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TAM Designs: More Voices, Bigger Picture
The conversation continues over the design of the Tacoma Art Museum new wing.
Last week The News Tribune’s The Nose
weighed in on the side of the critics of the proposed design, with a characteristically irreverent look at the design plans. Comparing them to a Mattress Ranch store, The Nose pokes fun at the idea of a western art collection in Tacoma, and at the dark, boxy exterior design.
The bland, saddle-brown, double-wide trailer of a building says nothing about the free-spirited, open-range artwork that’ll go inside.
It’s a sarcastic take on the real criticisms we’ve heard of the design as dark and unwelcoming. But not everyone’s a critic.
Today over at the TNT Peter Callaghan added a voice of support for the boxcar-inspired plans (or if not outright support, he suggests another focus). Callaghan asks you to give the design a second chance. First of all, what may appear in renderings to be a black box is in fact bronze, and not as dark as it may appear.
He makes a larger vision argument as well. A lot of money is being invested in that stretch of downtown, and most of it isn’t City dollars. We’re getting a lot (new Pacific Avenue streetscape and Prairie Line Trail upgrades courtesy of state and federal dollars, a new museum wing funded largely by private contributions and a few grants), so maybe we can make a little investment in the future look of the prominent intersection. Callaghan points to the narrowness of the swath of “land relinquished by BNSF for the Prairie Line Trail”: that will run by TAM. Instead of settling for the 20-foot strip, the City should push for the full 80-foot width to be turned into park and bike path: into public space.
This is an interesting idea. Should the City make acquiring the full width of the historic railroad path a priority? Does that have any bearing on the design of the new wing?
Are the TAM designs worth complaining about, or are there more worthwhile fish to fry?
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