Why Design Guidelines are a Good Thing

borgcubeshipuc-borg If you’re a Gen Xer, you likely remember well the image to the left, which is a Borg spaceship hoovering over Earth from an episode of Star Trek: Next Generation. In the show, and in a later movie, the block-shaped ship is a soulless place that harbors hideous cyborgs — partly human, mostly robot. Here in Kingston, we have a similar-looking cube: the Ulster County Office Building. Although the interior is full of creative, intelligent humans who work hard to run our county government, the building itself is as soulless as the Borg spaceship.

To me at least, this is why design guidelines in Kingston are critical. At the time, over three decades ago, the modern looking county building must have seemed like a good idea. But the building’s design has not stood the test of time, and it does not fit into the rhyme scheme of historic uptown. And this is why the mayor and the city planner, Suzanne Cahill, should be applauded for working to get the Broadway corridor design guidelines in place. Design guidelines insure that new construction and renovation fit into the areas the guidelines direct.

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

4 thoughts on “Why Design Guidelines are a Good Thing”

  1. When we first came to Kingston in the early 80’s I was enamored with the Uptown’s wall street corridor especially when my husband drove us down at night with all of the twinkly lights. It was so beautiful. And then we turned the corner….

    Lord have mercy, what was that in the midst of all of these historical buildings? The natives at that time called it the” ugly glass menagerie”. Never understood whose idea was to create this abomination in the midst of this historical area. To look at the Old Dutch Church and then to look over your shoulder……

    We have to be diligent and get these Design Guidelines in place. Great picture, Arthur!!!

  2. It would be nice to see what some archetecture studes could do with the building………. That roof is perfect for photo-electric cells to power the building.

    I remember the days whn so many municipalities OWNED the utilites across what was the USA & is now the US of __________ in the America’s….


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