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Paint the Moon
With lasers!

Nobel Prize for Jo
Who else has done more to promote literacy worldwide?

Glass Canopy
I didn't know they had already done this in Denver, but it still a good idea.

Oklahoma City Memorial
An unrealized vision.

The Glass Canopy Project

Unfortunately, I don't seem to have any archive materials for this short-lived project, other than the images you see here.

What it was:  a proposal to remove the hideous, Stalinistic, concrete canopy which is over parts of the sidewalks in downtown Columbia and replace it with an arching canopy of laminated glass panels spanning the entire street, from one side to the other.  It would rise some three stories at the sides, higher in the center, be free standing with integral drainage/downspouts to manage rain and snow melt.

(click on image for a larger version)

The idea came to me while visiting the British museum during the spring of 2001, where they have a similar sort of canopy in the shape of a torus over the central courtyard.  My thought was that putting up such a canopy in downtown Columbia would greatly increase the usability of those areas it covered for street festivals, fairs, concerts, et cetera.  More importantly, it would unburden the beauty of downtown by removing the extant concrete canopy, which is just functional enough to make up for being butt-ugly.  I figured it could also serve as a tourist attraction, or at least as a marketing tool for Columbia, as well.

watercolor image by Jerry Thompson
(click on image for a larger version)

The proposal received a lot of initial attention, and spurred considerable public debate for a few weeks, before it was dismissed as being impractical for a variety of reasons (couldn't handle snow loads, would create a "greenhouse" environment, wouldn't be able to withstand high winds or would create a wind tunnel effect) by opinion makers and local politicians.  Of course, none of those objections were true, and the people who made them weren't professionally qualified to make those judgements.  This was borne out by my discovery in the summer of 2004 that Denver has just such a canopy over their downtown theatre district, and Denver has greater weather extremes than we have here in Columbia.  Ah well.

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all work © James T. Downey, 1993-2006
photos © Martha K. John, 1994-2006
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