Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Capitol a 'disaster' area

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] -- Arizona turns 94 years old today, and if you need proof, just look at the Capitol. The buildings are aging, the grass is dead, and some of the monuments are crumbling. While state officials celebrate Statehood Day, a growing number of civic and academic leaders are lamenting the condition of the Capitol and its surroundings. "A missed opportunity of cosmic proportions," one architect said. "Disaster," another said.

So what's the problem? Is it fountains with no water? The grim institutional buildings? The homeless people sleeping on the lawn? "I hardly know where to start," said Wellington Reiter, dean of Arizona State University's College of Design. "If you want the city (to) be believable as the fifth-largest city in the United States, you can't have a Capitol Mall that looks the way ours does." Reiter quickly added that the area around the Capitol is filled with promise. With dedicated effort, he said, Capitol Mall could become a thriving extension of downtown Phoenix.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. To view historic/vintage buildings in the Capitol Mall area, click here.]