Letter: Baba building’s windows are elegant artwork

Posted 9/26/19

Every town and municipality requires zoning ordinances and parameters to follow. It would be a chaotic practice if residents or businesses were allowed a ”willy nilly” approach to put up …

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Letter: Baba building’s windows are elegant artwork

Posted

Every town and municipality requires zoning ordinances and parameters to follow. It would be a chaotic practice if residents or businesses were allowed a ”willy nilly” approach to put up signs of any size or raise a building based upon the whims of its owners, with no regard for the environment and surrounding areas. Most citizens well recognize this and comply readily.

It also becomes important to note that overall conformity within communities can lead to design spreads that are of limited aesthetic value and become more “bunker like” in appeal. In essence, such uniformity can lack appeal and lead to a rather boring cityscape.

Fortunately, Bristol with its historic zoning has been able to mostly succeed in presenting itself with some original, if not creative designs while still upholding standards of integrity.

Occasionally, we are treated to new designs of creative enhancement that may challenge us to respond, to respect if not admire something new, even bold. Such is the case with a new restaurant soon to open on Thames Street.

BaBa has challenged us, enticed us with the beauty and elegance of its graceful characters painted black on a white background and placed within its two front windows.

When I first saw it, I had to pause and take in the graceful gestures of its lines. It spoke to me, effectively stopping me, and prompting a desire to know more. I believe it is nothing short of fantastic, even provocative in its elegant simplicity, standing out from the blue framing of color supporting it.

This is a great example of “out-of-the-box” creative design, truly two works of art that distinguish themselves from the surrounding area

To simply claim it a business sign, that is too large, does it a great disservice, and screams of shortsightedness that compliant zoning sometimes fails to recognize.

The Bergenholtz family has saved two dilapidated buildings and returned them to service. They are to be applauded rather than cited for their non-compliance. 

The BaBa designs are indeed works of art, not to be anchored by restrictive zoning. With the hearing process, they should be granted either a variance or seen for what they truly are — creative, original artworks.

Bristol zoning ordinances do need to be reworked, as many are outdated and overly restrictive, especially as applied to economic challenges of the 21st century, when retail shops and eateries need to define themselves in breaking out of the pack to invite consumers in.

I have faith that zoning officials will see the artworks as presented and relax strict enforcement, while encouraging and supporting the success of BaBa and the Bergenholtz family. Let us welcome and embrace BaBa.

Stephan Brigidi
Bristol

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