Dear Nick and Tanya,
"Restoration of historic buildings should be up to contemporary safety codes but the visual should be of the original building."
With all due respect, if architecture were a static process, by the logic in your statement quoted above, we would still be living in huts, retrofitted with titanium-simulated willow branches and microfiber-insulated leaf covereings. Being an architect would require little imagination, since no inovation in external design would be needed.
Personally, I like the mix. I like PacBell Park and feel it captures the spirit of the old with the innovation of the new. I like the Trans-America Pyramid and I like The Flood Building and would have some difficulty in objectively determining the strucutal or aesthetic value of one being superior to the other.
I like to believe there is a permanent place for constant change in all cultures, ours not being exempt. And if the Mona Lisa were ever to lose her smile, perhaps looking at a Jackson Pollack might be just the ticket to help her laugh and regain it again.