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I agree, it should have been an architect or other design oriented individual. Instead they have picked an individual who has been moving his employees out of downtown Portland into Hillsborough.

I don't see that as an individual demonstrably committed to the development of this city.

Jonathan Radmacher

What does PDC have to do with design? Its mission is not architecture, but funding of important projects that would not occur in the pure private sector, right? So PDC puts in enough money to interest the private sector, and the private sector hires the architects. Admittedly, the private sector can "get it wrong" on design, especially when the developer looks to save money on design and/or implementation of unique design elements, but there are plenty of great, private projects that look good and aspire to sustainable development. In my mind, truly public buildings are often miserable failures in design. Even the Portland Building (which whether you like the outside or not, was clearly an effort at innovative design) was shorted on the inside, creating a nasty and expensive amount of repair, all on the public dime.

As an alternative, why wouldn't PDC contract with local architects of international repute, e.g ZGF? In my view, that's how professionals should be utilized -- as consultants, not decision-makers.

All this is to say that I don't think you can make a definitive case that public design is better than private design. Or, for that matter, that architects hold the key to what is architecturally significant (there are an awful lot of architects building not-so-attractive buildings).

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