Architect Stuart Emmons of Emmons Architects addressed city council on the Memorial Coliseum during the open testimony this morning. He was moderately less distracting to look at than right-wing radio host Victoria Taft, so I managed to capture most of what he said.
"We are teed up to become a leading sustainability capital and design capital, but it will take more than just talk," he said. "We will be judged by our actions. Everything we do and are involved in should back up our words physically. We are not doing this in a coordinated, thorough way right now."
"Let's preserve Memorial Coliseum. Not only say 'preserve' it, but really preserve it. Preserve its design integrity respectfully and make it into a sustainable best practice," he said. "Good sustainable practices call for building reuse. We will be nationally chastised for tearing down Memorial Coliseum, or marring its design integrity, no matter how we spin it. We will be a poster child for what not to do. It's the wrong message to send."
Emmons offered three arguments about money. He said 1.Restoring Memorial Coliseum is a perfect shovel-ready project, and restoring it is likely to be more aesthetically pleasing, and cheaper, than building a replacement. 2.The $200,000 to $500,000 the coliseum is losing is "peanuts relatively," he said, "and clearly under a new deal and new management, Memorial Coliseum can easily pay for itself." Lastly 3.Consider the economic value lost. "The assessor values the Colieseum at $57.1million, which is a fraction of its replacement value. Has the Paulson team added the $57.1million to their $55million?" he asked.