DAVID PLOTZ WAS RIGHT when he indicated that Georgetown University had forfeited the moral high ground at the beginning of the heat/power development process (“Power Failure,” 10/15), but the beginning was a lot further back than he was aware of. The present power plant, that “windowless lump of brick and metal surrounded by scraggly trees [and] fill dirt” was put over on the citizens and authorities in 1967 in the same slippery manner that the school hoped would succeed this time around. Back then the Commission of Fine Arts and others protested that the size of the building and the height of the smokestacks differed between the pretty model they were shown and the working drawings. This was explained as misunderstanding and inadvertence at the time, but now it looks as though the school was just practicing for the big game.
The present monstrosity didn’t get there by accident or without review processes. It became what it is through the university’s manipulation of those processes and the abandonment of their aesthetic commitments as soon as they received their permits. The proof of this is squatting right there in the middle of the campus for everyone to see.