Saturday, June 14, 2008

People Under Glass Pyramids Should Not Throw Stones

The additional cost of the glass pyramid covering the roof terrace was largely offset by savings realized through the elimination of expensive water insulation, interior storm water drains, and, of course, fenestration – all rendered superfluous by the enclosing pyramid structure itself. The resulting year-round "flex-space" lends itself to a number of public and private uses, including receptions and performances (the 25th reunion of the McCaskey class of 1984 may be held there next summer). The revenue generated by renting out this truly unique space should help defray the Academy's considerable operating costs and should make a welcome addition to Lancaster's performing arts spaces.

The glass pyramid was one of many improvements to Philip Johnson's original plans suggested or otherwise approved by PAM's founders, Frances Veri and Michael Jamanis. Had NewsLanc bothered to interview the architect, Alan Ritchie, or the general contractor, Benchmark, at the grand opening, you would have learned of the great lengths Veri & Jamanis went to reduce expenses during a time of soaring material and energy costs.

Of course perfection has its price, and in PAM's case the price of perfection was unusually steep given the extraordinary degree of customization and total commitment to acoustical and architectural excellence throughout the building (although the choral room, an earlier gift incorporated into the new Academy building, leaves something to be desired despite reconstruction of the ceiling).

The black-tie reception, concert, and dinner you refer to was intended primarily for donors and friends of PAM, including individuals of modest means who volunteered their time and donated materials to help Veri & Jamanis realize their dream of building a world class music school and concert hall in Lancaster, Pennsylvania...

NewsLanc frequently criticizes the Lancaster Newspapers for skewed reporting or failing to get their facts straight. People sitting under glass pyramids should not throw stones.