22 CITY HALLS
PHOTO ESSAYS ON SIENA, LOUISVILLE, CINCINNATI & MORE RECENT EXAMPLES
2015 witnessed public discussion on the need of a new city hall for Lexington, including the disturbing proposal that a developer-built facility should become part of a Centerpointe revival plan.
Concerned by this possibility, early last Fall I began assembling material on city halls from around the world. The outcome is an extensive photo essay which begins with Lexington’s present question, and then examines 22 city halls in chronological order.
The complete essay can be accessed HERE, or via the navigation menu.
Individual cities are also accessible in three ways: via the navigation menu,
by clicking on its photo above, or with any of the links below.
While the city halls presented vary widely in scope and scale,
their successes and failures vary almost not at all.
SUCCESSFUL CITY HALLS
- Have a distinct civic presence in the core of the city
- Embrace the citizen with a vibrant city plaza: a civic space of celebration, recreation, demonstration, commemoration and relaxation
- Accommodate a variety of public and private events indoors
- Include facilities to promote the health and wellbeing of their employees
UNSUCCESSFUL CITY HALLS
- Have their design and execution controlled by developers
- Are poorly located
- Are designed by architects more interested in a personal agenda than in the needs of their clients
- Provide nothing more than municipal office space and a council chamber
MY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEXINGTON’S NEW CITY HALL
- It should be in the core of the city, as close to the geographical center as may be possible.
- The LFUCG should control the design and own the building.
- The architect should be identified by means of a careful, thorough and unhurried two stage process: an international invitation to submit credentials followed by a limited invitational competition between a small number of finalists.
- The advisors and jurors should be chosen with equal care, as they will be critical to the project’s success.