Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The CVS Store

I find myself at the CVS store on Main Street for something or other at least once a week but it only recently occurred to me to write about its aesthetics. What took me so long? My opinion of its primary east facing elevation is Yuck. What was the ARB thinking? When will people learn that putting shingles (or vinyl resembling shingles) onto a building will not make it blend into a traditional context? I can’t even say the CVS store is an improvement over the IGA that preceded it. There are plenty of examples of CVS stores that have been designed to fit into a traditional context. Two images of such examples are shown, one in progress and clearly more historical than the other, but both brick. The HSBC bank next to CVS is brick, and Saks, across the street is brick, so why not continue that material? Granted, I have not dug into the file and learned how long or involved a review process this design endured, but it doesn't matter because what we all see today is what was approved by the ARB, and that design is wholly inadequate. Instead of relishing the opportunity to contribute in the improvement of the property thereby setting an example of what type of commercial architecture would be acceptable and appropriate within downtown Southampton, the ARB settled for a design that is completely bland and lacking of any quaint village character at all. In fact, it looks more like an outdated building than a renovated one.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. At least the IGA had a wall of glass to let some daylight into the place. When I mentioned this to a friend as we drove past, he said it's to mazimize every square inch of wallspace (he works in retail). In other words, daylight doesn't pay! Ugly and cramped, it is.