UPDATE: THE CITY COUNCIL IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE UP THE MATTER OF THE PARKING STRUCTURE AND ITS DESIGN AT TODAY’S MEETING. SINCE WE REPORTED ON THIS ISSUE CITY STAFF HAS REFUSED TO CHANGE ITS LUDICROUS POSTION THAT THE FAKE BRICK SOMEHOW SATISFIES SOME SORT OF CEQA REQUIREMENT – EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED THE MYTH OF BRICK AND REALITY OF BRICK VENEER IN DOWNTOWN FULLERTON.
SUCH A LAME APPROACH INSULTS NOT ONLY OUR AESTHETIC SENSIBILITIES, BUT IT ALSO TURNS THE WHOLE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS INTO A CHARADE THAT JUST SECURES FOR STAFF WHAT THEY WANT: BRICK VENEER.
CONSIDER THIS: THE MONEY SAVED BY ELIMINATING THE USELESS BRICK COULD GO TO ESTABLISHING SOLAR PANELS ON THE BUILDING AND ENHANCING ITS SUSTAINABILITY QUOTIENT.
They just can’t seem to help themselves. Not long ago the City held a “stake holder” gathering that was supposed to display three alternative plans for the proposed new parking structure on Santa Fe Avenue. No sooner had the meeting begun than it became apparent it was going to be one of those typical “here’s what we’re doing so sit down and shut up” meetings.
The image above shows what the City wants the building to look like. The architectural elements look okay except for the hideous brick veneer – that tomato soup colored stuff you see on the building. Brick veneer. The lazy Redevelopment bureaucrat’s material of choice. We recently wrote about it in a pithy post here.
Why would anybody put a brick veneer on a concrete parking structure? Who would put lipstick on a pig? Brick panels spanning impossibly long spaces look simply idiotic – even to the layman who could sense intuitively that brick has little tensile strength; but unfortunately this type of masquerade is par for Fullerton’s aesthetic course – displaying once again the curious parochialism of Fullerton’s taste makers.
But brick veneer is not only stupid architecturally, but is a big waste of money, to boot. And it contradicts the General Plan Advisory Committee’s adopted “sustainability” policy in the General Plan Update, since it serves no function and will have to be replaced when it falls off.
Fortunately it’s not too late to make the right choice here. But we’re not holding our breath.