With the passing of columnist, William Safire, Peggy Noonan wrote in Time Magazine, that he once told her, "Write what you see, because 'what history needs more of is first-person testimony'."
So this should serve as my first person testimony. I am going to write about what I see happening and what I think we should do about it. It will talk about issues of architecture, interior design, construction, and public policy.
I hope that you will leave me comments as well.
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Maria Luisa Castellanos, R.A., LEED AP
At the left above we look at the parking lot where visitors to the MIami Building Department are supposed to park. Then, we walk down this dismal street under the overpass, past an empty lot.
Then, we have to walk down the driveway on the left, through the employee and disabled parking garage, to finally come out on the other side. Then, we walk through this empty, uninviting plaza.
Last week I went to go pick up something at the City of Miami Building Department. For those of you who don’t know, it’s next to the river on SW 2nd Avenue. As I was approaching the building, I looked around for parking. There is a large sign on the entrance to the parking garage that says that the multi-story parking deck is for the employees and the disabled. So I looked around and the nearest parking lot for visitors (except for a little parking in front of the plaza which was full) is across the street in the fenced area underneath the I-95 overpass. The street in front of the lot is also available as metered parking.
Now let’s compare that to the City of Coral Gables Building Department, which is in a historic building sitting at one end of Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. It's actually the focal point of Miracle Mile at its west end. This photograph, taken by Thomas Territt at night, highlights the beauty of the building.
If architects, contractors, developers, and investors and going to invest and pay taxes in the city, why wouldn't the city administration take notice and make the entrace to the city's building department a welcoming experience?
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