Discovery of the Chamber building’s new name got me to thinking, and I now realize that I made a mistake last August, one which I wish I could have back. I wrote “Re-visioning the Chamber Proposal” on August 3rd, 2008, but never released it. At the time, the proposal was still weeks away from initial urban design review and I hoped to contribute to the dialogue, or more accurately, initiate a dialogue about the proposal and the constraints placed on the project by the flawed planning of the I.M. Pei Plan. But then, after receiving advice that it would damage my future job prospects in OKC, I chose to stay silent.
It is a tough deal because I love Oklahoma City. I have always dreamed of helping to shape the future of the city and want to make it great – that is why I left development to pursue a career in planning. As a student of history I appreciate and respect the vital role the Chamber has played – and continues to play – in Oklahoma City’s rise from train depot, to State Capitol, to Big League City. However, I have never felt right about the way I stayed quiet on this issue. From now on, I will not back down from contributing my thoughts on contentious issues, but I will try to do so in the most respectful manner possible.
So, is it even worth talking about now?…yes, I think so! While the Chamber has all of the necessary approvals to move forward, construction has yet to start and still looks to be months away, providing an opportunity to reconsider whether the current proposal is the best we can do. While this conversation begins much later than it should have…perhaps it is not too late!
Continue to Re-visioning the Chamber Proposal