To the Editor:
Having recently attended a meeting at the Chester Historical Society, I became aware that one of Chester's most precious buildings, the beloved Maple Avenue School, has the potential to vanish. Often, buildings get saved for all the wrong reasons -- they're brick, or they're old, or some towns just don't have anything significant -- so they just get saved so that the people have something from their past to hold on to and be proud of.
To be sure, this is not the case with the Maple Avenue School. This building is really good architecture. Not just that it is an American Art Deco inspired building -- quirky, eclectic, elegant, with both mannerist and romantic tendencies -- but more importantly is the fact it's a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project built during the Depression with precious federal funds by very gifted artists, craftspeople, and artisans. This building is a significant part of Chester's history and heritage. It has a right to live.
By the way: having reviewed the project proposed to take its place, along with the fact another field will be required to accommodate track & field, I'm reminded of a quote by General George S. Patton: "I don't like to pay for the same real estate twice."
Honestly and respectfully,
Alec Klee Galli, Architect