The Temple Comes Down
Hayes Green temple in its cleaner days
En route to the post office this afternoon, I walked through Hayes Green (the mini park at the end of my street) to discover that David Best's temporary wooden temple was finally being dismantled and taken away, to which I could think only Thank God!
The temple, built of hundreds and hundreds of intricately cut pieces of wood, was assembled in the middle of the green early this summer to celebrate the completion of Octavia Boulevard and the birth of our new little park. For a long time, it was a gathering spot, a marvel for neighborhood residents and visitors alike, and a pleasant centerpoint for the park. Encouraged by the temple's creator, people covered it in often thoughtful, sometimes heartbreaking, generally tasteful graffitti.
But then the months wore on, and the interesting inscriptions were more or less obliterated by gigantic puffy-lettered, spraypainted tags. The wood got dirty. The surrounding benches and planters and sidewalks got tagged. The temple limped to the point of being more an eyesore than a sign of celebration, and was still attractive only from a distance or at night, when it was too dark to see any of the inscriptions clearly.
So I'm glad to see it go, though I'll no longer be able to refer to it as a landmark when giving directions to my house, and I'll sort of miss the sight of the spire from elsewhere in the neighborhood. But it wasn't meant to stay forever, no matter how much I may've grown used to it.