snoqueen wrote: Madison's historic districts generally have strong support from the people who live and own property in them, and from their surrounding neighborhoods.
I imagine so. But as we saw in the Edgewater fiasco, HDs aren't in the long term growth interests of the city as a whole. It allowed the Landmark Commission to treat a dilapidated eye sore as a historic, precious gem just because it was located in a GIANT patch of space downtown (approximately 30 square blocks of the isthmus) that is ludicrously called "historic."
The power overreach here is astonishing. The Landmark Commission is not protecting certain historic buildings from ravenous developers. They are carrying water for reactionary sentimentalists who don't want Madison to change, they want entire neighborhoods, actually large swaths of the city, to be frozen in time.
I don't want or expect 2010 Madison to look like 1910 Madison. That's a stupid and doomed battle.