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A blog that takes a look at West Chester area government, politics, and community events.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bold Statement of the Week

This week's award goes to Walter Hipple, who sits on West Chester's Planning Commission and Historical Architectural Review Board.

Hipple has been very critical of the West Chester urban forester's recommendation that Tony Stancato line his development at Gay and Everhart streets with Japanese Lilacs. Hipple said he would prefer Zelcovas. At a borough council committee meeting on Nov. 2, he said:

"[Japanese Lilacs] are a spindley, and in my judgement, a contemptable tree. Lots of trees are superior to Japanese Lilacs."

He continued:

"I don't even approve much of their blossoms. Those who like them would say they are creamy. I would say they are dingy."

I applaud Hipple for taking such a strong and uncompromising position on aesthetics. We live in an age of ugly buildings, of computer generated public parks. People seem to care more about functionality than aesthetics. The few people who genuinely care about aesthetics (whether or not their tastes coincide with Hipples) need to speak up. The two most oppressive things in the physical world are strip mines and charmless streets.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which fits the size of the property better?

The Japanese Zelkova grows to be 50' - 80' feet in height. The Japanese Zelkova has a spread of about 50' - 75' at full maturity. This tree grows at a medium growth rate.

The Fragrant Lilac grows to be 8' - 15' feet in height. The Fragrant Lilac has a spread of about 6' - 12' at full maturity. This tree grows at a medium growth rate.

November 7, 2009 6:04 AM 
Blogger Dan Kristie said...

I have no idea which tree fits the property better. The point is that Hipple based his argument solely on aesthetics. And for that, I applaud him.

Obviously, aesthetic tastes differ. But that's no excuse to sit back and allow functional ugliness to prevail.

That Hipple would say what he did is no surprise. He is a former professor of Art History, English Literature and Philosophy. And he sits on the Historical Architectural Review Board, a panel that has the job of determining what fits, aesthetically, in the borough's historical district.

November 11, 2009 11:12 AM 
Blogger Dan Kristie said...

Whoops! It's the "Historic Architectural Review Board." And the correct adjective to modify the last word of the above comment is "historic,' not, "historical."

November 11, 2009 11:17 AM 

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