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have another restaurateur, we couldn't design a restaurant for a
non-existing restaurateur because he might come along and say--. So
we went to landmarks and we said, “Give us approval to redesign the
park. Here's a design. And to put in the stacks underneath the
park. Here's the design for that. They turned us down, because they
wanted to know what the restaurant was going to look like. We said,
“You're going to get another crack at this when we do come up with a
restaurant. But we want to get going! We have the money for the
park, we have the money for the stacks. We want to get going on it.
We'll come back to you in six months when we have a design and a
restaurateur” and so on so on. They voted no on a non-existing
issue. Fortunately, this being public land, Landmarks has only
advisory power. The Arts Commission has final power, and the Arts
Commission unanimously approved it.
Who did you get to redesign the park?
Laurie Olin, who was dean of landscaping at Harvard and
also runs a landscape firm.
Was he given a mandate, what you wanted him to accomplish?
We didn't tell him how to do it. We explained what the
problems were and asked him to come up with the best solution. He
came up with a plan, which was very nice and dandy. We finally had
to amend it because it was too expensive. It had canals for water
and so on and so on. There was no way we were going to get the money
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