Letter to the editor

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Dear Editor,

Has anyone noticed how many monumental trees the campus has lost in recent years? ?The latest casualty is the grove of magnificent pines that stood for decades at the Lindley Entrance to the campus — now the southeast corner of the Performing Arts Center site. ?The PAC is touted as the “culmination of years of visionary leadership.” ?Architects, too, like visionary design, which is why they often prefer to level an entire site, so that nothing remains to intrude. Yet,wise vision on a University campus is different. ?Here, continuity of the visual, emotional, and experiential complements and enhances continuity of the intellectual process.

Now that the damage has been done, there will doubtless be official explanations of why saving them was not possible. We are very good at that. ?We paper over the lack of will, and CSUN once more stands for CSU-No,we can’t.

Several years ago we almost lost every tree in Sierra Quad — so that the Oviatt steps (a complete architectural anachronism) could be seen from Nordhoff. ?Fortunately that project got stopped in time, which at CSUN is often in short supply. ?That project may well return in the future.

Meanwhile, the majestic Lindley pines are gone, and the completed PAC site will doubtless contain more palms, surely one of the most trite, ecologically useless, and downright dangerous trees we could plant. ?Keep watching.

James E. Sefton Professor of History