Talk:Crystal Palace/Draft

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 Definition A glass and iron structure built to house the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London, in 1851. It was moved and rebuilt on Sydenham Hill in 1854 but was destroyed by fire in 1936. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup categories History and Architecture [Editors asked to check categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant British English

The Crystal Palace lecture

Did you ever heard (or hear of) the famous Crystal Palace lecture by David Owens, a professor at Harvard and my housemaster at Winthrop House? It started out as just one of the lectures in his course on, I guess, Modern English History or some such, then became so famous that it had to be moved to a much larger venue than his usual classroom. Hundreds of outsiders would come to hear it and watch the slide show.... Hayford Peirce 10:59, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

Hi, Hayford. No, I hadn't heard of the David Owens lectures. The CP is an endlessly fascinating topic, though; my first encounter with its historical symoblism was in All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity, by Marshall Berman. Since then, I've collected books and ephemera on the Palace, and visited the site many times. Much of what I plan here will draw from my own Crystal Palace site. Best, Russell Potter 18:39, 3 June 2007 (CDT)
I guess his name was Owen, not Owens. Here's a paragraph from a 1954 Harvard Crimson article about him: "His reputation for humor is at once Owen's greatest asset and a liability which he is most likely to deplore. Like the Hogarth engravings on his office walls, Owen's lectures are liberally sprinkled with bits of historical paraphernalia, each so interesting in itself that it is likely to detract from the whole. The "Crystal Palace" lecture, featuring lantern slides of a once famous Victorian exhibition, along with Owen's barbed asides, is an example. "I'm sorry it has developed into a kind of stunt or parlor trick. It really has a value in depicting the Victorian era," he remarked in justification." It was still going strong in 1964.... Hayford Peirce 19:36, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

The Crystal Palace as anthropological milestone

Great topic. I first learned about the Crystal Palace as an undergrad in anthropological theory class. The prologue of Victorian Anthropology by George Stocking focuses on the palace and its significance as a marker of change in Victorian views of "civilization." I've still got the book, so I'll reread that section and post notes on anything that might add to this article. --Eric Winesett 21:49, 3 June 2007 (CDT)

Eric, delighted to find another Citizen with an interest in the Crystal Palace! The Stocking volume is an excellent one (always glad to hear of a student who didn't sell back a book!). The Berman title I mentioned above also uses the Palace as a kind of metaphor for both Victorian sensibilities and early modernity. Please go ahead and add what seems important -- I have created a section at the end for the cultural significance of the Palace, which may be a likely place to begin. Cheers, Russell Potter 22:54, 3 June 2007 (CDT)
p.s. Would you have a look at my own Crystal Palace site? I cannot, under CZ policy, add a link to my own site on the links pages, but if you or another editor or author deem it worthy, you can add it under "External Links." Thanks, Russell Potter 11:54, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

Style issues

I started doing some copyediting, and quickly realized that adhering to the Chicago Manual of Style would change a lot of capitalization in the article. Chicago style does not capitalize words like park, palace, commissioner, or exhibition when they are not used in a title. So "the Crystal Palace is in Hyde Park," but "the palace is in the park." Then again, this is a British subject, so the rules may be different if we prefer British English. I the standard in British English to capitalize in such a way? --Eric Winesett 22:14, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

Eric, thanks for the note, and your thoughtful and painstaking copyediting here. The thing is, I do not think that CZ as of yet has adopted any particular manual of style, so I think we will have to use a more general set of guidelines for the present, one tailored to overall consistency within articles and between them, keeping the limts of wikicode in mind.
My sense here is that, when referring to a specfic Park (such as Hyde Park), a later reference to either should be to "the Park" (as in "there were concerns about the impact on the Park"). It's the usage I've seen in both US and UK references on the Crystal Palace; perhaps it's because Hyde Park, like Green Park and St. James's Park, is one of the Royal Parks of London, and names not simply a patch of green, but a special type of legal zone. With the Commission and its Commissioners, again, this seems to be regularly capitalized whether or not their full name is given, since it's in essence a shortened form of the body's proper name, "The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851" (again, maybe Royal entities rank higher in "majuscule" letters!).
But in other areas, even though it's a UK topic, since we're US writers in a US-based encyclopedia, it seems to me that American usage should generally prevail. The one grey area I see is the late reference to the "National Sports Centre" -- which is what it is literally called, and how spelt -- but of course the US standard would call for "National Sports Center."
You should copyedit as you see fit, in any case, so long as the practice is internally consistent; these are just my thoughts. Russell Potter 22:25, 4 June 2007 (CDT)
I don't have strong feelings either way. I am going by Chicago style based on the guidelines in the CZ:Article mechanics article. I only copyedited one section (Planning and construction), so it's out of sync from the others at the moment, though there were inconsistencies already. This is a great article in terms of content, but I don't think the version up for approval is ready. There are some other CZ style issues that need attention like section title capitalization. (Only the fist word capitalized unless proper nouns; see approved articles.) Getting to that now. --Eric Winesett 12:03, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
Well, Eric, I have to say I disagree with you about the article not being ready for approval. We have never held up, so far as I know, any nominated article purely for copyediting reasons; there is always room for further improvement on the Draft page. The inconsistencies you observe strike me as minor, and looking over the rest of the entry, I do not see many more left to address.
Of course, as the primary author, I may be biased! But part of the reason we have a fairly lengthy five day approval process is so that issues such as copyediting can be addressed. I've already had at least three other people go through it and, they found only one small correction of substance and three or four typographical errors; I myself caught a few others. You are using a very fine-toothed comb here, and that's certainly, in the long run, a good thing; you have done much already to improve the text. Yet there is no need to resolve every single stylistic inconsistency prior to approval.
So I feel strongly that such issues should not hold up approval beyond the five-day period (this will of course be up to the nominating editor to decide). I am grateful for your efforts, and if you choose do further copyediting, that will of course be welcome. Russell Potter 12:47, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
p.s. I am unclear as to why you cut all the section about the Palace grounds at the end? There was no reference to this in your comment line; I have restored the text pending some further discussion.
p.p.s. On the other side: thanks for adding "glass and iron structure" -- I think that greatly improved the first sentence! Russell Potter 13:07, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
p.p.p.s. -- I switched to lowercase on non-proper words other than the first word in section titles. I am looking for other inconsistencies, but don't see any really clear ones! The only other thing I can see is "Palace" which is, and I think should be, capitalized throughout. Russell Potter 13:14, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
Russell, something very strange happened between my two edits from earlier today. If you take a look in the history comparing my two edits,[1] you can see that when I added "a glass and iron structure" (and that's all I did in that edit), somehow all my changes from the previous edit were reverted and parts of the article were deleted. I have no idea how that happened. (A bug?) I wonder if there are other things missing.
Again, I do think the article is great. I do disagree -- to an extent -- about articles being held up for copyediting issues. All I want is someone with an eye and ear for copyediting to read through the final version before the approved tag goes on. My reasoning is that if we are trying to hold CZ up as more professional and scholarly than Wikipedia, our articles shouldn't have simple mistakes that are easy to fix. Things like capitalization are not a huge issue, but, for example, the contraception (medical methods) article got approved with more than one instance of subject-verb disagreement. And with the system we have, the approved version still has those mistakes (and others). --Eric Winesett 22:08, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
Eric, thanks for your latest. Yes, that was odd, I do not know why the section at the end was dropped, and some edits reverted -- a glitch for sure. I restored the missing paragraph and I think I've caught the other odd reverts.
In any case, I heartily agree with you that our article should be top-notch! Consistency in capitalization is important, yes, but of course grammatical problems would be far more embarassing! I spent some years before graduate school as a copyeditor, and I've worked with copyeditors on my own scholarly books and articles, so I do truly value and appreciate the attention to detail. In my current post, I teach English Grammar every semester to future English teachers, and so I have a particular stake in this area!
My feeling, on careful re-reading, is that this article, as it stands, has no problems with style, usage, and grammar. Capitalization, and (as one recent edit disclosed) an unnecessary apostrophe, can be tended to; I have already done this with the section heads, as you can see. If there is anything more serious that that, I trust that you and others will catch it, but my own eye cannot detect any remaining errors of a serious kind. In this article, I'm an author, but I'm also an Editor here at CZ. The ultimate decision here lies with the Approval editor, as all such entries are reviewed by another editor before final approval. (by the by, if you pass along the error you have noted in contraception (medical methods) , I am certain the editors there would swiftly put it into the next version).
The careful attention you are giving this and other entries can continue even after the first approval, should a minor error be caught, but we also have a priority at CZ to get solid, comprehensive, readable entries to Approved status (and beyond!) in a timely manner. I would hold up this entry as far stronger than the Wikipedia's -- let's make it stronger still! -- but let's keep it moving along as we do.
Russell Potter 22:26, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
Russell, I think we're on the same page. BTW, I went back just now and compared that odd reversion edit to the current article and caught a couple of links that were left out. --Eric Winesett 01:14, 6 June 2007 (CDT)


Awesome article. Well done, I surely couldn't find much in the way of copyedits, but then again I may have just gotten tied up in the story ;-) Matt Innis (Talk) 22:17, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

Matt, thanks for the feedback! The Crystal Palace has been a lifelong interest, so I've really had fun putting this together! Russell Potter 22:25, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

I read about this Palace in Berman's All That Is Solid Melts into Air for a course Honors Sense of Place Across Time[2] but did not know all these fascinating details. Definitely excellent work, Russell! Stephen Ewen 00:01, 6 June 2007 (CDT)

Before and After photos

Who owns these? How can they be added? Stephen Ewen 00:12, 6 June 2007 (CDT)

Hi Stephen, and many thanks for your good work on this entry! Ironically enough, the two images you mention, though they are on my own website, are in a bit of a grey area, permissions-wise. I scanned them from the Illustrated London News of December, 1936. The ILN is defunct, and what remains of it is owned by Dodi Fayed (whose son was Princess Di's late boyfriend); the one asset they are pushing is an ILN Photo Library, selling images from back issues. So any post-1923 ILN images would probably have to be sourced through them. I play it a bit fast and loose on my own webpages, since I'm ostensibly using them there solely for educational purposes, but if the ILN were to contact me, I'd probably have to set up some sort of licensing or remove them.
They have only scanned about 10%of their vast (since 1849) archive, and only the later stuff is still under copyright, but perhaps we could approach them about a collective arrangement using their imagery -- till then, these two (I agree, excellent) photos had probably best wait. Russell Potter 08:18, 6 June 2007 (CDT)

dangling modifier

I explained in my edit summary[3] that I was fixing a dangling modifier. That's just good grammar. The sentence I'm fixing is jarring. Let me explain: before I changed it the sentence read: "Originally envisioned by the Building Commissioners for the Great Exhibition as an enormous, permanent building of brick and stone, the first proposals submitted were massive indeed." This sentence's subject is "the first proposals." The modifying phrase "Originally envisioned by the Building Commissioners for the Great Exhibition as an enormous, permanent building of brick and stone" modifies the subject, but the Commissioners didn't envision proposals, they envisioned the building. So this sentence's modifier dangles. I fixed the sentence to read: "The Building Commissioners originally envisioned the palace for the Great Exhibition as an enormous, permanent building of brick and stone, and its first submitted proposals were massive indeed." No modifying phrase, no dangling, no change in meaning, and it sounds fine. Nathaniel Dektor 20:21, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

Would it still work if we took off the "The"?

  • Building Commissioners originally envisioned the palace for the Great Exhibition as an enormous, permanent building of brick and stone, and its first submitted proposals were massive indeed.

I think that would handle my urge change it back. Matt Innis (Talk) 20:30, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

I am going to have a fresh stab at this -- though I understand the initial issue, some of these solutions seem worse than the problem. Russell Potter 20:32, 7 June 2007 (CDT)
By George, I think I've got it! -- have a look at the results. Russell Potter 20:35, 7 June 2007 (CDT)
Well, shiver me timbers, it works for me (that is if you have to start it with "The":) You two are obviously more versed at this than I (or is that me:). What does Nathaniel think? Matt Innis (Talk) 20:48, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

the former dangling modifier

A few thoughts. Are the commissioners designated in some official way worth preserving? For example, if each held the office designated (back then) as "Building Commissioner" we'd want to keep that. Maybe "Commissioner" is the more historically "authentic"--I have no idea. In my sentence I just kept what was there. If we don't mean to communicate a formal office holder, then maybe lower casing "The commissioners" or just "commissioners" is indeed better. With the current sentence, though, I'd drop the word "notion" at the end: "The Commissioners originally envisioned the building that would house the Great Exhibition as a substantial, permanent structure of brick and stone, and the initial proposals reflected this." Or how about the tad more economical: "The Commissioners originally envisioned the building that would house the Great Exhibition as a substantial, permanent structure of brick and stone, which the initial proposals reflected." Nathaniel Dektor 21:31, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

More economical is harder to follow. Too dense. It's not just poetry and fiction that have art to them. Nancy Sculerati 21:34, 7 June 2007 (CDT)
Not to mention this is a British Palace, right? "Indeed" or "notion" seems authentic, unless there is something technically wrong with it, I wouldn't mind leaving it. Matt Innis (Talk) 21:40, 7 June 2007 (CDT)
I just think the "this" already refers succinctly to the notion, making the word "notion" unnecessary. The "which" clause I proposed also refers to the same notion. Judged singly, I don't think any of the three sentences on the table is harder to follow than any other. The longer an article, however, the more even minor dilations accumulate to fatigue a reader, causing them to bail before getting to the end. Nathaniel Dektor 21:52, 7 June 2007 (CDT)
Nathaniel et. al. -- the persons referred to are not mere "building commissioners" of some munincipality, but members of the "Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851". Their commission is limited, but within its scope, absolute. Therefore "the" commissioners seems right to me. We could drop "notion", that would be fine with me. But as a stylistic matter, I reject the idea that mere economy per se is always best. Thrift, thrift Horatio! The funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables! I wrote this entry in the style I did in part because I think it reflects some sense of the periodicity of its topic; a dash of Victorian verbosity is not amiss here, I feel. Russell Potter 22:00, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

I have deleted "notion" -- looks better, indeed. Russell Potter 22:05, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

This article caught my eye, with so many recent edits! Just a quick question: is it not known as "The Crystal Palace", rather than "Crystal Palace" ? I mention this only because the article title sounds wrong to my ear. I notice that the text always uses the definite article with it...--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 22:30, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

Martin, good question -- but in fact, it has universally known from its infancy to its demise (and beyond) in the UK as "Crystal Palace," sans definite article. The "the" is used in the article to distinguish this particular "Crystal Palace" from others (such as the New York Crystal Palace) as well as to specify the building itself (rather than the area of London, the football team, and other colloquial uses of the phrase). Your ear must be attuned to the US habit of gluing on a definite article in all circumstances (cf. US :"has gone to the hospital," "has gone to the university") rather than UK common use ("has gone to hospital", "has gone to university"). Russell Potter 22:45, 7 June 2007 (CDT)

As a native British speaker, I rarely use the definite article. My recollection is that the area of London is known as Crystal Palace, and the actual building as The Crystal Palace. However, I know next to nothing about this topic, other than through general knoweldge of my country. I leave it to those with expert knowledge to identify the historical reality!--Martin Baldwin-Edwards 13:14, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

focusing the prose

OK, I did more copy editing aiming to make the prose more direct, while of course maintaining the meaning. In view of yesterday's discussion I'm taking particular care to keep my ears tuned as closely as possible to the article's prevailing style and tone. I'll be going through the rest of the article today. Anyone not finding my minor changes utterly distasteful who would like to ask me "What on earth were you thinking when you wrote <blah blah blah>" is welcome to quiz me here and I'll be happy explain why I thing my alteration is worth the trouble. Nathaniel Dektor 11:50, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Edit disagreement

Hi all, as their seems to be only authors here and I am seeing a disagreement on editing styles. I am going to ask Richard Jensen for his opinion from and editor's standpoint. Please refrain from editing until he is able to respond. Matt Innis (Talk) 12:33, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

No problem. But I am concerned that my carefully labored over edits are being systematically reverted, and without discussion. Nathaniel Dektor 12:35, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Keep in mind that the version that was nominated for approval is the June 4th version. None of these changes will be included without Richard's approval. That is why it is really important to work together here. Matt Innis (Talk) 12:45, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

I would be happy to abide by Richard's decision. Please bear in mind that I have not reverted all of Nathaniel's edits, only those which I very strongly feel reduce the stylistic strength of this entry, or alter meaning in ways that I feel are inaccurate. The version, I would like to note, that I personally as the article's author feel is the ideal one to have approved is Current revision (17:37, 8 June 2007) (see this link for the differences)-- this, it should be noted, includes quite a few of Nathaniel's changes! - but also has the reverts I feel are absolutely vital to the entry's overall integrity. Russell Potter 12:53, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Maybe this will help as we walk through this minefield? The following link ( shows the current differences between the current version and the version Richard nominated. Chris Day (talk) 12:56, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

Oops, sorry, edit conflict made me write the section below before I saw the latest comments here. Russell, I appreciate your mulling over my edits before reverting what you consider doesn't improve the article. I've finished going through the article, and so everything I would propose is currently on the table (in the history) for people to consider, and whatever people select from my proposals is fine with me. I don't want to "lay a minefield" here. But if people would like to hear more as to why I think my alterations are worthwhile, I'd be happy to explain on this talk page. I did that below for one edit, but I'll leave it to you to ask me about others whose merit you'd like to consider further. Nathaniel Dektor 13:06, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
A final p.s. -- Chris day did a slight reformat to his additional paragraph at the end (on the sports centre), and I found a missing letter and period and restored them, so the version I'd recommend at the moment for the approval tag would be (21:02, 8 June 2007). Russell Potter 16:06, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

my changes 1

I'd like to discuss the changes of mine Russell reverts because I do think they improve the article. First, we have:

"The great cost of upkeep of its grounds, fountains, and interior spaces was never quite covered by ticket receipts, and as time wore on, both patrons and exhibitors were inclined to want to pay a bit less for their privileges."

I'm thinking this long sentence's meaning is more easily followed by putting the action up front: the ticket receipts did something, were responsible for something significant. Also, the phrase "cost of upkeep of" is wordy and repeats too many of's. I asked myself what's the action here? Since "upkeep" can't be used as a verb I think the phrase "cost of maintaining" helps the long sentence read more easily. Also, "inclined to want to" is hardly difference in this context from "want to." Mitigation here doesn't change the meaning, it just makes a long sentence longer. So I rewrite the sentence:

"Ticket receipts never quite covered the great cost of maintaining its grounds, fountains, and interior spaces, and as time wore on, both patrons and exhibitors wanted to pay a bit less for their privileges."

This maintains the meaning and the prevailing style. Nathaniel Dektor 13:03, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

The original reads "The great cost of upkeep of its grounds...." I changed that to "The great cost of maintaining its grounds..." for other reasons, but I did maintain the exact same imagery. The idea isn't to wholesale convert passive to active, or reduce the word count, or engage in purges, but to enliven the prose. I recommend looking at [4]. Certainly repeated edits and reversions aren't helpful, and I'm glad we have not seen repeated edits and reversions. Nathaniel Dektor 22:24, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
As a disinterested party with no involvement in this article, I suggest that you consider adopting a more conciliatory approach, Nathaniel. We have massive gaps in the coverage of CZ, controversial articles and topics which are sapping everyone's energies for little purpose, and your addition of stylistic preferences to the editing problems is not helpful. Sometimes, compromise is more useful than perfectionism -- not least, when there exist competing conceptions of perfection. --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 13:14, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
I can't tell exactly what you're suggesting. I think leaving my proposals on the table for others to look at and express their opinions, as I've done, is always a good way to go. I think improving an article is always helpful and appropriate, as it is in this case. Nathaniel Dektor 14:18, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

Happily, there are no cases of "battling reversions" anywhere in this article, just editors collaborating and expressing approval or disapproval of suggestions to improve the article. Apparently, everyone from the beginning has been taking to heart the maxim "don't start edit wars." I'd rather work to improve articles than practice stylistic editing skills. Nathaniel Dektor 02:33, 9 June 2007 (CDT)
Except maybe for the late Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisted apart), I find it hard to credit that *any* writer's production is not improved by a skilled copyeditor, particularly in non-fiction. In fiction, yes, a heavy-handed copyeditor can be a disaster as he/she attempts to destroy/"improve"/correct what are *clearly* stylist choices by the author. (In one of my novels, a tongue-in-cheek, semi-satrical romp, a copyediter tried to turn me into Hemingway by changing all of my "he grunted", "chortled", "snickered", "gasped", etc. etc. to "said". After my vehement protests to the editor-in-chief, all of these "improvements" were reverted.) But in a project like this, which is *clearly* non-fiction (or so I hope) copyeditting to make the writing clearer, more precise, more standardised within the standard English norms of, oh, Strunk and White, strikes me as both essential and admirable. I think the major problem of writing for something like CZ or Wikipedia is that none of us (including me) ever writes out an article in its entirety (as he would an article for a scholastic journal [or a short story for a magazine]) and then PRINTS IT OUT. And then copyedits it with a red-inked pen. And enters the corrections. And prints it out again. Until the article is as FINISHED as it possibly can be. Reading text on a computer screen simply isn't the same as seeing it in print. I personally think that what Nathaniel has been doing is nothing more than the original author would have done himself if he had printed the article out several times and edited it carefully. Hayford Peirce 18:34, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

A comment here was deleted by The Constabulary on grounds of making complaints about fellow Citizens. If you have a complaint about the behavior of another Citizen, e-mail It is contrary to Citizendium policy to air your complaints on the wiki. See also CZ:Professionalism.

About that specific edit: I could see changing "cost of upkeep of" to "upkeep cost(s) of" -- upkeep and maintenance are nearly synonymous, though I prefer upkeep with its slightly British flavor. However, in the second instance, "inclined to want to" is entirely different from "wanted to". The first clearly indicates a disposition, potentially changing in intensity, towards wanting something; the second, in the simple past tense, simple indicates that something was wanted. That's the sort of loss of richness of tone that I think, when done repeatedly, lessens the style and grace of the entry. Fewer words are not always better.Russell Potter 16:21, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

I thought of that, but "upkeep" sounds odd as a verb or verbal adjective. That's why I preferred some form of "maintain." Neither word strikes me as substantially more idiomatic than the other. As for the "want" issue, the original connotes to me that some (or indeed, a lot of) people's feelings were shifting over time. The "as time wore on" captures this shift and using "incline" struck me as putting too fine a point on it without adding an actual gradation of meaning. I might now write: "as time wore on, many patrons and exhibitors wanted..." without seeing any loss of the subtlety you're after. Nathaniel Dektor 18:07, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
I understand your thoughts here, but as you yourself say, certain readings struck you as 'putting too fine a point on it' -- that is to say, you preferred one style or mode of description over another. That's fine, but it's substantially different from the other sorts of changes, which could be described as copyediting changes (whether accepted or not). My point is simply that, though genuine copyediting for grammatical or typographical errors is a fine thing, stylistic changes are another. I do not think that changes which affect an article's style should be made without some consultation and cooperation with an entry's main author(s). You are essentially saying that your notions of ideal style are preferable to those of the article's author, and that's the sort of thing which really ought to be discussed on a Talk page before you do a great many edits based on your views. Russell Potter 18:36, 8 June 2007 (CDT)
My role is history editor, and none of the edits affects the history in any way; they are all stylistic, so I will not intervene. I think livey polite debates on matters of style are appropriate to a civilized CZ--in contrast to the wild and violent Wikipedia which is not a friendly venue. Richard Jensen 22:19, 8 June 2007 (CDT)

APPROVED Version 1.0

Congratulations on the 4th History Approval! --Matt Innis (Talk) 20:41, 10 June 2007 (CDT)

Strange disclaimer

I gotta say that as I spend more and more time at CZ and see more articles and see what goes into getting an article "Approved" I am more and more baffled by this strange disclaimer in garish colors at the top of an Approved article. First of all, CZ is, I thought, trying to proclaim its superiority to Wikipedia by its use of "experts", by peer-vetting, I suppose you could say, and its consequent superiority in reliability for the individual articles. All of us, I'm sure, are staunchly behind these principles or we wouldn't be here. Why then, once we *do* get an Approved article, one that, in theory, ought to be as accurate, as informative, and as authoritative as any encyclopedia is ever going to get, do we *then* say: "Hey, guess what? This is an Approved article BUT we don't make any claims about its reliability." !!!! It sure makes my eyebrows go up! Am I completely off-base here, or does anyone else in the community agree with me? Hayford Peirce 17:34, 11 June 2007 (CDT)

Yep, I hear you: it's annoying. I'd guess it's a legal thing the lawyers require. Funnily enough, the approved articles' disclaimer is essentially the same as the unapproved articles' disclaimer[5]. For legal purposes, can't we just disclaim the whole project once, up front, on the home page? Sounds like a forums issue. Nathaniel Dektor 18:29, 11 June 2007 (CDT)
I agree, and hope that, eventually, CZ will have an attorney who can guide us, and have language on the site somewhere which protects us without seeming (as these disclaimers do) to suggest that, even with "Approval," we don't stand behind what we say. But until then, we need this boilerplate language to keep us in the clear. Russell Potter 20:22, 11 June 2007 (CDT)
I gotta wholeheartedly agree, too. Stephen Ewen 11:24, 21 June 2007 (CDT)

Comment from a reader

I quote from an e-mail from an apparently well-informed reader:

I have just been reading your article on the Crystal Palace & found it very interesting.
On a small matter of accuracy, however, I notice that in 'The Palace Site Today' section you state"
"...the portrait bust of Sir Joseph Paxton now looks out over the weed-overgrown area where the palace once stood."
This is actually not true. The portrait bust does not face where the Palace once stood. It actually faces the National Sports Centre and athletics track which is in the opposite direction. Thus, it is the back of Paxton's head that is in the direction of where the Palace once stood. The bust is therefore rotated through 180 degrees from what your article says. Indeed, he now faces East (where your article correctly states is an area set aside for sport) whereas the Palace was to the West.
Oddly, the bust used to face where the Palace once stood (ie. to the West). This can clearly be seen, for example, in the movie The Pleasure Garden which was filmed in Crystal Palace Park in 1952 (a short film directed by James Broughton that won the Prix de Fantasie Poetique at Cannes in 1954). However, the bust was turned around at some point - perhaps when the National Sports Centre was built c1960-64.
I must confess to great sympathy for Joseph Paxton. He created a beautiful & iconic Palace yet is now forced to look over an ugly, concrete eyesore (ie. the National sports Centre). It would be a tragedy, I suppose, for him to face where his Palace once stood but I think he might prefer it.

--Larry Sanger 14:52, 23 April 2008 (CDT)

Another comment from a reader

Dear Mr Sanger
Forgive me for contacting you again about Citizendium's Crystal Palace article and the bust of Joseph Paxton, but I was by no means certain that you'd received my previous email (06 April 08). I would've contacted the History editor directly but could not see how to do that. However, when browsing the article again I stumbled onto the Talk page and saw that you'd quoted what I told you in the 'Comment from a reader' section (23 April 08).
Though the detail of what I said previously regarding the direction that Sir Joseph faces is absolutely correct, you will I'm sure have noticed that I could only speculate as to when the bust was turned around ie. I wondered if it may have been when the National Sports centre was built c1960-64. I've looked further into this & found that not only was it later, but that the bust has an interesting history of it's own.
It is relatively easy to discover that the bust was created by William F. Woodington to commemorate Paxton on the Crystal Palace's 20th anniversary and unveiled in June 1873 (Woodington also contributed to the brass plaques on Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square & completed other works). The bust was originally sited below the central pool and facing the Palace (though another record says it was between the steps on the Italian Terrace).
But what happened next? That is hard to say but I found an extract from a late guide to the Palace that records:
"The solid marble bust of Sir Joseph Paxton, weighing eight tons, has been restored to prominent position in the centre walk and placed on a specially built pier at the height of some sixteen feet. Some of the original Trustees may remember this was a relic of the heavy dilapidations from the Festival of Empire Exhibition, which we inherited when we took over in 1914, and which was found dumped at the bottom of the Grounds".
The Festival of Empire was in 1911 and It seems extraordinary to think that the bust was then "dumped" and left till sometime in the late 1920s or 1930s, even allowing for the bankruptcy suffered by the Palace after 1911.
Certainly it seems that the bust was restored by the time the Palace burnt down in 1936. It was still there in 1952 when The Pleasure Garden was filmed - and facing toward the Palace site as I said previously.
A further source I found, however, seems to solve the problem and should be reliable. This concerns the extensive records of the Public Monument and Sculpture Association - National Recording Project. The PMSA list monuments & sculptures of worth/ note around England, Wales & parts of Scotland. The links below are for the bust itself and the PMSA's homepage:
You will see that the bust page contains a potted history of the bust and the Palace and reveals that the bust itself was re-sited in 1981.
It may interest you to know that I do live near the Crystal Palace and, obviously, have an interest. Sadly, there is a redevelopment plan at present that would destroy the actual Palace site forever. The idea is to plant trees there (which may be intended to mask a car park). While one would normally be in favour of planting more trees in the world, this unique, historic site is not the place.
Please find below some photographic evidence taken from roughly the same place to confirm what I have reported:
1. An image from The Pleasure Garden movie (1952) looking down from the Palace site & showing the bust facing the Palace site (the actors in view are John Le Mesurier and Jean Anderson)
2. An image from today (2008) looking down from the Palace site & showing the bust facing the opposite way ie. toward the National Sports Centre. The view is obscured by the trees but you can just see the concrete concourse that separates the Sports Centre on the left from the association football pitches & athletics track on the right.
Again, I hope this is helpful to you & Citizendium.
Yours sincerely
[name omitted]

The person who sent me this also sent some supporting pix. Can anyone please help us be responsive to our educated readership and respond to the above remarks? --Larry Sanger 10:22, 16 May 2008 (CDT)