There has been interesting debate in Rockport over "our" new performance venue. The old "Haskin's block" has been purchased by the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. The original plans of a combination of restoration and renovation have been scrapped. Now we find out that the old building will be demolished and a replacement structure erected in it's place. I wonder what happened to this building being in the historic district. I'll not debate the fact the the new building will have a considerably larger footprint and will also rise to new heights in the back, from one story to three, blocking the eastward water view for many residents.
My big problems with the new music hall are twofold. Number one is...
Where on earth do they plan to park the cars? We haven't enough space for residents and tourists as things are and the only current option (primarily for tourists who can't find a spot to park in town) is to park at the transfer station lot (read - the dump) and pay one dollar to ride the bus, disguised as a quaint trolley. So, tell me, are we to expect that the paying patrons of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival events, in their best evening attire, will be parking at the dump?
Number two problem for me is...
The aesthetics of the building. Yes, the new building will, in many ways, mimic the original Haskin's building. However, the architects have dressed up the French Second Empire style for the new structure rather than seeing the wisdom of the original builders in dressing it down for a small New England town. Here's a photo of the old Haskin's block built c. 1862.
And here's the architect's rendering for the new building. To me, this new design is just too gussied up for our town. A bit too painted and speaks more of "Nawlins" than Rockport. Wiping some of the extra makeup off would leave a gorgeous facade, still retaining that French Second Empire feel, and befit the Rockport Chamber Music Festival AND Rockport.
On a related topic. I found an interesting letter to the editor in today's GDT. The writer's intention was to draw attention to the lack of affordable venues for local artist's performances. I'm not copying the entire letter here. A lovely surprise I found nestled in the middle I have copied in total! (Words in parenthesis are mine)
Concert venue concern
To the editor:
I gave a concert on Friday, July 13, at the Rockport Community House.......
In the Rockport Community House, the piano was not tuned, and the owner called a technician to fix two keys that were stuck and would not play. This made it impossible to play that piano the way it was supposed to sound. She (the owner) did get them fixed but was unable to afford any other tuning or repairing expenses on the piano. The technician voluntarily repaired it, pro bono! Thank God she (the technician) was able to do that!.........
Guess who that technician was?
Are you still wondering?
ME, ME, ME!
And while the text was a little confusing, and my name was not specifically mentioned, I *am* the only SHE piano technician listed in our phone book.
YAY, YAY, YAY, I love whatever good, free publicity/advertising that I get.