Diane Keaton on How We Treat Old Buildings Like Plastic Bags



Besides being a terrific actor, Diane Keaton is a former board member of the Los Angeles Conservancy and is currently a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She bemoans the loss of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

"We've treated old buildings like we once treated plastic shopping bags -- we haven't reused them, and when we've finished with them, we've tossed them out. This has to stop. Preservation must stand alongside conservation as an equal force in the sustainability game. More older and historic buildings have to be protected from demolition, not only because it affects our pocketbooks but more important because it threatens our environment. Let's face it, our free ride at the expense of the planet is over."
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Sleeper, 1973, which had lots of great architecture in it

"Preservation has always been a hard sell in Los Angeles. But maybe in the years ahead it won't be as hard as it used to be, considering several new facts. No. 1, as my Dad would have said, a building represents an enormous investment of energy -- much bigger than we thought when we were fighting to save the Ambassador. No. 2, we now know that construction of new structures alone consumes 40% of the raw materials that enter our economy every year. No. 3, according to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the resources required to manufacture these materials and transport them to a site and assemble them into a structure is the equivalent of consuming 5 to 15 gallons of oil per square foot. No. 4, a Brookings Institution study indicates that the construction of new buildings alone will destroy one-third of our existing building stock by 2030. And finally, No. 5, the energy used to destroy older buildings in addition to the energy used to build new ones could power the entire state of California for 10 years, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation." via Los Angeles Times

Enough Already! More in TreeHugger

Big Steps in Building: Ban Demolition
Refab Now!
Paul Rudolph House Saved, Sort Of
Documenting Destruction: Paul Rudoph Houses
Icon of Modern Prefab to be Demolished
Noooo Edinburgh, Don't Lift Ban on Changing Windows in Historic Structures
Preservation is Sustainability
Demolition by Neglect: Use It or Lose It

Buildings Under Threat in TreeHugger:

Only in Hamilton: Vote For Architectural Crime vs Heritage
Church Doesn't Want to be Saved; Brutalism Goes To Court
Preservation or Parking? Two Takes on Riverview High
Another Paul Rudolph Bites the Dust: Sarasota's Riverview High School

Everything in TreeHugger tagged Ban Demolition

Tags: Ban Demolition | Demolition | Los Angeles