Sunday, April 01, 2007

Some more things . . .

It has been a while since BOTC said anything. We have been really busy with life, practice, and such. But here are a few things worth talking about:

1. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, like every other "Believe in Cleveland" institution, went once again across the country to find their design talent. The final decision for the museum came down to Denver's Fentress Bradburn and Cleveland's Westlake Reed Leskosky--and the museum decided to send its money to Denver rather than keep it locally.

Again hypocrisy drips from the lips of another instititution that supposively believes in the region, sustainability, and the economic viability of Northeast Ohio. Had the museum awarded Westlake Reed Leskosky the job, the firm could have produced local design intelligence, technique, methods, and systems that could have been exported through other design commissions, therefore bringing more design fees back to the region. Instead the museum will get a bad building, designed by the C-team of an out-of-town architect.

Although these institutions will need to depend upon a burgeoning creative class to bolster their attendanmce, endowments, and efficacy, they are sure doing a bang-up job of alienating local design professionals who actually visit these institutions.

2. Peter Lawson-Jones seems to possess too much intellect, ethics, and reason to be a Cuyahoga County Commissioner. Jimmy Dimora and Tim Hagan are intellectual midgets, political hacks, and stasis-oriented Democrats.

In a 2-1 vote, Dimora + Hagan voted to demolish the Cleveland Trust Tower, designed by a great Bauhaus architect, and to allow a over-hyped local architect to "design" a "monument." So instead of a Breuer, Clevelanders will be receiving a C-team designed project by Kohn Pederson Fox of New York in collaboration with local hack architect, Robert P. Madison. This whole process has been a sham.

BOTC agrees with TOI that we need a transcript of the latest Commissioners' meeting. Dimora flatly lied about many aspects of the design process and the proposals of many of the six architectural teams who presented solutions. Namely, Dimora stated that 5 of the 6 teams suggested that the County needed to demolish the building. However, each team was told that the commissioners wanted the building demolished and they would not be persuaded otherwise.

Once again local political leadership is leading to the futher degradation of our built environment. Let's hope the Peter Lawson-Jones runs for Mayor of Cleveland where he can apply his intellect and passions without the interference of dimwits like Dimora + Hagan.

3. In happier news, Cleveland Public Art is hosting an exhibit of urban speculations for Cleveland and its environs. "Influence + Imposition" exhibits the work of several young architects as each engages with places such as Public Square, Scranton Peninsula, and the region as a whole. An important lesson is to be garnered from the work: architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design can really only be unleashed to engage potentialities with the acquiesence of enlighted political thought, appopriation, and fortitude.

1 comment:

Frank A. Mills said...

Unfortunately not a related comment, but I wanted to let you know that the new Urban Paradoxes web site is up! It is both an Urban Paradoxes marketing piece and the fist step toward a monthly online urban magazine. Accordingly, we will publish new content for each section the first of every month.

Hope all is well with you.

Frank A. Mills
Urban Paradoxes