Forsake 40 Years Of Preservation?Concerning your editorial...


January 16, 1994

Forsake 40 Years Of Preservation?

Concerning your editorial (Dec. 27) on the county court house, I would have thought that after more than 40 years of historic preservation which has clearly resulted in strong, beneficial, economic, cultural and social progress for the city, as well as the county and state, The Sun would surely be on the side of the Historic District Commission.

Instead, you argue that it ought to neglect its responsibility to protect the integrity of the Registered National Historic Landmark District -- an honor few cities can boast.

From where you sit, probably you can't see how badly the court's next-door neighbor, NationsBank (ex-Maryland National) impacts the ambience of Church Circle. It is overpowering. Yet, that circle, along with State Circle, forms the nucleus of Sir Francis Nicholson's superb plan for Annapolis. Bear in mind that neighbors of the court also include the handsome Reynolds' Tavern, St. Anne's Church, Government House, the 200-year-old Maryland Inn, the distinguished Post Office building and the very old Farmers National Bank.

If the court is to remain where it is, surely we have an obligation to make certain that the new addition does not create any further environmental harm. There has been damage enough.

This writer, formerly Maryland's tourism director (1961-73), is as interested in economic progress as any resident of the state capital. I am keenly aware that historic preservation is imperative here.

Gil Crandall


On The Inside

Being an inmate litigator, I always find time to elaborate and seek information on trying to rectify the current problem in the prison conditions.

I found Elise Armacost's column of Nov. 28, "Inside Time Bomb On Jennifer Road," quite interesting. Her column touched some of the poor conditions in this detention center; not the main ones, however.

The overcrowding of this detention center is one of the conditions you stress. The health and living conditions are atrocious. It is cruel and unusual punishment for this detention center to have four inmates living in a cell built for one inmate (American Corrections Association recommends 85 square feet per inmate).

. . . The kitchen where the food is prepared and served from is rat-infested and roaches are crawling all around the area. On Nov. 27, I had turn my tray of food back to the correction officer after I found my bread had been bitten into by a rat.

The head personnel in this detention center does not seem to plan to do anything. . . . Prince George's County offers non-sentence inmates programs; why can't this detention center? This detention center is designed for inmates to do nothing. The inmates just wait around in their assigned area with no privileges. The inmates just watch television, go to the outside yard on assigned days and time and, once in a blue moon, your dorm goes to the general library. . . .

There are no leaders among the inmates to press the issues and it seems to me not too many inmates in here care. Where I come from (New York), there is a strong bond of unity among inmates. This is why the detention center is getting away with these poor conditions now. . . .

Russell Irby


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