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'Good Idea, Bad Location'

December 27, 1988

In today's respite between winter storms I was admiring the bright sunshine and marveling at the variances of light in Southern California during the year. I then thought of an article I read recently describing the wonderful light in the great cathedrals in Europe and wondered why Los Angeles does not have a cathedral. With all of the sunshine and moonlight endowed to us, why shouldn't we also enjoy such delights as the interplay of light inside a magnificent building?

My thoughts then wandered to Los Angeles' stature as a modern city and its lack of a true central point. Then came the thought of the recently proposed Steel Cloud monument. I feel this monument would not suit Los Angeles. Doesn't the Steel Cloud celebrate the machine that has brought pollution and noise, cars, and mindless sprawl and a mind-boggling network of motoring frustration, clogged freeways? The Steel Cloud is a work of misplaced values.

If Los Angeles is to build a monument, it should be toward our wonderful light and should cause reflection. The Steel Cloud is another example of a headlong rush to expand and grow regardless of the consequences, and this blind push forward is making Los Angeles a more polluted and more inhospitable place to live.

We should instead turn toward our light and build our monument to it.

MATTHEW HETZ

Los Angeles

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