Editorial, Letters to the Editor

Lipstick on a Pig

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To the editor:

I had been thinking about that big gray box next to the Yellow Barn when I read Bob Hawk’s commentary in this newspaper asking Banksy, the world famous graffiti/mural artist for help.    I have a different opinion and, when attending the  June 10 public information session about the Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) and the Yellow Barn Project,  heard others express similar thoughts.  I agree that the placement of the building in front of the Yellow Barn is unfortunate, but that is what it is.  However, I think the perceived ugliness is because it doesn’t yet have landscaping, an obvious entrance and context. It’s just a big gray box with no identity.   

Since entrance and landscaping are part of the plan, what’s left is to give the building an identity by exclaiming its purpose.  Once we see it in context it will become an integrated part of the town, not an anonymous, stand-alone box.  It is for this reason that I am against murals or other artworks that are intended to put lipstick on the pig, so to speak.   

Instead, I envision the CAE’s beautiful and colorful logo painted on the end of the building in that large space between the groups of windows.  The logo has lots of yellow colors in it, which will blend well with the beautifully restored yellow barn behind it and tie the two buildings together visually.  Adding the name of the building, which is currently being decided, will give it an identity.  A description of purpose, such as “supporting our local farmers and the community” and of course “Hardwick, Vermont” would make it fit into the town    and further enhance Hardwick’s identity as an agricultural community.   

The logos of the other occupants of the building, Cabot Cheese and Jasper Hill could be displayed near the entrance.  That is plenty of “artwork” and it would proclaim “Hardwick-Proud” as we enter the village.   

Now, let’s talk about that ugly red box at 93 North Main Street attached to the beautiful and historic (circa 1896) Richardson Romanesque  granite and dark brownstone library …

Cheryl A. Michaels

East Hardwick

ed. note: Hardwick’s Town Manager, David Upson reports The Town of Hardwick is the owner of the Yellow Barn and new building next to it. The project is leased to NEK Development Corporation as manager. NEKDC, in turn leases the spaces to tenants, which, in the case of the new gray building, are Jasper Hill Cheese and the CAE. Any alterations to the building must be done in accordance with the lease agreements, zoning by-laws and in cooperation with the Town of Hardwick.

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