Tuesday, Mayor Curtis wrote a speculative blog post about what sort of city hall Provo should have in the future. He writes
Today it dawned on me that if we are going to build a new City Center someday, why not aim big?
Here, here! Architecture is a valuable asset for a city, as anyone who appreciates Provo’s historic buildings knows. Beautiful buildings can have many practical effects such raising property values and bolstering their surrounding areas. Indeed erecting “lovable” structures can be as much an investment by a community as an expenditure.
Architecture also conveys a message about the people who produce it. That’s why the building in the mayor’s post looks the way it does; the builders and users of the structure wanted to express their values via the built environment. And the reality is that we aren’t done constructing historic buildings. Rather, if we do a good job today we’ll be leaving a legacy of historic buildings for our descendants.
For these reasons and many more, I take seriously the idea of building a new city center. And though I know this is a time of general belt-tightening, building a new city center sooner rather than later would allow the community to capitalize on economic conditions conducive to construction.
To get a sense of what other communities have done, I recommend looking at this article and slide show from The Atlantic Cities, which features both good and bad examples. Here are some other interesting city buildings: