The fact that you think age is the sole determinant in whether something is of historic nature is proof that you don't know anything about the subject. Preservation is to save buildings that are not necessarily appreciated by the public now (you) and keep them around long enough that the future can enjoy them, when it is history again. Hundreds of buildings like this get sterilized when they "aren't successful"and then years later everyone looks at pictures in books and wonders why they aren't around anymore. You cant tell me that there aren't plenty of options of things to do with that space that don't destroy the architecture.It's, what, 25 years old? And historic as what? An attempted urban shopping mall that failed almost immediately?I think those interiors are historic for sure and we already lost half of it. People should be devastated and the city should realize what an asset those kinds of public space are. It's ridiculous to have that lost for a gym.
It's a beautiful interior that would be a damn shame to see go. But it's hard to see the case for telling the property owner what they can do with the inside.
The weirder part to me is the Y wanting to move. It's property isn't that old (1990?) and how will they have a pool, for example, in a new space?
I read his comment as being a normative statement. As in, is it really good policy to protect relatively new buildings (interiors especially) with historic designations? Not to speak for him, but it's a legitimate criticism of "historic preservation" efforts.