College Should Not Alter Maya Lin’s Sustainable Landscape Project

The Review’s article (“College Alters Maya Lin’s Vision for Post-Fossil Fuel Landscape,” The Oberlin Review, Nov. 12, 2021) indicates that the College and Conservatory say that alterations will be minor. But how, after accepting the design, can we renege on our agreement? And how can we, in good conscience and in good taste, say that we know better how this piece of land should be presented to the College and to the City of Oberlin than an artist of Ms. Lin’s stature?

I can’t see how altering the plans of a famed architectural artist and creator like this could possibly be to our institution’s advantage. As an alumnus of the College who is concerned with Oberlin’s sustainability efforts, I was dismayed to read of this decision. To me, it represents shortsightedness, if not total tone-deafness.

I have to wonder if other, unnamed forces were brought to bear here. But even if they were not, it strikes me as a failure of the College and Conservatory to take into account what would be the likely reaction of many who hear about it. I urge the administration to reconsider.