|Historic guard station|
The Presidio in San Francisco, Ca
Alright I'm back after a World Cup break. I want to extend my deepest congratulations to Team USA #usmnt for a magnificent run during the tournament and to Team Belgium for a game well played. Back to the blog
When we last left off on Monday, I updated you on the latest design proposal for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The new plan called for a campus expansion across Wilshire Boulevard. This led me to pull out an article from City Lab, titled "Why Cities Should Be More Skeptical of New Cultural Centers and Expansions," by Kriston Capps. Mr. Capps considers whether or not new cultural centers, such as a George Lucas (as in Star Wars) proposed $700 million museum of art and Americana, is a good idea for whichever city lands this projects.
|Proposed George Lucas Museum|
In the meantime, the "City by The Bay," has found renewed hope to build the museum. The Presidio Trust has offered Mr. Lucas a parcel next to the one he already owns, the Letterman Digital Art Center. Not to be one-upped San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee sent Mr. Lucas a letter pleading San Francisco's case, it was even co-signed by the city's formers from the last four decades. Talk about shilling. Meanwhile, over in the City of Chicago, colorful Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pledging a leas near the hallowed Soldier Field for the "Lucas Cultural Arts Museum for the princely sum of one dollar per year. Once the dust settled on this light-saber fight, the force was strongest with Chicago, as the "Windy City" bested San Francisco for George Lucas Museum. (http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/24/showbiz/chicago-wins-lucas-museum/)
|George Lucas and friends|
|Map of cultural institution building 1994-2008|
In terms of the study, our major hypothesis was that these major facility projects-new museums, new expansions-would have these positive net benefits to the surrounding urban areas...And they would have potentially less positive or even negative effects on surrounding organizations.
Using case studies, surveys, and construction-cost analyses, the Cultural Policy Center study determined that the museum building boom did not lead to any net benefits for the host communities, as predicted by the "Bilbao Effect." The good news was poverty rates fell and property values generally rose in communities where new cultural institutions were built, the bad news-poorer residents suffered displacement. Not all surprising when you think about it. Gentrification aside, the researchers' evidence demonstrated that supply may have exceeded demand during the course of the cultural facility building boom. The result of this excessive supply left some cities with the responsibility for cultural institutions they didn't need.
|The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts|
The types of leaders who provide the passion and drive to build structures of this sort [major performing arts centers] are successful men and women who are accustomed to relying on their own experience and judgement...They depend on what they might describe as 'inside knowledge-knowledge gleaned from their own experiences, an those of their collaborators' experiences.
What tends to be absent in their thinking, however...is 'outside knowledge,' such as what statisticians refer to as 'the base rate' regarding the distribution of projects that did not go as planned...
Another trap that civic leaders fall into is hindsight and consistency bias: memories about decision-making for projects tend to change over time, and people adjust their memories to adapt to present circumstances
While the Philadelphia Orchestra originally embarked upon a building project for the purpose of constructing a new single-purpose concert hall, the opportunity to make it an economic development anchor in downtown Philadelphia partly persuaded its leaders to morph the idea into something entirely different-a PAC [performing arts center]...Today, the reason for building the Kimmel Center is frequently remembered by the community as being to revive a distressed former industrial city's downtown.
Cost overruns and project delays, typically associated with institutional overreach-the study found that a full 91% of PAC built during the period examined went over budget. Cultural Organization: Buildings Arts Facilities in U.S. Communities demonstrates that civic officials frequently overstate revenues and underestimate expenses for new projects-typical. Of the projects surveyed, 59% presented lower revenues than projected, while 59% presented higher expenses.
|Modified design proposal for LACMA|
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