The Architect Newswire is an aggregation of news from media outlets around the world, intended to keep you abreast of all of the industry’s important developments. The stories we feature are not reported, edited, or fact-checked by Architect’s staff.

 

LOS ANGELES TIMES
Jobs up in November

ADP Employer Services reports an increase of 206,000 jobs in the past month, based on payrolls. Bloomberg News writes that the rise is the largest this year, although economists predict Friday’s unemployment figures from the Labor Department will remain stagnant at 9 percent. “Companies are going to ramp up a bit,” says Detroit-based Ameriprise Financial senior economist Russell Price. “We just have to let the economy build on its own momentum. Then we'll be at a stage where demand creates employment which creates more spending.”

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ST. PETERSBURG TIMES (FL)
Finalists for St. Petersburg pier

St. Petersburg, Fla., has taken the wraps off three competing designs for a $50 million pier. The finalists are Denmark- and New York–based BIG, New York’s West 8 Urban Design, and Los Angeles’s Michael Maltzan Architecture. Waveney Ann Moore reports that Mayor Bill Foster already has a favorite—but won’t reveal which one. “They all tell a story about this rebranding of St. Petersburg,'' Foster says. “They all engage the community and they're all pieces of art.'' Cornell University assistant professor of architecture Caroline O'Donnell asks, “which of these represents St. Petersburg. The playfulness yet connectedness of BIG? The looping paths of Maltzan? The historic and natural interpretations of West 8?” Presentations to the five-person jury are scheduled for Dec. 16 with a final selection expected on Jan. 20.

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SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Snøhetta axes Botta’s SFMOMA stair

San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King reports that the biggest surprise of the newly released design details for Snøhetta’s addition to the Mario-Botta–designed SFMOMA is the removal of the museum’s iconic three-story granite staircase. “The challenge has been, how do we create a unified and holistic experience for the visitor,” Craig Dykers says. “At some point we realized we needed to redesign Mario Botta's stair.” The proposed 200-foot-tall building will expand the museum’s gallery space from 59,000 square feet to 130,000 square feet. Design development continues as SFMOMA targets 2016 for the addition’s opening.

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MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
Student apartments proposed

West Lafayette, Ind.–based Trinitas Ventures is proposing a 275-unit apartment building in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood that will cater to students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Tom Daykin reports that the $35 million project would house about 600 residents and provide them with a fitness center, Internet café, and swimming pool. The design has yet to be finalized and will attract the attention of local Alderman Milele Coggs. “Anytime there is a project of this size, one must pay special attention to how it would integrate into the existing neighborhood,” Coggs says.

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THE COLORADOAN (FORT COLLINS)
Library remodeling underway

Ground has been broken for a $4.2 million expansion and remodeling of the Poudre River Public Library in Fort Collins, Colo. Kevin Duggan reports that the OZ Architecture–designed project will add 6,000 square feet of space under the existing building’s second-floor overhangs and completely revamp the interior. “I can guarantee you that when the project is done you will barely recognize it,” says OZ Architecture project manager Kate Fields. “While from the outside it may not look that different, the interior is going to be completely turned inside out. It’s going to be open, inviting, invigorating; and I’m really excited about all of the opportunities that exist.”

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CASPER STAR-TRIBUNE (WY)
Downtown development plan on tap
Casper, Wyo.’s City Council has launched a search for a consultant to create a downtown development plan. Kelly Byer reports that proposals for the $100,000 project are due Dec. 20, with final selection expected in February. “We wanted a game plan,” city manager John Patterson says. “A strong downtown is vital to even the developments that’s on the east and west side because the downtown is the heart of the city,” says area business owner Charles Walsh. “I think we need to continue to make sure that we are doing the things to get the blood flow and get all of our extremities connected.”

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NC ADVERTISER (NEW CANAAN, CT)
Russell Ford dies

The NC Advertiser reports that architect and planner Russell Ford has died at 89. The Yale graduate was city planning director for Skidmore Owings and Merrill from 1958 to 1961, where he worked on early schemes for the World Trade Center. He was later a partner in the New Canaan, Conn., firm Gates & Ford, where he designed homes in the local area. Several of these houses are included on Connecticut’s list of Historical Mid-Century homes.

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BELLEVILLE TIMES (NJ)
Reinvigorating Belleville’s landmarks commission
Belleville, N.J.’s Historic Preservation Commission is trying to revive interest following three-and-a-half years of little activity. Maria Karidis reports that Mayor Ray Kimble allowed the group to become dormant following his reelection in 2008. Kimble recently appointed six new members to the group, who added two more at their first meeting. “Aim for designations that embody a sense of urgency, and those at a higher tier of historic value first,” township attorney Thomas Murphy advised the panel. “I really do want to preserve things in Belleville. I've been here almost my whole life,” says commission member Patricia Nichols. “Just about everything is gone. What little we have left, we want to preserve.”

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OROVILLE MERCURY-REGISTER (CA)
Transit Center opens

Oroville, Calif.’s new Transit Center is open for business. Barbara Arrigoni reports that the $1.35 million structure provides bus riders with benches, cover, and public restrooms. “I like it,” local resident Peggy Doud says. “It has places to sit down. People had a hard time standing for a while.” Even though buses have only been stopping at the center since Monday, there’s already been vandalism of the restroom. Butte Regional Transit posted a notice that people need to respect the facility. “If this continues, we will have to close it, and not be able to offer a public restroom,” the note warns.

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Blues Brothers mall to meet wrecking ball

Harvey, Ill.’s Dixie Square Mall only operated from 1966 to 1979, but the Associated Press reports that it played a starring role in the famed Blues Brothers car chase. Now, it’s set to be demolished by the end of the year, funded by $4 million from the state. It’s hoped that the vacant property will attract economic development.

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