IS THIS THE PARIS THEY PROMISED US?
We'll always have Paris. Or will we? Paris is mesmerizingly beautiful, and many Americans assume it will always remain that way. But today attention-seeking corporations and global architects claim to offer local governments modernity and a competitive edge. They have destroyed the character of cities from Shanghai to London. Now they are targeting Paris.
The preservationists who value the beauty of Paris are Davids against these Goliaths. Paris is not beautiful merely because of monuments like Notre Dame, however, but because buildings of many eras and differing qualities form a delicate ensemble of uniquely harmonious character. The stakes are high. Logical argument does not always overcome propaganda. And the law affecting preservation is more malleable than may at first appear.
Where the government supports international developers' erecting new skyscrapers at three of the gates of Paris, the city's iconic skyline is in danger. Where the government supports a global corporation's inserting a seven-story tall, one-block long, translucent glass facade into an elegant nineteenth-century Parisian shopping street, the magic of Paris is in peril.
Preservationists are using the weapons that politics, the law, and social media provide. They are appealing for international support.
[Photomontage by Jan Wyers, SOS Paris]
Mary Campbell Gallagher, J.D., Ph.D., was trained as a lawyer at Harvard, and she holds the Ph.D. in linguistic theory from the University of Illinois. She is on a mission to help protect the beauty of Paris. She is president of a new U.S. association, Americans for the Preservation of Paris (APP). She serves as U.S. liaison for the established French architectural preservationist association SOS Paris. She has spoken and written widely on preservation in Paris, both in New York and in Paris. In cooperation with SOS Paris, she is editing a book of essays opposing construction of new skyscrapers in Paris.
The company she founded, BarWrite®, offers writing courses and coaching for lawyers and courses and coaching for the bar examination, especially for foreign-trained lawyers. BarWrite® Press publishes her highly-acclaimed Scoring High on Bar Exam Essays and Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT) and her CLE text Write Fast Legal Memos "Like a SportTM."
In 2014, BarWrite received the Global Legal Skills Award for pioneering work with LLMs and other foreign-trained bar candidates.
Her writing on education and urbanism has appeared in both the Weekly Standard and The Nation. Dr. Gallagher has held four fellowships at the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts. A professional member and longtime board member of the National Speakers Association New York City Chapter, she has received its highest honor, the Alan Cimberg Award. She attended St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, and she has served on its Board of Visitors and Governors. She graduated from Barnard College, which awarded her the Montague Prize for distinction in philosophy.
She is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and co-chair of its subcommittee on altering the date of the bar examination. She is active in the Architecture Committee of the National Arts Club, and she is a member of the Harvard Club of New York.
To invite Mary Campbell Gallagher to speak to your group about the preservation of Paris, write to MCG@MaryCampbellGallagher.com.