Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The LENS - The Inspiration

A lot of thought went into the Pier Visioning process.

In a letter to Mayor Bill Foster dated June 13, 2012, William Ballard, president of Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg, the group trying to stop the LENS, wrote the following:
"The Lens is not a pier. The Pier Task Force knew what a pier was and what a pier should be. I urge you to pick up your copy of the Pier Advisory Task Report of June 2010. Turn to page 13 "Case Studies" which contains photographs of seven successful piers. Please read the case study conclusions on that page. One of those conclusions is "All have either amusement type program or very specialized program as the predominant draw." Our Municipal Pier, all the piers studied by the Pier Task Force, and all of the pier alternatives proposed by the Pier Task Force, have the look, feel and "program" of a real pier. It is immediately obvious that The Lens does not have the look and feel of a real pier and it is equally obvious that The Lens will lack the amusement feature which was touted as the predominant draw. The reef which The Lens was to focus on would not provide much amusement by reason of the natural turbidity of Tampa Bay. It may be there, but people wouldn't be able to see it."

In the Pier Task Force Final Report their Vision of the Pier was:
"Our vision is for a vibrant Pier Complex that appeals to both local residents and visitors throughout the year. It should speak to our city's beautiful aquatic setting, and of spectacular views of our cityscape and the Bay. The Pier should complement the larger downtown waterfront and serve as its front door, centerpiece, and anchor. The architecture of the main building should reflect our history and unique identity as a place and City, and be a worthy symbol of our great City".
It sounds to me like the Pier Task Force had it right.

In a paper entitled "The Lens" - We Can do Better, William Ballard says "Michael Maltzan first set foot in St. Petersburg on September 19, 2011. His contest winning submission was filed by the November 30, 2011 deadline."
That's just 72 days counting weekends.
That seemed like a pretty short time window to come up with such an eclectic design. Surely there had to be some motivation for the concept, so I grabbed my camera and headed to the Pier for some inspiration of my own.

Assuming Maltzan and his team took some time to swing through the Dali museum on the way to the Pier, the pictures above may help explain the motivation and concept.

All of that dripping and looping had to come from somewhere.
City Council, are you really going to build this thing? Really?

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook Friend request.

Have your say. Be sure to get a petition for the Pier Referendum and complete it properly. Information and schedule of events at Stop The Lens.

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