Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Monumental task

My favorite building in the entire city has been singled out for special recognition and I'm not sure that's a good thing.
The Superdome, a 40-year-old landmark on the New Orleans skyline, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places despite an objection by the state, which owns the stadium and is concerned the designation might slow down future projects.

The 76,000-seat home of the Saints, known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome since 2011, was launched in August 1975 with an open house attended by 45,000 people. It has since served as the host site for seven Super Bowls, the Sugar Bowl games, college football championship games, Final Four men's and women's college basketball championship games, and more.
Ok neat. Wait. What does that mean, exactly?
The Superdome's owner, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, opposed the new designation during the selection process last year. In a letter to the review committee, Ron Forman, the district's chairman, said additional requirements imposed by being a historical place could slow maintenance and capital projects on the building.

"While we are greatly honored for the consideration, we believe that a National Register of Historic Places designation could potentially adversely impact our ongoing obligation to ensure that the Superdome is maintained as a world-class multipurpose venue," Forman wrote.
Well, alright, Ron Forman is against it so that's probably good. But what if, maybe he has a point?  Does this mean we will now have to go through some extra layer of legal mumbo jumbo just to get them to take Bronze Tom down?  Because if so, then I think I'm against it.  The article says the designation is "honorary" but this language still gives me pause.
The Superdome's listing in the National Register doesn't block any future attempt to demolish it. For the publicly owned building, the listing is mostly honorary. The register provides an incentive to preserve buildings by giving private developers access to federal historic tax credits.

The Superdome cost $134 million to build in the 1970s. It is the largest single-span dome in the country. After Hurricane Katrina, the dome underwent $200 million of repairs and upgrades in a project led by New Orleans firm Trahan Architects.
If that means that, in order to take the Benson statue down, we're gonna have to go ahead and demolish the whole building just to get at it then I'm definitely against that. Also note the availability of "federal historic tax credits" which sounds an awful lot like more corporate welfare for a contractor like Centerplate or whoever the Bensons or the NFL choose to gift with some make-work job.

Why is this a good thing, again? 

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