Tuesday, December 18, 2007
All I want for Christmas is for them to take down that damn New England Conservatory sign
The offending vulgarity is at upper left - it's much worse head-on.
I know it's a small thing - but then life is made of small things, and what better small thing to make a fuss over than a pointless blot on an architectural gem? For reasons known only to the gods - and possibly Ernie Boch - New England Conservatory decided this year to advertise itself on Jordan Hall's glorious interior façade (designed by local architect Edmund Wheelwright, who also did the Longfellow Bridge, the Harvard Lampoon, and the MFA). Vulgar in conception, the sign is likewise crass in execution: big block letters reading "NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY" loom behind the artists at every concert, just in case we happen to forget, as we're transported by the music, just where we are and who we should be donating our dollars to. Of course, the sign might be fun if it were, say, in neon, with a kicking can-can leg, but it's not. And as long as it's up there, trust me, New England Conservatory will never be getting a dime from me!
But how to deep-six the damn thing? The local scuttlebutt is that it's the brainchild of new NEC Prez Tony Woodcock. You could write Tony and let him know how you feel about his brass-plated ad at the NEC President's Office, 290 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115. Those poised to donate might note that their money will only be available on the condition that the hall be returned to its former glorious condition (below). Trust me, from some circle of heaven, Edmund Wheelwright will thank you.