California forum letters: Demolition by Neglect

By The Sacramento Bee Letter Writers
The Sacramento Bee
November 28, 2021


DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT “California’s $1.2 billion Capitol renovation is underway. Activists are still trying to halt it,” (, Nov. 18)

A renovation? I wish. What’s actually underway is a demolition of a historic Capitol building, digging up the trees of Capitol Park for an underground parking garage and destroying the west plaza gathering space we used to express citizen opinion.

Who’s to blame if the lawmakers find their building “outdated and dangerous and without modern fire sprinklers and ADA access”? It’s the lawmakers themselves, who, for 20 years, have disregarded the plans the executive branch laid before them to upgrade the building to meet updated codes and replace systems such as power and heating that have reached the end of their life.

Had the Legislature consulted the state historic preservation officer early in its planning as required by law, she could have warned them that this dishonored practice is used so often by greedy developers. It has a name: Demolition by neglect.

Richard Cowan

Gold River


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