Piazza d’ Italia will remain a famous work of Charles Moore. When it was built and introduced in 1978, a lot of critics gave good feedback about it. They may have winked at some of its eccentric parts like the twin cartouches of the face of Moore on its arch but it was considered to be one of the most significant modern plazas of all time ever built in an American city. It was even recognized to be a primary city attraction that gave a boost to the tourism industry.
But then time has passed and not even a single taxi driver or a simple clerk has a memory of the place. The piazza has undergone a restoration that has been worth millions just to correct about 25 years of decay. However during its process of again, it gave a lot of memorable lessons for landscape architects.
One is that parks should be designed with a higher purpose of dedicating it to potential users. Second is to make sure they are durable and third is to avoid moving ahead of the market in real estate when the economy is unstable. It should always be remembered that parks like this should always be kept safe, clean and well-maintained.
The Piazza d’ Italia will forever remain and look smart. You would know what this article is talking about especially if you have already seen pictures of prototype of Italian plazas being very sophisticated and classy. Its classic design of the five colonnades would always effectively symbolize the five classical orders with a sixth one being known as the Delicatessen Order. Its wittiness is displayed in its ionic capital which is made of spritzing water and stainless steels. It can also be taken as the greatest expression of Moore’s philosophy.
Five years after its initial opening in 1978, the city authorities are saying that there are plans of bringing back the once classy look of the piazza. This said comeback took some time before becoming a reality. In fact, it was in 2001 that the piazza was seen in its worst state of being ruined. The basins were filled with weeds and the water was completely shut down. A windstorm may have been the one responsible for the corroded steel skeleton of the campanile.
It has been great news that Loews Hotels took the responsibility of restoring the piazza for a total cost of a million dollars. However, they connected this with the Lykes tower conversion into a brand new hotel. The piazza has been leased to Loews but it is still under the possession of the city. During daytime, the piazza serves as a public park but for about 30 nights annually, Loews uses it for their exclusive events and parties. They have also assigned days as to when the American Italian Renaissance Foundation can use it for special functions done by invitation only. Hopefully, it would serve as a lesson for many that parks and fountains must always be kept valued and maintained for the coming generations to still appreciate in time.