Saturday, December 10, 2005

One of the bizarre things the city did was to commission an economic impact study for the proposed concert hall before the design of the building--or even the designer--was known. How can the economic impact of an unknown design be ascertained? The consultants can be working with one of two possible assumptions: 1) the design will be ho-hum, in the tradition of recent architecture in Elgin or 2) the design will be architecturally significant.

Depending on which assumption they're working with, the outcome of the study will be entirely different. If they're working on the assumption of a dull design, then the economic impact will certainly be very limited. If they assume on the other hand that the city, the ESO and its partners are willing to make the investment and hire an internationally known architect to commission a masterpiece, the most important building perhaps in Chicagoland outside of Chicago, then the impact would be profound. It would for once and for all transform Elgin's image from an old economy, blue-collar casino town into an important regional city, the cultural heart and center of the northwest suburbs. Such a revaluation of Elgin would attract the creative class and other desirable demographics.

The Atlanta Symphony is "creating a postcard for Georgia." Check it out:
Press release
EIS Executive Summary


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