Friday, April 25, 2008

McGowan promises to redevelop the Heers

So, what's the rush on Park Central Square?

I received an email today that alledged Mr. Charles Birnbaum, Founder of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, left an online comment at the News-Leader that was not published. I checked the most current articles regarding Park Central Square, but I did not see it there. It was sent to me by an associate of Mr. Birnbaum's who is also a representative of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, the associate wrote, "he entered it on the blog site as a response," so, if it has been published somewhere at the News-Leader, my apologies for overlooking it :

I am entertained at the casual dismissals of Lawrence Halprin's work at Park Central [published on the News-Leader website]. I wonder if your bloggers have spent time in the Halprin collection at the University of Pennsylvania. I have... and I can tell you that the rich material includes revealing sketches in Halprin's hand, the contract that he signed, communications with city employees, the consulting sculptor, and other ephemera generated by his office. Do you think that every building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was designed by him beyond the concept sketches? For example, architect Robert A.M. Stern today has over two hundred employees. Halprin's office, like many successful practices had talented designers -- Perhaps instead of looking for reasons to justify current ill-conceived proposals, conjectural bloggers may want to go visit the archives at Penn as a starting point. - Charles Birnbaum, The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Considering Mr. McGowan has promised to follow through on his redevelopment plans of the Heer's Tower, is there any reason the community can't just sit back, patiently, and wait to see whether the Park Central Square's new design plan needs to be adapted to preserve Halprin's work?

My understanding was that the real concern was that Kevin McGowan might exercise his put option and force the city to buy back the Heer's building if the city didn't break ground on Butler Rosenbury Partner's new design by August 1. Is there any reason to be upset that we let the redevelopment of the square go through the legal procedures required by the city's use of federal funds on the project now that we understand McGowan has no plans to exercise his put option?

In other words, what's the rush NOW!? Geesh.

From TCLF's website:

"The Cultural Landscape Foundation is the only not-for-profit foundation in America dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness of the importance and irreplaceable legacy of cultural landscapes. Through education, technical assistance, and outreach, the Cultural Landscape Foundation broadens the support and understanding for cultural landscapes nationwide in hopes of saving our priceless heritage for future generations"

1 comment:

Busplunge said...

Dang, I thought the same thing. Then I remembered how insistent Councilman Manley was at the January Council meeting and how he insisted the council pass the CIP project.
Jason chronicled it like this:
"Councilman Manley said that the people in these departments are experts in their fields and that the Council needs to rely on these people. He said that they’ve had this to review for a week or so and that it’s ready to pass because the experts said it’s important. He said he wants to vote on it tonight and passing this tonight. He said that this is what the people want and that it should be passed."
The next day, the city declared itself to be in a budget crisis.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, won't get fooled again or something like that.