- Historic Sites
Letter From The Editor
August 1972 | Volume 23, Issue 5
- 1. The Top-out Cop-out: In this beautifully designed plan, the amenity to be preserved—say, Independence Hall, Philadelphia—is lifted up and dropped on the top of an eighty-story building, thus enshrining it in a position where it can overawe lovers of liberty within a radius of several hundred miles, in smog-free periods.
- 2. Forever Amber: This scheme involves embedding an entire district—say, Beacon Hill, Boston, or the Battery in Charleston —in clear or tinted fireproof plastic, thus preserving it like baby’s bronzed booties and at the same time keeping out undesirable elements. Aluminum walkways entirely encircle the preserved area and are washed down nightly by electronic means with a substance that removes all traces of graffiti.
- 3. The Disney: In this method, the landmark in question— say, Bunker Hill—is surrounded with an amusement park on the order of Disneyland. Cunningly devised monorails carry the visitor back and forth between the lines of simulated redcoats and patriots, clever mechanized figures that re-enact the battle every two hours so realistically that many of the patrons must be taken away fainting to local first-aid stations, although medical attention would be included in the admission charge.
- 4. The Cloverleaf: Since the modern American spends hours of his time on superhighways, and most of that circling on and off cloverleafs, it is clear that maximum attendance can be expected if these are situated at historic points like Plymouth Rock or the Alamo. Let us not forget what Dr. Johnson said in his Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland: “That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.” Imagine one cloverleaf twisting around the White House, so that tourists can be inspired with intimate views of the Executive Mansion while they circle it again and again, hunting for exits. In order not to disturb the privacy of the Presidential family, no exit would actually lead anywhere except back onto the throughway.
We have a great many more schemes like these available, of course, for in revolutionary times one should always be a few surrenders ahead of the attackers.