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Do ya think that this major defect in the building is sure to negatively affect the booming convention business this city enjoys? Or do ya think downtown businesses won't notice much of a difference?

Jonathan Potts

Is it really booming, Jack? As the head of the visitors and tourism bureau himself admitted to me for this article


bookings fell 50,000 room nights short of the bureau's goal in 2005. I'm guessing things didn't improve much in 2006. The popular refrain is that we need a hotel, but every city that has built an underperforming convention center says the same thing, and the hotels usually don't meet expectations.

That said, whether the expansion of the convention center was justified is a separate issue from whether it was built correctly. I certainly hope it was.


Based on his I.P. address from Hilton Hotels, Jack isn't being exactly upfront about his allegiances or disclosing his vested interest in the perception of a "booming" convention business in Pittsburgh.


I was being facetious, Jonathan. You'd think things would be (at least they should be) much better after opening the new c.c., wouldn't ya? Honestly, I don't think most people would realize if the building was open or not.

Jonathan Potts

I've been home sick. Perhaps my irony detector is on the fritz.


To further Jonathan's point regarding hope, when is the major media going to come out and say that the building will more than likely have to come down?

Anybody who knows anything about the building behind the scenes knows that it is more than likely the case.

Jonathan Potts

If people won't go on the record, the media can't do much of anything.

sean mcdaniel

Hey, good to see that Cope is still playing the IP snoop. Hope he's better at sleuthing than outting me as a Indiana University prof. Which I'm not. Or a 14-year-old Penn Hills kid.

Anyway, I got some inside scoop from a guy who works on several big shows at the Convention Center every year. He says that even his most talkative friends and sources there are very tight lipped. But he did hear this...don't be surprised if the place is condemned. He says that the word is that you couldn't hold a banquet for 50 people at the fartherest point from the collapse. He also mentioned that the there are two similar structure to the convention center that suffered collapses and are now condemned.

And to repeat, I am not a union organizing, rabble rousing professor of spanish at IU. nor am i a teenage boy. even if i do behave like one. And Cope, you look where to look for my IP address, once you get your head out of the way.

sean mcdaniel

as for being green, innovative and defective...i don't think the first two necessarily add up to the third. when a section of the tunnel of boston's big dig collapsed, green and innovative had nothing to do with it. sometimes things are just defective. whether it's poor planning or an unforeseen mishap. i will say that some online browsing shows that a few engineeres are surprised by the thinness of the concrete (six inches) and the lack of rebar.

Sam M

"as for being green, innovative and defective...i don't think the first two necessarily add up to the third."

I wasn't trying to imply that. I am just saying that a lot of the big talk involved in the CC has focused on the structure itself. It was a point of pride. The architecture. The greenness. It was not just a building. It was an innovative building in every way. Innovative in a way that was supposed to reflect "new ways of thinking" in Pittsburgh. To help change our "image."

That is, it was at least as much symbol as building.

And, well, if it turns out that the building actually sucks--for whatever reason--it is going to end up symbolizing something a lot different.

I am with JP when he says that he hopes the building is sound. I am against redevelopment through convention center. But seeing that we have one and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on it, I think it would be better to have one that's not condemned.

But I think it's important to stress that it has not come to that yet. I am not in dark hallways listening to whispers. And things could get a lot worse. But for now, I am content to wait.

But of that building does have to come down...

Whooo boy.

But you know what, I don't think anyone will ever say that. (Yes, I am prepared to eat my words.) But choices are hardly ever that stark. Or easy.

Instead, I think a more likely scenario is a recommendation to save the structure... through massive and immensely costly upgrades and renovations.

To be paid by...????

Again,it might be a cheap, easy fix, too.

But no matter what happens, I think some low-level guy is about to get shitcanned. Because this stuff hardly ever seems to stick to people in charge.

sean mcdaniel

maybe it could turned into condos. and pittsburgh could get out of the convention center business altogether.

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