DRC member apologizes for News building vote

04.25.2007 by André Natta · → 17 Comments

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During this morning’s Design Review Committee meeting, committee member Cheryl Morgan read a statement into the record of the minutes voicing her regret and concerns about the vote that allows for the demolition of the Birmingham News building. Morgan serves as the director of the Auburn University’s Urban Studio in Birmingham.

The statement asks for all to take part in protecting the assets of the city and suggests that there is some irony with regard to the News’ reporting and its actions with regard to the 1917 structure.

Click through to view a copy of Morgan’s statement in its entirety:

Design Review Committee
April 25, 2007

Statement read into the record of the Committee:

I regret my vote to allow the destruction of the historic Birmingham News building. My statement reflected my convictions; my vote did not. I did not exhibit the leadership that this position expects; more importantly I did not exhibit the leadership I expect of myself.

It is ironic that in the same issue that the Birmingham News reported this vote their columnist John Archibald railed about our inability to move forward with our plans as a city and he called – as many of our outside consultants have – for a Redevelopment Authority.

It is ironic that within a week – a Birmingham News reporter – Brett J. Blackledge – was awarded the high honor of a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation and reporting on the two-year colleges’ breach of trust with leaders’ exhibiting poor judgment and making bad decisions that seemed to be driven by money.

It is wonderful to live in a city with a newspaper that has quality reporters and reporting of Pulitzer caliber. These are the kinds of indicators that attract business, leaders and make it a city I want to live in. I want to be part of a city and a process that supports that kind of city. I want to be in a city that, like Archibald called for: gets things done. Tearing down our historic legacy is not a harbinger of that same kind of city. Great cities are not known for their great parking lots.

It is part of the responsibility of this committee to help insure we have a great city. But WE ALL have a responsibility to protect the assets of our city. It takes leadership not just from this committee, its members and the city but also from our business and institutional leaders. It should not take a stick to convince folks to do the right thing for our city and the cost to renovate or save a building can often be the least of the costs in the long term potential of Birmingham.

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Filed under: 35203 · Alabama · Birmingham · Birmingham News · Business · Design Review Committee · News

16 comments
John
John

Preservation Online found the photo via Flickr and asked for permission to run it alongside their story. I asked them to credit BhamWiki. I was hoping their story would take a more scathing editorial stance, but I was happy to help them spread the news either way.

John
John

Preservation Online found the photo via Flickr and asked for permission to run it alongside their story. I asked them to credit BhamWiki. I was hoping their story would take a more scathing editorial stance, but I was happy to help them spread the news either way.

CP
CP

Preservation Online recently featured an article about the demolition approval AND credited the BhamWiki for a photo they lifted off their site.

CP
CP

Preservation Online recently featured an article about the demolition approval AND credited the BhamWiki for a photo they lifted off their site.

Dystopos
Dystopos

I say it's better to invite a lawsuit than to okay a parking lot. Frazier's reversal had to do with him finding an ordinance that negated his earlier instructions to the board as chair. Let Hanson challenge the ruling with respect to the ordinance rather than go on record having permitted this insanity.

Dystopos
Dystopos

I say it's better to invite a lawsuit than to okay a parking lot. Frazier's reversal had to do with him finding an ordinance that negated his earlier instructions to the board as chair. Let Hanson challenge the ruling with respect to the ordinance rather than go on record having permitted this insanity.

Andre
Andre

The Birmingham Weekly article published last month provides the best explanation of the situation as it existed before the final vote. The committee would have made Hanson go through all of the additional steps for the demolition approval and then have told him that it was all for nothing,. Upholding the original decision after already saying it was OK could have opened a Pandora's box of legal questions and concern.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

The Birmingham Weekly article published last month provides the best explanation of the situation as it existed before the final vote. The committee would have made Hanson go through all of the additional steps for the demolition approval and then have told him that it was all for nothing,. Upholding the original decision after already saying it was OK could have opened a Pandora's box of legal questions and concern.

Deon Gordon
Deon Gordon

Good question 3cho. I usually don't indulge in hearsay, innuendo, or conspiracy theories but it's hard for one not to wonder if money - or some other "benefit" - played a part in the perplexing decision.

Deon Gordon
Deon Gordon

Good question 3cho. I usually don't indulge in hearsay, innuendo, or conspiracy theories but it's hard for one not to wonder if money - or some other "benefit" - played a part in the perplexing decision.

3choBoomer
3choBoomer

I'm still dumbfounded by this entire thing. How can the DRC go from "oh hell no" to "ok sure" in a few short weeks?

3choBoomer
3choBoomer

I'm still dumbfounded by this entire thing. How can the DRC go from "oh hell no" to "ok sure" in a few short weeks?

Charles
Charles

This is confusing--why did she vote *for* demolition?

Charles
Charles

This is confusing--why did she vote *for* demolition?

Dystopos
Dystopos

I guess this gets filed in the same category as apologizing for slavery. Regret is cheap.

Dystopos
Dystopos

I guess this gets filed in the same category as apologizing for slavery. Regret is cheap.

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  1. […] forward has been a topic of conversation both on and off-line for several weeks now. We published comments made by committee member Cheryl Morgan that were read into the public record at the meeting following the vote to approve demolition that […]