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Different perspective

August 11, 2008

Re "A city built on impermanence -- and that's OK," Column, Aug. 4

If USC's Qingyun Ma really believes that Los Angeles is lacking in historic sentimentality, he needs to open his eyes or talk to any of the L.A. Conservancy's 7,000 paying members who are fiercely dedicated to the preservation of their city's built environment. It also wouldn't hurt him to scroll through the USC School of Architecture's alumni database to be reminded of graduates whose work continues to guide and inspire architecture throughout the world, and who would cringe to hear that the dean of their alma mater doesn't consider their work permanent.

And to top it all off, Ma oversees one of the premier historic preservation graduate programs on the West Coast, yet is quoted as disregarding the field as "foolish" in The Times. Ma can support the wholesale demolition of his birth country's cultural heritage, but to speak of the same thing in L.A. is downright naive.

Patti Koister

San Francisco

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