Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tower of London

May I ask, in general how do archaeologists and historians feel about protections like UNESCO's? It may seem obvious... I am a novelist and not privy to much in the way of your conversations. I have my own knee-jerk reaction.. I want the Tower left alone by development and uncrowded... So what sorts of initiatives do organizations dedicated to archaeology have and to what ends? Thanks!

Nan Hawthorne

8:35 am (1 hour ago)

In general it's not as organized as the more organized groups such as Landmark West! in New York City that has had author Tom Wolfe as an observer and representative spokesperson for them in the New York Times. We have had problems getting even a required hearing in the mostly volunteer Landmarks Preservation Commission, filled as it is, not necessarily as it were, that is a Bronx borough president and recent mayoral candidate, Fernando Ferrar was once on it, its members are more often than not from the building industry and its developers, or its cheerleaders.

An interesting naming coincidence, after the so-called "Boss Tweed" scandals, Mayor Fernando Wood, who used a regrettable speaking device of "NYC succession" before the US Civil War, finished the so-called "Tweed Courthouse" home of the headquarters of the Dept. of Education now, so perhaps it should be called the "Wood Courthouse".

My archaeological experience has been is to find out a deal had been made, i.e., archaeology was part of a zoning variance deal in one example to add an additional story (and an additional $1 million in rent a year) that would arguably cast a larger shadow into the adjoining South Street Seaport historic district, which arguably also, because of landfills, is "newer" than the building site. i.e., a National Register Historic building in the district is newer than the subsurface features created in landfills the original shoreline, now outside the "historic district". In that case I was part of the backhoe deep trenching which on the last of three allowable small backhoe dug tests, found an 18th century ship hulk used in shoreline fill as snow flurries fell that December.

Its contents were emptied, recorded and in part, its bow, and other "knees" and braces were preserved by the first week of March, where it was then torn asunder and carted off to a Staten Island landfill (where "debris" from "9/11" was also processed) for the developer representing the consortium of British banks that became National Westminster Bank here in the US, perhaps, no where now to be seen, now under another brand of bank.

UN threatens to put Tower of London on danger list

I can hear Sir Thomas Urquhart laughing..."I translated Rabelais there maybe..."

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