Wednesday, October 31, 2007

From the MVB Files: The Sears Site

For all of those who have a problem with the Pelli designed Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, it could have been worse. Much worse.

While the medieval half of our staff is worshipping at the altar of the fickle, but well-endowed Storm Goddess Elita Loresca, the other half began cleaning up the MVB offices. We were throwing out years of collected crap to make room for our new IKEA line of furniture. This included many files. When we opened up one labeled "DDA," we stopped short. In it were years of the Miami Downtown Development Authority's newsletters-- some from over 20+ years ago (something they have stopped producing and we have been missing for over a decade). Roy Kenzie and Kitty Roedell were running the show then and let us tell you, that's when the DDA was really something. In any event, we came upon this November 1984 "Citynews" newsletter which was highlighting a proposed $123 million mixed-use 23-story development for the Sears site. All we can say is, thank God it failed. Looking at the drawings, we have to ask ourselves, who in their right mind would want to build something as ugly and as uninspiring as this? It is interesting to see in the proposal that not only was the Sears Tower saved, so was the entire Sears department store-- which in our estimation, was as ugly as the proposed design.

For the record, MVB does not have a problem with the Pelli design. We have a problem with its location. If anything should have embraced the connection Miami has with the sea, it was the PAC. Watson Island would have been a great location. But beggars can't be choosers. With Knight-Ridder donating the land, it was better than nothing. Right?

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