Redeemer ChurchAs an architect, I read with considerable...


February 02, 1994

Redeemer Church

As an architect, I read with considerable offense and disgust the letter by H. G. Bailey Jr. on Jan. 24.

I am not a member of the Church of the Redeemer, nor do I know Edward Gunts personally, but I do have the highest regard for his comprehensive and thoughtful abilities as an architectural critic.

I do, however, regard myself as a competent and appreciative member of the profession which I represent and which I practiced for over 40 years in the area.

Early in my professional career, I was fortunate to have seen the building of the Church of the Redeemer by Pietro Belluschi, one of the world's most renowned architects.

His commission, to design a 1000-seat church that would at the same time enhance the small country church on the site, was truly inspired.

This church, in my opinion, ranks with Ronchamp by Le Corbusier as one of the finest small architectural buildings in the world. I continually think how fortunate we in Baltimore are to have it in our midst.

To consider this building other than as an integrated whole is to seriously damage its architectural integrity.

All of its parts -- the earthiness of the stone, the naturalness of the wood, the loftiness of the interior space, the quietness of the carpet, all leading to the magnificent focal point of the window with its subtle cross -- contribute to the central purpose of the church, the worship of God.

We, in this area, were not only most fortunate to have Mr. Belluschi accept this commission, but we were also fortunate in having the skills of Messrs. Rogers, Taliaferro, Kostritsky and Lamb to draw upon.

I knew this firm when it first started, and, to my knowledge, it has never executed any but the most successful projects. The fact that RTKL Inc. is now a world-wide architectural concern attests to its success.

Certainly the Committee of 13 has every right to make decisions that in their opinion are best suited to their needs; but to consider one aspect only of this integrated whole is surely to bastardize the original architectural concept.

Perhaps the choir and its leadership would have been better advised to use what I am sure are considerable audible skills in adding acoustical beauty to the existing interior, rather than creating discordance in a world-class architectural treasure.

J. Prentiss Bowne


Build Prisons

This is in response to P. David Wilson's letter (Jan. 20) asking for gun owners to be licensed.

Can we really afford to set up a state-run bureaucracy the size of the Motor Vehicle Administration, whose sole function is to license gun owners?

While this is happening, violent criminals will continue to be released early from prison, due to lack of space. And free to roam the streets and continue to prey on society.

I would recommend spending this money to build new prisons.

Gerard Mueller


Going Too Far

The Sun's attack on Comptroller Jackie McLean Jan. 5 goes too far.

Ostensibly, the purpose of the article was to report another instance of inappropriate financial dealings by the comptroller. The suggestion is that any kind of preference, particularly familial, by a public official in awarding contracts, even if perfectly legal, is, nonetheless, improper.

If it is on that canvas that the portrait of political reality must be painted, then the citizens of Baltimore City, indeed the world, are either blinded by incredible ignorance or steeped in boundless hypocrisy.

The well-known fact is that political favors are not just expected and accepted, but demanded. It would be unheard of, for example, for a new president not to "kick the bums out" and replace them with "more qualified," i.e., "loyal" persons.

Even the courts have accepted political patronage as a legitimate exercise of executive privilege. That Jackie McLean would select a relative to provide incidental services is no more improper than the selection of campaign supporters for key government posts, a practice condoned even by The Sun.

If the authors of that article, or The Sun, sought really to inform the public about newsworthy facts, rather than simply to satisfy the presumed public blood lust for a seemingly fallen politician, it would be commendable. However, the article did not reveal any attempt to conceal the $2,600 expenditure because, apparently, there was none. . . .

Robert Fulton Dashiell


Offended White

As a white male living in a society in which I will undoubtedly become a minority through attrition, I took particular offense to Orisha Kammefa's letter in defense of Jacqueline McLean (Jan. 24), as well as to The Sun for entertaining such trash.

I am certain a letter with white racist opinions on the wrongs of black males would have never made print -- as it rightfully should not.

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