Sarasota News Leader


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NOBODY SAID, ���NO��� It is still election time. Which exteriors do you like for the garage? Dislike? Photo by Stan Zimmerman ANALYSIS: STATE STREET PARKING GARAGE FORMING FROM THE BOTTOM UP By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Funny how so few people can decide the future of downtown architecture. The face and footprint of the planned State Street parking garage in downtown Sarasota were opened to public whim on March 19. Discounting the designers, engineers, architects, builders and landscapers in the room who are involved in the project, the number of residents present for input ��� myself included ��� was fewer than 20. truth of the awkward and raw architectural products we see all around us. The design of the 400-space garage is a bit of a gamble by City Hall. Unlike virtually every other developer presentation, this one started without elegant drawings of dreamlike buildings ��� those pastel renderings that belie the The city���s idea was to allow citizen input from Day One, maybe even Hour One, of the design process. Questionnaires were passed out seeking feedback on the exterior design. Unlike other design processes I have expe- This one started with an aerial photo of the current parking lot and one drawing of the ground floor plans that might be retail, commercial or maybe even residential (although nobody suggested that). In other words, this was like a blank sheet of paper: no fa��ades; no elevations (exterior views); no preconceived or pre-baked plans.

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