Across the country, stadiums are front and center in a slew of controversies. The multi-million dollar projects are viewed as a way to bring income, jobs, and tax revenue to cities as well as an architectural landmark for places seeking a Bilbao effect.
In San Francisco, mayor Ed Lee welcomed a proposal for the new Warriors stadium (above) to be built on the city's busy waterfront. Supporters say the project will bring more money and growth to the city while opponents argue that building the project will reverse years of work to make the Embarcadero one of San Francisco's great public spaces. Here's the latest on the proposed development.
Across the bay in Oakland, developers proposed a $500 million waterfront stadium for the Athletics (go A's!). The deteriorating Coliseum (the only remaining dual-use sports stadium in the United States, mind you) is currently home to the baseball team. Some believe that the owners' reluctance to commit to a new location in the city stems from a desire to relocate elsewhere in the Bay Area. Before San Francisco seals the deal on the Warriors stadium plan, they should note that the much-beleaguered Coliseum was heralded when it was completed and won an Honor Award from the AIA in 1967. (For the record: the stadium is one of our favorites for nostalgic reasons.)
In Atlanta, some say the Braves's move from the inner city to the suburbs highlights the city's race and class issues.
Houston recently voted to raze the Astrodome. In November, shortly after the decision was made, Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne wrote: "Now that voters have rejected a plan to save the Houston Astrodome, a marvel of engineering muscle and space-age glamour and easily the city's most important building, it would be easy to conclude that modern architecture has a major image problem in this country…Works of architecture tend to fall out of fashion beginning around age 25 and hit their deepest levels of disfavor between 40 and 50 years old. This is largely true regardless of architectural style or historical period. Buildings, it turns out, experience their own version of a midlife crisis." More on the story here.