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(VIDEO) 'Lens' Design Updates Presented to the City Council

Last week, Michael Maltzan presented his evolving design for the "Lens" to members of the City Council.

Here is a video from last week's presentation by architetct Michael Maltzan about his "Lens" design, which is expected to replaced the existing Pier. 

In the above video, Maltzan talks about changes he has made to his design, based on public feedback, and his vision for the project.

Maltzan noted that the design changes are based on concerns raised by the public in more than two dozen community meetings.

The $50 million "Lens" design is slated to replace the inverted pyramid building. Maltzan and his team are going through the "basis of design" phase, which is expected to be completed and presented to council on Oct. 25. 

The inverted pyramid is slated to close on May 31, 2013;demolition would start in  September 2013. 

Donald H September 17, 2012 at 10:46 AM
This 'Lens' pier has been forced upon the citizenry of St. Petersburg. A petition was circulated and got enough signatures to force it on ballot but was not on the ballot. Now...we must have it shoved down our throats and we are supposed to be excite & like it....?!?
JDMcC September 17, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I'm very glad to see the project is moving forward. The Lens is going to look great, and I have no doubt that when it's in place it will lend considerable aesthetic appeal to the downtown waterfront and, consequently, bring more tourists (i.e., business and revenue) to the area. I know plenty of people disagree, and I respect their opinion, but I happen to think the opposite. I welcome this development and support it wholeheartedly.
Jeannie Cline September 17, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Where's the water taxi station?
CJ September 17, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I think these Pier Project Big Wigs are brain dead...what part of ''we don't like The Lens or anything like it'' do they not understand? Honestly..I think the only thing the citizens ''might'' respond favorably to is that if ''they must'' tear it down and rebuild it...then somewhere in the plans it needs to have an improved Inverted Pyramid in it. Isn't this a no brainer?? I an new to this state and city, but it seems the main grip people have is that their beleoved Inverted Pyramid will be no more...the inverted pyramid ''IS'' the pier..it's '''all'' about that. If they had this ''lens'' idea combined with a new Inverted Pyramid...it would be a home run. This idea is one that would please everyone...except those who don't want to do ''anything'' and just repair The Pier...due to the finacial conditions right now...and that's a very hard point to ignore. Even ''this group'' of people might be sawyed to agree with a brand new attraction that had elements of the New (Lens) and Old (Inverted Pyramid) combined. Glad to help. 2 cents please.
CJ September 17, 2012 at 03:45 PM
the film was a real yawner...same ol' same ol'... lipstick on a pig for sure...
Jeannie Cline September 17, 2012 at 04:17 PM
There are real concerns about the budget for the proposed lens without any of these "adjustments" and the original design has been scaled back tremendously already....where is the money going to come from for these additions?
Brian Longstreth September 17, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Looking forward to the NEW ST PETE PIER! Glad to see the architects making improvements to the concept as it was presented after gathering feedback from the community.
Jeannie Cline September 17, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Ah....I get it now....Mr Longstreth is a realtor!!! and he thinks that the lens proposal is going to increase property values along Beach Drive, at the expense of all the other neighborhoods in the city.....not to mention the less physically abled.......it's all falling into place now!!!
Rider September 17, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Looking forward to the resolution put forth by court decree.....that will allow the citizens to decide what they want to do with their waterfront...
Brian Longstreth September 17, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Wow, make many assumptions there Jeannie? Property Values and Beach Drive seem to be doing pretty well without any changes, it's not about that. In the 20 years of selling real estate in the City, I've sold in almost every neighborhood except Beach Drive. Anything built today has to meet ADA so your comment about physically abled is wrong. I have looked at the proposals from the very beginning and do indeed like the Lens concept. It's that simple.
Rider September 17, 2012 at 09:49 PM
It's a qualitative issue with the handicapped.....while any structure, of course, is required to meet standards, with the lens proposal, a tram is necessary to reach the long walkway to nowhere. The present design has the handicapped as a primary concern and it is so nice and convenient to be able to drop a physically disabled person at the pier building and then park the car while they wait in air conditioned comfort in the building. And, speaking of qualitative, the handicapped can ride an air conditioned elevator to the fifth floor veranda and take in the view like everyone else.....all without taking an inconvenient tram that the proponents of the lens concept exalt as fabulous for the handicapped. Give me a break, there is no way that my wheelchair bound Mom would be able to take a tram with comfort, no way. The lens is catering to the youth, most of which leave the city when college lets out in May. And I agree with Ms. Cline's earlier post, who's going to pay for all the suggestions that are now being included? They have already downsized the walkway and changed the materials, where is the money coming from? Thanks for raising this issue, Ms Cline!
CJ September 18, 2012 at 12:19 AM
You make a very good point about the handicapped...especially the ones that are easy to identify as handicapped...such as those in wheel chairs. I want to add that there are huge amounts of other people who are hadicapped also. Even though it is not as apparant....but none-the-less...even modest walks that are not a problem to most people can be quite physical for many many people. In a city who entertains many baby boomers, retired, and of course the snow birds ...this is a ''very real'' concern. There is also the families with children in tow. The fact is..many of these people are the ones who spend the kind of money projects like this need spent at them. The present plans, in essense, ignore and diss one of thier best customers bases. These are the groups of citizens who show up to eat, drink and be merry...not simply show up for a cheap day of walking around hardly spending ''zero'' money. Additionally, it's certainly not the fishermen (or cyclists/joggers) that are bringing much need cash to that venue. If anything, cleaning up after them is a huge expense most likely. Don't get me wrong..the entertainment value of seeing the fishemen,etc there is priceless...but the reality is that the venue also needs customers spending small wads of cash.
Rider September 18, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Thanks, CJ....very good points you raise, too. The lens proposal is geared toward the physically active and there are many people not able to walk easily, even though they aren't wheelchair bound. Also, the magic of this present pier or any pier in the future is the most incredible view that is available from the 5th floor veranda that is public, open to all people, able or not.....rich or poor. It is the magic of a public space and St Pete has captured that magic along with activities for all, too, be they active or passive.....and, regarding the handicapped, in all humility...until I was faced with aging parents whom I cared for and they became wheelchair bound, I had no idea what people in this situation go through. I tell you, with total honesty, that my folks would never, ever go on a pier like the lens that has no air conditioning and requires a shuttle to get out to the view. There is no way and I ask other bloggers how they feel about the handicapped situation with the lens. It is a question of vast importance and must not be disregarded or "answered" by saying that they can take a shuttle. Not that easy. Thanks.
monica September 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM
As a resident of Pinellas County...I...appreciate that we gave the option to modernize and beautify our St. Pete, Pier. It's a great design and kudos to the architect! I can't wait either, to visit it. Folks, enjoy the progress and be thankful for the opportunities this project is going to provide our very own residents.-----:-)
Jeannie Cline September 19, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Are you going to visit it during the 5 months of hot, humid, thunderstorm prone months?....and how about the times when it gets pretty cold here in the winter? What will you do at the lens? Please let us know! Thanks!
CJ September 19, 2012 at 05:02 AM
Wow, Jeannie...between the 5 months you mentioned you think are too hot, and ''the cold winter'' here I have to wonder what the heck youi are talking about. The summers are wonderful here...and no more humid than some locations in the mid-west...where I moved from. Have you ever been any where else in your life??? Much of Kansas and most of Missouri have humidity that seems worse than here. We had 80-100% humidity very often all year round up there...plus....we had ''many'' more days that were near 100 degrees. It does not get anywhere near that 'hot'' here. And winter? Are you freaking serious? That is really funny to hear somebody talk about how it gets ''pretty cold'' here. Your comments are going down as the funniest things I have read in a long time. You need a vacation and this time go some place besides the mall. ''But''...to answer your question...''certainly'' people are going to get out around here ''year round''. The weather here in this paradise is just why most people are here. It's hard to beleive you even live here. Just curious...where is it in the world do you think has good weather? I gotta hear this.
Jeannie Cline September 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Have you ever heard of the term snowbird, CJ?....I am not alone in the belief that this climate is extreme for many months and in the winter, it does dip into the 30's and 40's. There is no need to answer the other questions with the tone of your inquiry. This doesn't have to get ugly and personal. Those with the financial means and independence do go north in the summer to places like Chicago, Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, Maine, Northern Michigan, etc. I am not alone! LOL...and still believe that there will be a lack of participants on an outdoor pier that lacks the choice of air conditioning in the summer and heat on those infrequent, yet real, cold days in the winter. Don't forget, that we have almost daily thunderstorms with wicked lightning a lot, too, during the summer rainy season. Sure would hate to be caught out on the lens proposed pier during one of the frequent storms that blow in suddenly here.
monica September 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Well...to...Jeannie....I guess we should of knocked down the existing Pier long ago, if it was not being used....hmm...hmmmm....same winters....same rainy summers etc..etc......I'm sorry I am just not seeing your logic, maybe you do need the Lens!
Shore Acres Rick September 20, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Growing enthusiasm? I think the Lens design is disliked and is considered inappropriate to St. Pete by the vast majority of the citizens; a sentiment that is growing, not abating. And I certainly don't think the architect or the local officials are listening so much as patronizing. The Lens feature won't work because the water is too murky. It's absurd to hold educational visits there, because there will be literally less to see than the tiny aquarium at the current pier. The Marina won't work because there is no mention of a breakwater there. Without a breakwater, you can't dock without your boat getting bashed against the pilings by the bay swell (just like the existing pier). There is still no inviting air-conditioned space at the 'promontory'. Perhaps most disappointing is that there isn't even the slightest hint of Mediterranean Revival architectural flair that this city is known for, which was the main criticism of the existing structure. One can't escape the idea that this was designed as a generic entry in an art contest without the slightest regard to function or how it integrates into THIS waterfront or THIS community. And that now they are going though the motions of trying to figure out how to fit this round peg into the the square hole without really trying to make it fit.
N.A.W. September 22, 2012 at 07:43 PM
23,000 petitions is community feedback. STOP THE LENS!
N.A.W. September 22, 2012 at 07:45 PM
STOP THE LENS.
N.A.W. September 22, 2012 at 07:48 PM
the lens boondoggle will be closed during any mild thunderstorm, where at present, people can run into the main building to escape bad weather. The "shade areas" they propose will not keep out sideways rain, or protect from lightning. STOP THE LENS!
N.A.W. September 22, 2012 at 07:50 PM
The lens is a disgusting display of arrogance being shoved down the throats of an unwilling populace! Do the math...23,000 registered voters signed petitions, I am one of them...and I have at least 20 friends and family that believe the same way....that's a heck of a lot of people! Never, ever, have I seen such blind arrogance from our supposed "leaders". STOP THE LENS!

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