Self-indulgent mid-century “launch pad” or simply stupid?

NOW online has published a loving description of Davisville Junior Public School by Richard Longley in which he argues that it should be saved rather than demolished. Parents want it replaced with a modern school which would be safer, more comfortable, include a local community centre and easily accommodate more children. These are the reasons why the Toronto District School Board intends to tear down DPS. It is described by Mr. Longley as a striking example of mid-century modern style. The architect saw such buildings, says Longley, as “launch pads into a brave new world for children of the baby boom.” Well that was then. Today people like Davisville principal Shona Farrelly are more concerned that primary kids will launch themselves through the gaps between the open stairs  Parents and educators in 2017 think of Davisville School as a woefully self-indulgent expression of the Hall-Dennis era. That’s the feel-good movement which created a generation of Ontario children who couldn’t spell. The embarrassingly named “playful windows” are tiny bits of fun which permit almost no ventilation.  They’re simply stupid. Nothing personal to our playful architects.

 

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