Leaving Symphony Woods 'as is' is not preservation; it is neglect [Letter]

  • The Columbia Association unveiled new plans for the Symphony Woods Park on Friday.
The Columbia Association unveiled new plans for the Symphony… (Provided by the Columbia…)
January 24, 2013

The first rule of preservation is that you must have something valuable to preserve. In the case of buildings, they should have value to the community through their use, and/or their historical nature. In the case of land, preservation means protecting an important natural habitat.

Symphony Woods, as it stands today, is none of these. 1) No buildings valuable to the community through meaningful public use; 2) No buildings whose historical significance makes them worthy of protection/restoration; 3) No thriving natural habitat which merits careful conservation.

Leaving Symphony Woods "exactly as it is" is not preservation; it is neglect. Like the Victorian habit of maintaining a dead person's room exactly as he left it, a completely static memorial.

The newly proposed Inner Arbor Plan addresses these issues as follows: 1) Headquarters for CA and arts buildings: Meaningful for public use. 2) A re-statement of Columbia's commitment to the arts: Historically significant. 3) A respectful reshaping of the landscape to encourage both active and passive appreciation of its beauty: Conservation of nature.

Please learn more about this plan and contact the CA Board with your thoughts.

I am excited about the new plan because it will create something worthy of the citizens of our community. It promotes engagement, participation and a connection to the values we honor as Columbians. It says, "James Rouse created something great, and we recognize our responsibility to keep that greatness alive in perpetuity." We are responsible.

In other words: Columbia is a verb. Let's get moving.

Julia McCready


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