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Preserving art but tearing down history? June 6, 2012

Posted by Stella☆LunaC in Historic Wisconsin.
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The Sydney Hih, a complex of 19th-century buildings that were for decades an incubator for creativity, with art studios and band rehearsal spaces, is facing a raze order. The iconic letters will come down from the building tomorrow and be given to Art Milwaukee, a promotional arts organization. according to Jeremy Fojut, Art Milwaukee’s president.
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The demolition of the buildng can begin at any time but is not likely to happen for a week or two, according to Jeff Fleming at the Department of City Development.

An interim petition for historic designation was recently filed with the Historic Preservation Commission, and a hearing has been scheduled for June 7 at 9 a.m. Because the building has been deemed unfit for use and not reasonable to repair, the outcome of the hearing is not likely to influence the raze order, according to a finding from the city attorney, said Carlen Hatala, staff member at HPC. member at the Historic Preservation Commission.

The signs were originally to come down today, but the contractor did not have a lift that would work for the height of the sign. They will return tomorrow with alternate equipment. Fojut said Art Milwaukee will keep one set of the “Sydney Hih” letters (there are two signs from two faces of the structure), at the Art Milwaukee offices in the Grand Avenue mall. The other set may become part of a public art project.

See this collection of news stories, photographs and other remembrances of the Sydney Hih

When we become too focused on pushing forward to realize our future lies in the building blocks of our past, we hit a crossroads. Money talks, in The End.

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