Lens images outdated by design changes - FOX 13 News

Lens images outdated by design changes

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ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) -

St. Petersburg voters considering their position on the New St. Petersburg Pier need to know the images they see are no longer accurate.

The city's architect for the Lens provided an animation and several conceptual drawings late last year. Since then, design changes have altered the proposed reality.

"I have no problem with designs changing," resident Howard Taylor told FOX 13 News. "We just need to know what those design changes are and how it's going to affect what the New Pier is supposed to be."

One of the more dramatic changes is on the Bay side of the proposed "canopy," which rises several stories above the surface of the water.

The supporting columns are taller and much more noticeable in a photograph in the city's most recent design document.

The canopy is no longer smooth: It will be made of aluminum panels, with many horizontal and several vertical lines apparent in the same photograph.

The earlier renderings also show pedestrians and a trolley sharing one of the bridges.

"There will be no actual trolley," Taylor points out. Motorboats have replaced the non-motorized watercraft shown in renderings. After enumerating those and other changes, Taylor said "I don't care whether someone is for or against the Lens. All I want is accurate information, especially with a vote coming up."

In August, St. Petersburg voters will decide whether to terminate the city's contract Lens architect Michael Maltzan. The images in question are seen on the city's website, in city displays, and on Web sites supporting the project. In only one instance reviewed by FOX 13 News was a disclaimer included, noting the drawings are no longer accurate.

"The intent was to present images of what the possibilities of the project could be, and those images are still accurate as far as the overall concept," city architect Raul Quintana told FOX 13 News.

Taylor detailed some of his observations in an e-mail to the city council in mid-May. He also addressed council members in the open forum portion of last week's city council meeting. Taylor claims so far no one has responded to his request for an explanation, or his suggestion that outdated images be clearly labeled as such.

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