Letter to the Editor

Building defaced

San Luis ObispoFebruary 8, 2013 

A real and avoidable tragedy has occurred on Dana Street. People who should and could have known better have erected a Berlin-wall-like structure in front of and obstructing the once magnificent Barneberg House, the new home of the SLO County Community Foundation.

Incredibly, they justify what they did in the name of handicap access. They have defaced a glorious building that was entrusted and sold to them for its headquarters and safe keeping by the previous owner, Mr. Jim Duenow.

Not only that, but this project was apparently given a pass by the Foundation Board and our own city planners and protectors. How could this happen?

With all due respect to architect, friend and handicap advocate Professor Paul Wolff, the imperative of achieving open access to all comers, including the elderly and disabled, could and should have been accomplished in a more aesthetic manner that did not destroy the integrity of this historic resource.

In fact, I was personally assured that would happen. Why it did not will forever be a mystery to me. It’s as if a venerable organization, which was rapidly gaining credibility and presence in our community, intentionally shot itself in the foot.

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