Commissioner Randy Leonard called Memorial Coliseum "ugly" in the Oregonian this morning. Portland architecture blogger Brian Libby has responded by offering the commissioner a tour. We'd love to go along, too, if there's room...
Dear Commissioner Leonard,
You have been a tremendous friend and ally to the architecture, green building, and arts communities in the past. That's why were so disappointed to see you call Memorial Coliseum ugly.
We're disappointed not just for us, but for you. We cringe when such a Portland patriot doesn't see the wood for the trees.
Let us walk you through Memorial Coliseum and show you the greatness this building has, from its panoramic glass view of the city to its elegant engineering.
You deserve to have the right information and understanding about architecture. The "ugly" comment is showing ignorance to your constituency, and we know you are a whip-smart guy. Smart enough to see historic preservation as being for us and not just our grandparents.
We would break any appointments to walk you through that building day or night. Please give the Coliseum a chance, and all the hundreds of thousands of Portlanders who love it too.
You have a unique position on City Council as the unofficial representative of the blue-collar everyman. We believe regular people outside the architecture world would marvel at the Coliseum if they could get a sense of what this sleeping giant really is.
You and the Mayor could also be heroes for saving this building. It's a landmark Portland building, and there will be the equivalent of blood on the hands of he or she who destroys it.
Can we find time in your schedule to take you on a tour of this great Portland work of architecture? Perhaps a few other members of Council might like to come along.
Think of it this way: If you're going to call a beloved Portland landmark ugly and call to destroy it, don't you want to be REALLY sure first? This could be a pain in the butt that you find out is your rip-cord.
On a personal note, I greatly appreciate all the comments you've made on my Portland Architecture blog over the years and thank you for being a part of so many conversations.