Likes the old windows better

Dear Editor:The replacement of the "awful gold panels" at the former Cardono Building, now owned by the Porto family, is not necessarily an upgrade as suggested by you. ("The Downey Patriot, 8/25/11) You go on to say that the replacement windows will better complement Porto's Bakery next door and will also reduce the glare that plagued motorists every sunup and sundown. For years I have driven past the Cardono Building from different directions and at different times of the day and night, and never have I been plagued by glare. Often when stopped by the light - at the corner of Downey Avenue and Firestone Boulevard - I have taken the moment to enjoy the muted beauty of fleecy clouds floating over the building's golden face. At such times, I thought of the symbolic value of selecting gold windows and thought it appropriate for a man who has spent a lifetime working with gold. I also thought the gold windows appropriate in a town that was named after John Gately Downey, who came to California during the Gold Rush and was known for his "Midas touch." Appropriate too because Downey is known for its contribution to the aerospace industry - an industry which has found many uses for gold: gold as a protective coating on satellites, gold for face shields on astronauts' helmets and gold for thermal protection suits, gold-coated polyester film, gold in circuitry, gold used as a lubricant of various mechanical parts. I have since learned that one reason Angelo Cardono selected the gold-coated windows was for the insulation properties of gold. He realized a 20 percent reduction in air-conditioning and heating costs for his building. Today, energy efficiency is of huge interest worldwide and we are all expected to conserve energy. Mr. Cardono, it seems, was ahead of his time. Window replacement for cosmetic reasons to "better complement Porto's Bakery next door" is such a poor reason for making the change. The new windows, while pretty and modern in a glitzy-sort-of-way, are not unique. Interestingly, Porto's did not use glitz at their Glendale and Burbank locations. Why here in Downey? It seems the Porto family received $750,000 in incentives to build in Downey. Obviously that was too much and a waste of public funds. With Downey rated in the top 25 percent of "100 Best Cities in California" in which to do business, it may be time for the city of Downey to rethink the amount of public money they are giving out to companies to come here. -- Marion Russell, Downey

********** Published: September 15, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 22