How the Columbus Government Center would be demolished, I forget to ask.
How would you tear it down, if the city decided to build a new one? Would you dynamite it? Would people get to watch it explode like when we blew up the dams?
Or, would you bring in a big wrecking ball and beat it down like a rebellious employee? Or like an old backyard shed, I mean? If you did that, maybe falling concrete would so shake the ground that people at a Wagner concert in a theater next door would say, “What wonderful sound effects during ‘Ride of the Valkyries’!”
One option among three a Government Center commission offers in an online survey is this: That the entire complex be “completely destroyed,” as they say on TV, and replaced with two new buildings, and two park-like expanses on the block’s northwest and southeast corners.
Never miss a local story.
One building would be just for city offices, the other just for courts.
That’s called “Option 3.” It sounds like code for a commando operation, doesn’t it? (“All units: Option 3! Repeat: Option 3!”)
Option 1 is to renovate the existing structures with an expanded base on the tower and vertical extensions on each side of the building’s south face. Option 2 is to renovate only the tower – with an expansion at its base and vertical extensions to its sides – wreck the wings and build a new city office building on the block’s northeast corner with a park-like expanse on the northwest corner.
A fourth option would be to sell the property to the Trump family for a casino, but no one ever talks about that.
Residents are asked to review and vote on these options at www.surveymonkey.com/r/NewGovernmentBuildingOptions.
But first, they are advised to watch a 10-minute video detailing issues with the current structure.
After which they will want to demolish it, lest they become trapped there on jury duty.
The pipes are eroding. The sprinkler system’s limited. The narrow stairwells make escape difficult. The elevator service stinks. The maintenance access for utilities is too restricted. The generator in the basement is dead! Deputies taking inmates to court are in danger! They’re using the same elevator as the judges! There’s no storage! All the handgun permits are stacked in cardboard boxes! What if inmates steal the gun permits and run down the stairs and you can’t get an elevator? It will be anarchy!
Sorry. I lapsed into a scene from the film “The Breakfast Club,” in which the jock in detention is allowed to leave his library seat, and the delinquent in mock hysteria starts ranting: “Hey, how come Andrew gets to get up? If he gets up, we’ll all get up! It’ll be anarchy!”
After people watch the video and look at all the images of the three options, they are urged not to take the images of the three options literally as they pick which one they prefer.
The images are only preliminary illustrations intended to give viewers an idea of the three concepts and are not in any way representative of the final design and yada yada yada. Next thing you know this will have a legal disclaimer.
Too bad you can’t take the renderings literally, because adding those vertical extensions to the tower makes it look futuristic, as if the figures pictured passing by on the street-view should be wearing Star Fleet uniforms and conducting business online via halo-like holograms as they walk out in front of hover cars.
Those extensions are for additional elevator shafts, widened stairwells and increased ventilation, as well as access to utilities. So they’re not backdrops for a science-fiction movie. Yet.
The thing about the tower, as the Historic Columbus Foundation has noted, is that it’s iconic: It dominates the skyline. Aflac’s giant duck skyscraper is a distant spire on the horizon, from downtown.
So, if it’s not there, and nothing comparable replaces it, the cityscape will flatten out considerably, and lack a defining feature.