The city is large and full of empty land! Why should we tear down Art Deco retail buildings and our signature colonnades apartment when we have empty lots nearby? Troost is full of empty lots. Main is full of empty lots and under-inspiring architecture. There is no excuse to keep destroying and rebuilding the popular areas of our city. We need to develop the non-popular areas and make them better. Tearing down buildings is also bad for the environment! Also, they tried to add density to midtown neighborhoods in the 1960s-70s. It totally changed the feel of parts of Hyde Park and Westport neighborhoods. People aren't impressed by those cheap little mansard-roof walkups, they are impressed by the neighboring homes (and wonder who in the hell let them build those apartments right next to them).
Wanting new buildings to be thoughtfully designed and sensitive the city's existing fabric is not a bad thing. Many of the older buildings in urban KC are majestic and distinctive. Almost every single new building built in the 2000s-now is comparatively unattractive. Look at their materials, durability, urban interaction, pedestrian scales, etc. Few 'new' buildings have anything unique about them. If you were to look at photos of our newer buildings out of context, you could never guess what city they were in. Our historic buildings define our city and give it a sense of place. Shoving a bunch of new-build trash onto our thoroughfares and historic neighborhoods for the sake of density is not going to make us a better or more attractive city. This is especially true when you consider that almost all new buildings have a parking podium at the base and terrible pedestrian interaction.
I don't think taking a second look at preliminary designs for the Katz development is a bad thing. The current design has issues. New units are good. But why not be careful how they are arranged? The clock tower is a monument along Main. It is a fine example of early streamline-modern design. It was designed by Kivett and Myers, a prolific local firm that was responsible for many important buildings in our city (including KCI). The tower was modeled after the Science Building from the 1934 Chicago World's Fair. Why not respect it? The architects of the new buildings didn't get it right the first time. Anyone with a good design eye noticed the issue. It's not just the Historic KC people. Elizabeth Rosin noticed the bad design as well.
Some places like San Francisco and certain areas of Manhattan have been 'encased in amber'. I'm damn glad they were because they are much more interesting places to visit because of that.