Saturday, November 11, 2006

Goodbye I.M. Pei

Indianapolis's only example of the work of architect I.M. Pei will be destroyed tomorrow. Out with the old, in with the new. That seems to be the sentiment at the new and improved Indianapolis International Airport. Does our humble control tower have the visual punch of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or the Pyramids at the Louvre or even IU's Art Museum? Probably not. In fact, I had no idea the tower was designed by Pei until I learned of it's upcoming destruction. Now that I do know that, I would really like to go visit and explore. I would like to see how the architect better known for designing museums and grand civic spaces translated his visual language into a more utilitarian building. Unfortunately, I will never be able to.

Sadly, recent searches haven't produced much in regards to saving the tower. One letter to the Indianapolis Star from Matthew Simon was all I could find. Indianapolis seems to be more interested in preserving it's cute neighborhoods (take my neighborhood of Cottage Home for example) then it does what potentially could be a historic landmark. As talks of new construction around downtown continue, I can say I'm now not too optimistic we will get anything groundbreaking.

** UPDATE - From MSNBC: The main reason the tower has to come down is due to it blocking a narrow view from the new tower. The FAA requires that nothing blocks the landing and take off view.

We can't tell you the exact time of the demolition because of security reasons, but the tower is scheduled to come down Sunday night.

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