Wednesday, December 20, 2006

More questions, fewer answers

The local blogosphere has been completely abuzz with talk of the JW Marriot winning the competition to build downtown over the InterContinental (I will add links to the bottom of this post). My problems with this decision extend beyond design and into areas of our lacking urban density and easy access to downtown businesses and restaurants, but I'm sure an expert could convince me otherwise. I am now wondering about the process.

The always interesting Ruth Holladay received an email from a "Downtown Insider" (she's well connected and I have no doubt this is from a true Insider) whose comments she posted anonymously on her blog. Here's what our very own 'Deep Throat' said:

The artist's rendering of the JW Marriott is not remotely what it will end up looking like. That was hastily thrown together for the proposal.

For one thing, since it will be 1000 rooms instead of 800, it is likely to be as tall as 35 stories (rather than 25). And from what I understand, there will be an implied imperative to make it architecturally distinctive.

In any case, the critics are jumping the gun, though I understand why since that wasn't explained yesterday.

If this is accurate insider information, does it really answer any questions? If design had absolutely no impact on decision making, why was there even a so-called competition? If we are talking about a project worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, why in the world would the JW Marriot just hastily throw together a proposal (paraphrasing above)?

I don't have the answers. I can only hope the continued public outcry encourages more transparency as to how this decision was made.

For more reading on this subject:

Here's the link to the December 10th article in the Star that talks about the political connections of the members of the selection committee. Well worth the read (thanks for finding that Arthur)

As for the bloggers:
Four Square No. 266 - Jason disagrees with me on this subject but he still has a nice blog
Advance Indiana - smartly questions why the City would help fund a project they say they would do anyway
Torpor Indy - "Indianapolis Drops the Ball"
Life in the Shadows - "Indianapolis Skyline at Risk"

Can bloggers trigger political change??? Time will tell....

2 Responses to “More questions, fewer answers”

Anonymous said...
December 21, 2006 at 9:58 AM

"Jason disagrees with me on this subject but he still has a nice blog"


Anonymous said...
December 21, 2006 at 4:32 PM

Republican backer, Say no more...Indiana.,
Yeah, real cutting edge, Maybe they will put a Dennys in the lobby. Every Marriott is like every Marriott. Dont plan on any artworks, it will be all crap from some poster shop, probably with racing cars in it.
Its not about design or architecture for these people its about the bottom line and making money for them.

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