Ron Tocci of the Save our Armory Committee and American Legion Post 8 Commander informed me that they and Shop Architects were given notice that their proposal had been eliminated from the Waterfront Gateway Design Competition
Sadly and predictably The "Jury" for the Armory "Design Competition" has informed Shop Architects and the Save our Armory committee that the most recent version of the Re-Imagine New Rochelle Armory Design concept they submitted was not selected for phase 2 of the competition. Besides being a continuation of the blatant contempt for the veterans;The problems with this are as follows:
1) WE DON'T KNOW WHO THE JURY IS!! The public has not been kept in the loop about the jury selection process or who they are, and have not been given clear criteria of what each design will be judged on. This information is not publicly available on the competition website. the only contact information available is this email address "[email protected]" to where entrants are supposed to email their submissions.
All we know is that there is supposed to be 4 Jurors appointed by the city and 4 by ArchPaper that is running the competition with the City. It was suggested that jurors be neutral to the proposals but more importantly if they are appointed are they neutral to Noam Bramson?
2) There was supposed to be an announcement made by August 9th. I am looking for it and the main competition website has has not been updated since it was launched. There is also nothing visible on the city website that I can find.
3) The public has no idea what the design entries are or which ones were chosen to go on to phase 2.
4) STUDENTS are allowed to submit their designs WITHOUT even being partnered with a developer.
SHOP ARCHITECTS IS A LEADING DEVELOPER that has even worked with Bramson's Echo Bay developer Forest City to build the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Do the other entries even have a developer? Does the City have one for them that we don't know about?
5) The Designs DO NOT have to take the armory's history into account!!
According to Peggy Godfrey "When Councilman Lou Trangucci asked if the proposal would be consistent with the history of the site, [Development] Commissioner Aragon said he was leaving this open so that new ideas could be sought. "
5) For a Competition that's supposed to be transparent, neutral and a "creative new path" to get Ideas, this competition has NOT been transparent to the public. The public needs to know how the city council is deciding the fate of a public asset. Also Why does ArchPaper get to have more of a say with what is done with the Armory than the veterans and citizens of New Rochelle.
Now I was told that this phase might just be a suggestion and council will have the final call.
PLEASE WRITE YOUR COUNCILMAN or COUNCILWOMAN AND DEMAND ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS!
Tell them you want the Veterans proposal to be given fair consideration. If the Veterans proposal is not chosen let them know that honoring the History of the Armory and New Rochelle Veterans MUST be a requirement for the final design.