With demolition, it’s not easy being green

Preservationists also have raised concerns about the environmental cost of demolishing buildings, which creates mountains of waste.

Patrick Pinnell ’71 ARC ’74, a critic of the demolition plans who is author of “Yale University: The Campus Guide,” said the University should be concerned about demolishing functional buildings for sustainability reasons as well as historical ones.

“Any grace that they’ve stored up in green heaven courtesy of Kroon Hall will be more than offset by the demolition of [the Seeley G.] Mudd Library and all the other buildings on the site,” he said. (Kroon Hall is designed to use 50 percent less energy than a comparably sized modern building.)

School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern ARC ’65, in his defense, said sustainability is a “complicated balance of all kinds of issues.”

“It is a highly complicated agenda, a highly potent cocktail,” he added. “Preservation is just one ingredient in the cocktail.”

Several of the site’s buildings listed on the New Haven Historic Resource Inventory appear to be in disrepair. The Daniel Cady Eaton House, for instance, has vines growing out of its old air conditioners. Construction workers have already started to prepare for the demolition, taking out items from various buildings at the site. Yale officials said they will salvage almost all of the materials in the buildings.

But Anstress Farwell GRD ’78, president of New Haven Urban Design League, said it does not replace preservation: “It’s like organ harvesting.”

Comments

  • Oh Really

    Find me a method of demolishing a building capable of salvaging “almost all” of the materials in a building, and I’ll show you a demolition method that involves unicorns and fairy dust.