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Friday, September 4, 2009

Whither (wither?) the Walsh Building?

FOR OVER A YEAR now the Walsh Building has been empty; the magazines, Orbis and New Media having been transplanted to the Price Building. (How successful that transplant has been will be grist for a future blog mill.) The question remains, what to do with the historic and storied Walsh building?

Suggestions abound: apartments and/or offices for the General Council, expanded medical facilities and clinic, seminary residence (first and last years of formation), new archives and museum, housing for visiting family members or even a revisiting of the famous "Nebraska Plan." (If you don't know, don't ask. Or tell.)

The most radical is to tear it down but that would be extremely wrong, uninspired and dumb, IMHO. It is the oldest building on the property (there is still a stone carriage mount from the days when horse-drawn carriages pulled up) and t'was there the Secretaries of old (later to become the MK Sisters) lived and worked on the Field Afar.

EL PROBLEMA is that any interior renovations would entail mucho dinero to gut the structure and bring the building up to code. This brings up the other hornets' nest of the L.A. house (R.I.P.) and other Maryknoll properties. Is there a master plan or stategy? If so, let me know and I'd gladly post it or a link to it here.

This of course may be a straw dog or paper tiger or red herring.

Any other creative suggestions?


3 comments:

  1. "The most radical is to tear it down but that would be extremely wrong, uninspired and dumb, IMHO." Anybody, want to wager that that's what will happen? The L.A. house, of blessed memory, is only the latest casualty of the current mania to get rid of anything and everything that (often in only one person's opinion) we don't have an immediate need for. Getting rid of the San Francisco house (to move to San Leandro) was lunacy, then there was the Washington house (whatever became of it, by the way?). Selling off all these thing in the current market, to boot! Curiouser and curiouser....

    John Waldrep

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  2. By the way, did anyone notice my restraint in refraining from mentioning the fiasco of selling off the Dar house?

    John Waldrep

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  3. Your restraint is indeed admirable, as is mine for not mentioning how the Development Dept. sold the Chicago house out from under Joe La Mar who was there at the time without bothering to inform him. And shall we not dare bring up the scandalous sale of Stanley property? All these underscore the need for an overall plan for our properties. And one man alone should not be able to influence so drastic a decision.

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