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'Castle' Represents Architectural Arrogance

August 06, 1988

To call the Van Nuys "castle" (Letters, July 25) a monstrosity is an insult to the monsters of the world, both real and imagined. This structure is an exercise in architectural arrogance, completely out of place on one of the Valley's most beautiful streets.

Van Nuys is not a "cultural wasteland" as the home's owner, Prof. Robert J. Bond, advances. It is a cultural melting pot. It is a district rife with contradictions: beautifully preserved residential side streets, ugly commercial strips and burgeoning apartments. Battle lines are clearly drawn between those who would preserve its rustic residential beauty and those who would destroy that beauty for greed or gratification.

The intersection that has been desecrated by this architectural emesis appears to be purely residential. The proposed use of the castle as a "cultural center" seems directly at odds with the single-family homes surrounding it.

If Mr. Bond truly wishes to "make a statement" and to benefit the people of the area, he could work to eliminate graffiti, bury power lines, encourage reasonable and orderly growth and otherwise work to preserve the character and integrity of those areas that attracted our family in the first instance, the quiet, rustic and comparatively affordable side streets, where we can escape the "culture" of the "south side of the hill." Our neighborhood is not Bond's kingdom, and his castle belongs in another domain.

MARK M. STEWART

Van Nuys

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