I have had the most amazing pleasure of spending some of my life in Charlottetown over the last five years. I say this, in part, because of the uniqueness of the city and Island: finally, a place that did not feel or look global.
However, by the end of 2012 changes, wrong ones, had been creeping in, from condominium developments not reflecting traditional P.E.I. architecture (one or two but not the majority) to allowing Starbucks on a street with three independent and brilliant coffee shops. Why not be unique, have courage, say no to Starbucks and insist upon condominiums reflecting traditional architecture.
Now these changes have arrived in the midst of beautiful neighbourhoods such as Brighton. The monstrosity that was built on Churchill Avenue and now on Ambrose should not have been allowed in their current forms. They overwhelm the neighbouring properties and give a completely different ambience to the streets. Let alone that very, very little if any consultation was given to immediate neighbours.
Worst of all is that the new house on Ambrose (lower near Brighton Road) did not have to be built in the first place. When the plot of land came up for sale, at least one neighbour (I understand there were more) offered to buy the land to keep the space green. I ask those responsible, how can that be turned down?
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of modern architecture (my grandfather was a modernist architecture in Berlin during the Bauhaus era) and of new architecture. However, I am not in favour of architecture not done in scale to its surroundings and not reflecting the past. These two new house builds do not.
The uniqueness of Charlottetown is very quickly being eroded, unnecessarily. It could still remain very, very unique and thereby have a place in the world and the tourist route. Those who are responsible for these changes for the worse should be very much ashamed of themselves. Changes can be made correctly.
Eastbourne, East Sussex, England.