« US Green Building Council president visits Mercy Corps for LEED Platinum ceremony, tour | Main | Placenotes Portland? It's in the cards »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

kathleen mazzocco

I will be going back to Genoa as soon as this weekend's freezing rain is over and done with!


OK - can't hold back anymore. You do a great service to the city and I'm a big fan, even when I don't agree... but... would you mind editing a little more before you publish? All the typos and missed words are distracting. Still, they can be humorous - can't wait to try the "wild board sandwich!"

You also might save yourself some flack by editing more. Someone commented a while back on your piece about the new ZGF tower, that your speculation into their business solvency was out of line. Personally, I think that reader was right. I think if you had read the paragraph in which that conjecture was made, you would have noticed the tortured nature of the grammar and logic was probably indicative of a problem with the idea, and you likely would have removed it.

Again, very much appreciate what you do. But you should hold your blog up to the same exacting standards you would apply to any designer, architect or planner. It's only fair.


And let me be the first to say that I probably could have edited that comment better...

Brian Libby

Thanks for your suggestions and commentary, Matthew. You're right: I've made some errors. I'm sorry for that. I'll continue to keep trying my best. The problem is it's a one man operation and so far no one is volunteering to help edit for free.

I went back and looked at the comment from the ZGF post you mentioned. Here's the original text:

"Given how the economy has tumbled, I might worry a little about ZGF living up to this Grand Palais of an architectural office. Can they design enough hospitals, airports and academic buildings to pay the mortgage? I say this not out of any inside knowledge of ZGF. Or if I do have inside knowledge of the firm, it's that ZGF seems to be at a high level when it comes to producing quality design. "

I don't see anything wrong with this paragraph, or at least not the "tortured nature of the grammar and logic" that you mentioned, nor the "problem with the idea".

My idea was simple and rooted in relevant socio-economic fact: ZGF's office was conceived in an economic boom and now is opening during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression. It's a huge new office, and huge new offices mean greater overhead. Greater overhead means more challenge in making a profit. In the second half of that same paragraph, I cautioned that this was mere speculation on my part so as not to start an unsubstantiated rumor about ZGF's business affairs. Yet just because I don't want to start an incorrect rumor does not invalidate the introduction of this overall idea, that ZGF is faced with opening their office during challenging times.

Let's also look at the update to this Genoa post that seems to have triggered your comment about my editing or lack thereof.

I wrestled in the first place with whether to add Fix to the list of firms credited with the design. But it's not so cut and dry. This project did not have just a simple architect and contractor at the top of the pyramid. Even the building team members themselves are not in complete agreement on how credit should be distributed.

I can be defensive when I'm being called out in public, but I appreciate the fact that you're trying to help in a constructive way. Best,


Richard Potestio


And a great design by Siteworks and WPA.... I especially like the very elegant dining room. It looks as if the chadeliers are made of cast glass. As a supporter of this homegrown craft and art, I hope so!

Alas, will we ever learn how to manage the HVAC system?

The ducting is right out of "Brazil" and it detracts from the very interesting ceiling treatment and the spatial flow.

I would love to see the archietural community address this issue with more rigor. I get the form/function/honesty basis for leaving ducting exposed, and of course know/understand the real constraints at hand.

That said, I look forward to dining in this inviting and beautiful space. Congrats!

Laura O. Foster

Don't worry about perfectly edited prose. This is a blog; it's live, it's more free form than a book. If blog posts were edited with the painstaking detail involved in book editing (okay, some book editing), then half of the good stuff wouldn't get written as writers labored over syntax. Lke email, a blog is more stream of thought, and mistakes are part of the process. Love your blog; I learn so much.


I'm sorry Laura, but I can not fully agree with your train of thought.
I can agree that editing a blog post should not be as painstaking a process as editing a book, but it can be as well edited as a newspaper or magazine article.
But honestly I'm not that concerned with grammar or prose, those are mistakes and I understand no one is perfect. My concern however is regarding fact, hearsay versus journalism. There seems to be instances when parts of a story are left out and I would hate to see this site fed by PR firms telling only the stories of their clients.
I understand that Brian is the creator of and solely responsible for this blog. I am very appreciative for having the forum to read about new issues and occasionally debate.
I also understand the argument that this is a non-paying gig for Brian and probably extremely time consuming. But I would argue the fact that there should be a responsibility to the readers as well as the advertisers of this site to tell the whole story. I would also assume that the popularity of this blog has lead to an increase of outside work...magazine articles, portland modern features, heck even radio ads...and that popularity is based on readership.

I'll be clear that I don't find this to be a big problem on this site, and I am thankful for the forum... but when it is noticeable, it is disconcerting.
Thank you for your continued effort.

Brian Libby


I appreciate your contributions and ideas here. However, one part of what you said concerns me: that I'm succumbing to hearsay or passing on PR. Although I'm definitely guilty of some typos, I do not believe in the slightest that I fall victim to hearsay or being a PR hack. If that starts to be true, I would stop blogging.

Matthew initially brought up the issue of ZGF's finances that I raised in the article, and I can see how this could be construed as hearsay, but this was not the case. I was talking about how any firm opening a large office in a very bad recession would face a challenge.

Let me also say that I would LOVE to have someone preview and edit my blog posts to minimize the risk of mistake. Sometimes you just can't successfully edit your own pieces - you need a fresh pair of eyes. But so far my queries for editing help have gone unanswered.

My thinking about blogs versus journalism is that blogs are more of an ongoing conversation and journalism is more fixed. If there's an error here on Portland Architecture, it can be corrected and even, if applicable, be brought into the conversation itself. In that sense, I think of readers completing a blogger's work.

Overall, I would love to grow this site to no longer be solely from me. But that is going to have to be a multiyear process. In the meantime, I can almost guarantee all of you I will continue to make both occasional spelling and grammatical errors as well as the occasional factual error. Part of me wants to apologize in advance for this, and really feels bad. Another part of me feels...let's just say differently.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read Portland Architecture and contribute to the conversation.



Thanks for the response. However I was not referring to the ZGF article at all...as far as i'm concerned your comments regarding ZGF in this business climate were appropriate, and more of a question than a statement anyways.
But I will reiterate that am thankful for having your blog as a forum for what's happening around here.
As for editing, I'm by far no editor by trade, but i'd be happy to offer my services, to proof read anything. If you are interested i'd be happy to give you a real name and email to contact.

Brian Libby


Happy to take you up on it. Email me anytime at [email protected].

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lead Sponsors


Portland Architecture on Facebook

More writing from Brian Libby


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad

Paperblogs Network

Google Analytics

  • Google Analytics

Awards & Honors