« Nature shows that perceptions are more lively than ideas | Main | U.S. Bank kills large downtown trees. Don't bank with them. »

April 10, 2013


But in your first and third photos, you can't see the building.

The cast iron architecture is unique in Salem, and is from the 1860s. There were two buildings with nearly identical plans constructed at almost exactly the same time, the Ladd & Tilton bank in Portland, and the Ladd & Bush bank in Salem. They are twins. When the Ladd & Bush bank was rebuilt in the 1960s, the cast iron elements that had been salvaged from the Ladd & Tilton bank's demolition were incorporated into the enlarged Ladd & Bush bank.

Now, reasonable people will disagree on this, but some value the rarity of the cast iron architecture and wish for smaller trees. We argue that there might be greater beauty in preserving the visibility of the rare cast iron. It is full of character, far from tasteless and bland! There are many trees; there is only one complete cast iron facade in Salem. It is the unique element here, not the trees.

To say that removing the trees makes the streetscape more ugly is not a conclusion shared by all - and it may be a stretch to say it is a tragedy of the commons.

Again, reasonable people will disagree, but I think you exaggerate the value of the mature trees and discount the value of the Ladd & Bush building - which, it is important to note, preceded US Bank, and quite possibly will outlast it.

Breakfast on Bikes: well, for about half a year there are no leaves on the trees, so no or little obstruction of the building.

In the 36 years I've lived in Salem, I've passed by that building many, many times. Each time the trees have been leafed out, I've enjoyed the greenery much more than the building.

This isn't an either/or thing. Such is the main reason I disagree with the premise of your comment. Virtually all of downtown, as is true of most cities, is the "built environment."

The "natural environment" (no one can build a tree) gets short shrift. To demolish some of the most wonderful displays of the natural environment because they mildly interfere with the viewing of some built environment for part of the year strikes me as wrong.

Especially in a city that once was proud to be a "Tree City USA" locale. Seems like those days are gone, given the policies of city government.

I not-so-fondly remember the similar shock I felt when marvelous oaks along south Liberty Road were cut down bu George Suniga, also for no reason other than they might someday create a problem with sidewalks that hadn't even been built yet in a new uncreative subdivision. See:


I suppose the U.S. Bank tree-killing is creating sort of a post-traumatic stress response in me, because this needless destruction of large trees almost exactly parallels the Suniga destruction that bothered me even more. I just don't believe that perfectly smooth sidewalks and perfectly visible old buildings are what make for a livable, lovable city.

Salem lacks the "soul" which cities that make you go "Wow!" have. The way our city businesses and leadership are acting, we never will get that soulfulness.

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