On Thursday evening James Corner, landscape designer, New York, once again thrilled those assembled at Pier 66 with his vision of our future. Now that the demise of the viaduct is underway the time has now come to begin serious consideration of “what next”. There is no question that there needs to be a comprehensive plan for what to do after the demise of the Viaduct. But did that plan truly require employing an out of area landscape architect, an architect devoid of local culture, local history, local knowledge and an understanding of our community? Among those assembled there was but one elected official, Sally Bagshaw. The mayor was noticeably absent from this presentation focused on the future of our city and the direction the visionary hired by the city had come to explain. The mayor did send along a message that his concern was with the much needed and more critical sea wall replacement. That deteriorating mass of concrete, fill dirt, gravel and pilings that for years has protected our city’s western boundary from the ravages of Puget Sound. Following Mr. Corners presentation there was an equally impressive presentation, or was it a sales pitch, by an equally credentialed out of area artist on our need to incorporate public art bring culture to those of us here in the west so long deprived of the philosophies of the East. The questions that were allowed following the presentation involved what are we doing for the sightless in this visionary plan of future development? Will George Benson’s street car be revived and how did the concept of adding artificial fog to the landscape come about? The question that should have been asked was in these times of economic belt tightening and budget cuts, just how much is the current contract for the conceptual beautification of or waterfront? How much has the city paid out and how much more has been authorized? We as a city do not have the resources to properly police our streets, protect our citizens, educate our children but we do have tens of millions to devote to plans for frolicking sea lions and artificially misted vistas that will never come to fruition. Yes we need a plan but at what cost? What cost not only to us the tax payers but at what cost to our children who will have to pay the final bill? http://www.king5.com/home/Latest-waterfront-plans-unveiled-1
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