Two Long Centers?

RECEIVED Tue., April 8, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Oh, my God! I had no idea that there were two Long Centers! That's right! Two! There's the one that the Chronicle calls "grand" [“Long Center,” Arts, April 4], and then there's the one that stands on Riverside Drive. I don't know where the one is that Mr. Faires praises so loudly, but the one on Riverside screams "butt ugly" so loud it is difficult to miss it. To quote a colleague, as we stood on Riverside viewing this monstrosity: "It doesn't come together in any way." Indeed, it seems to be the most confused and misguided architectural venture in recent history. Leave it to Austin to miss a chance to do what Sydney, Australia, and Santa Fe, N.M., have done and create a showpiece that helps put the town on the map internationally. What do we get? A mess with some old columns and stones.
    The Palmer Auditorium has more aesthetic appeal than the Long Center. With its sweeping front it at least invites one in. The parking garage next to the Long Center is more pleasant to look at than the Long Center. What a tragedy. Good thing we built two of them.
James Hankin
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