Comment 101888

By Missy2013 (registered) - website | Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:30:15

If the structure is unstable, it's becomes a liability issue. Does it therefore make sense to remove the 'dangerous' upper portion, yet retain 'the lower frame' so that people can continue to move freely around the structure OR should it be cordoned off so, at a distance, we can just watch Nature take over completely? Both solutions have pros and cons. Clearly, most of the fun of the Hermitage is to walk around and through the ruins, but what happens when, kids being kids, they start scaling the walls and an unfortunate accident occurs? Parent sues HCA for negligence ... On the other hand, if the upper section was removed, and the ruin was 'stabilized' so that kids rambling escapades did not result in injury, certainly the heritage value is diminished, but the fun of meandering through the folly would remain. Ersatz, but so what? If, alternatively, the site was cordoned off, with no tending whatsover, Nature would reclaim these remains in very short order. Within 20 years, the top will collapse, Virginia creeper will wiggle into any remaining wood cavities, all will rot and decay. All that will remain is, in fact, the stone foot-print of the structure. It is 'a problem' with no easy solution. Because the Hermitage is, essentially, on 'public property' now, it needs a 'public' solution that does address the wants and needs of that public. Thing is, looking at something is not the same as being in something. And that, seems to me, to be the crux of the issue.

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