hills? Or Buckhead’s East Village?
Or the rundown shack next to your house that’s about to be bulldozed to make way for a new three-story “craftsman bungalow”?
What about the Plaza in the 70s, when it was an adult theater and probably pretty decrepit-looking?