Monday, February 28, 2011

Improve, Innovate, and Inspire: The Power of Two

Despite decades of progress, the construction industry remains largely male-dominated. In particular, the construction trades remain disproportionately occupied by men rather than women. A conspicuous exception is the architecture profession, where parity is nearing as more and more women are assuming prominent design and managerial roles.

The Eugene chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) provides a forum for women who are involved locally in all aspects of construction. I came to know members of this active group during my tenure on the board of the Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) Willamette Valley Chapter back in the ‘90s. NAWIC and CSI have long enjoyed a collegial and mutually supportive relationship.

NAWIC members are engaged in contract administration, project and operations management, engineering, as well as hands-on trades. The organization has also been extraordinarily active, belying its relatively small numbers. A case in point is its Block Kids event, NAWIC’s annual competition that introduces children to the construction industry.

Another NAWIC program is its upcoming Mentoring Mixer. The goal of the mixer is to match up-and-coming women in construction with good mentors, ones they can trust, respect, and relate to. Mentoring is a voluntary, reciprocal, self-directed learning relationship between two individuals who share responsibility and accountability for helping a mentee work toward achievement of clear and defined goals.

If you are a) female, and b) involved in the construction industry or a college student in a construction major, NAWIC invites you to attend the Mentoring Mixer. NAWIC veterans will help find you a “match” and provide guidelines on a formal mentoring relationship. Join NAWIC for a fun evening that could have a lasting impact on your professional and personal development.

Interested? Contact Amanda Wilson at Please RSVP by March 7, 2011.

What:  NAWIC’s Mentoring Mixer

When:  March 9, 2011 – Social 5:30pm – Mixer 6:00-8:00

Where:  Boulevard Grill, 2123 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene

Cost:  Free for non-members. $18 for NAWIC members.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Deep Green

The City of Eugene has joined a growing list of communities that are tackling climate change by developing a Community Climate and Energy Action Plan. The Eugene premiere of the documentary movie Deep Green presents an exciting opportunity to move the plan forward and begin securing a resilient and vibrant future for our community .

Deep Green is a documentary that focuses on climate change solutions. It showcases practical actions from around the globe that include energy efficiency, green building, alternative transportation, sustainable agriculture, and forest restoration.

The movie directly aligns with many of Eugene’s climate and energy goals, including reducing dependency on fossil fuels, creating more energy efficient buildings, reimagining more sustainable food systems, and expanding the use of renewable energy. The movie’s screening will also highlight local opportunities for reducing our carbon footprint while enriching our lives.

The Eugene premiere will be held this Thursday, February 24th in the Soreng Theater at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. Mayor Kitty Piercy will kick things off. Producer, writer, and director Matt Briggs will introduce the film and participate in discussions after the screening. The discussions are really intended to be the focus of the event–to empower dialogue and action around climate change.

The firm I work for–Robertson/Sherwood/Architects–is one of several local sponsors for Thursday’s show. I'm looking forward to representing RSA at the event and joining fellow Eugeneans who want to make a difference by confronting our climate crisis head on. I hope to see you there!

What:  Eugene premiere of the movie Deep Green

When:  Thursday, February 24th at 6:00 PM

Where:  Soreng Theater, Hult Center for the Performing Arts

Admission:  Five dollar suggested donation at the door; no one will be turned away.

To learn more about the movie and watch a trailer, visit or the City of Eugene’s website at
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

AIA-SWO Intern Tour: Fenton Hall

The next in the ongoing series of AIA-SWO construction project tours features the extensive renovation of Fenton Hall, the third oldest building on the University of Oregon campus. Like the previous tours, the intent is to allow architectural interns who may not otherwise regularly visit construction sites to see firsthand a project in progress. Here are the details:

What:  Fenton Hall on the University of Oregon Campus

When:  Thursday, February 24th at 11:45 AM

Where:  University of Oregon Campus on the north side of 13th Avenue, between Kincaid and University. Meet in front of the job trailer on 13th.

Architect:  Robertson|Sherwood|Architects PC


Saying that parking is limited is an understatement. Save yourself a hassle and ride EmX to the nearby Dad’s Gate Station.

Project Description:
The Fenton Hall project will enhance the masonry structure’s ability to survive a seismic event, provide full accessibility for persons with disabilities, and significantly improve the building’s energy efficiency. Chambers Construction has already installed the majority of the new mechanical and electrical systems. Shortly, the company will oversee the installation of finishes and a new elevator.

The project’s energy conservation measures include use of chilled beams for cooling, the addition of shading devices, and increased reliance upon natural daylight.

This is an excellent time to see the building while it is undergoing renovation and examine the original structure before it is covered up.

Please RSVP by 5 pm Tuesday, February 22nd to Julie Romig at or 541-683-8661 extension 3. The tour can only accommodate the first 18 people who RSVP. Priority will be given to AIA-SWO associate members.

February AIA-SWO Chapter Meeting Recap

AIA-SWO chapter meeting, Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at The Actors Cabaret (photo by Will Dixon, AIA)

Within a civic culture like ours that exalts consensus decision-making, the merits of strong leadership can sometimes be overlooked or devalued. While inclusiveness and a willingness to entertain views from various factions are virtues, so too is the ability to recognize the vision, purpose, and intelligence that is characteristic of effective leaders.

The February 2011 AIA-Southwestern Oregon chapter program enlisted two of the more prominent leaders in our community for a conversation with each other and the gathered AIA-SWO members: University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere and Eugene city manager Jon Ruiz. Both men are relatively new to their respective positions, and both came to Eugene from outside Oregon.(1) In their current roles, each has quickly demonstrated fresh thinking, a willingness to shake things up, and the value of determined leadership.

AIA-SWO executive director Don Kahle facilitated the conversation. In lieu of prepared speeches, he asked Richard and Jon to bring questions they would like to hear answered, either by their leadership counterpart or by the community's design professionals. Serendipitously, the set for The Actors Cabaret’s current production of The Drowsy Chaperone provided an eminently suitable backdrop for the evening. It was as if everyone had retreated to the parlor to engage in a warm and informal apr├Ęs-dinner chat over glasses of wine. That it yielded some truly spirited and genuine discussion was a pleasant dividend.

Given whom Richard and Jon represent, a natural focus of the dialogue was how relations between “town & gown” might develop in years to come. It was clear both firmly believe the fortunes of the University of Oregon and Eugene are inextricably tied to each other. Mutually beneficial plans for the future figure prominently on their agendas. In their minds, there’s no getting around the fact that Eugene remains first and foremost a college town.(2)

Don offered Jon the opportunity to ask Richard the first question(3):

How can the community tap the talent of the School of Architecture & Allied Arts?
RL: The University is trying to break out of the old mindset that town & gown are separate. Everything that happens in the city impacts the university. The opposite is likewise the case. What will the relationship be? I’d like to think that the leadership of the University of Oregon and the City of Eugene would always consult with each other.

The Sustainable Cities Initiative is an example of how Eugene might benefit directly from research conducted at the university and particularly the School of Architecture & Allied Arts. Gresham was the first city to take advantage of the initiative. Over 80,000 hours of student and faculty time was applied to projects throughout the city. It started with only six courses, ultimately expanding to twenty-one across five different academic departments by the end of the school year. Working on such projects gave students a comprehensive look at how a city really works. They saw how important the political process is. Their completed work will contribute to future planning for Gresham. It is an asset that the city could not have come by without the assistance of the university. It was a comprehensive effort to infuse sustainability and community outreach into the curricula.

Salem is the next community that will benefit from the Sustainable Cities Initiative. Eugene may get its turn.

Richard followed Jon’s question with two of his own that more pointedly highlighted challenges that confront the UO/City of Eugene relationship:

What can the City of Eugene do to ensure an adequate stock of housing for students?
JR: I don’t know of an easy answer. Accommodating affordable, nearby housing for students has not always been straightforward. There has been resistance from affected neighbors and the neighborhood organizations. Communication with them is important. It’s their quality of life that is directly impacted when a large new development is constructed. Place matters a lot to people.

How do we move from a regulatory relationship to a conversation?
JR: The City of Eugene needs to change its culture. Presently, the City places too much emphasis upon avoiding what citizens fear rather than looking at what might be possible. The Planning & Development Department is often perceived as an obstacle rather than a partner. This needs to evolve toward a sharing of common goals. The community would welcome seeing the city and the university working cooperatively. Finding the “third place” may be a solution, the forum for a civil society. What are we all seeking? What does livability mean to everyone?

Richard and Jon were eager to field questions from others. Members of the AIA-SWO old guard and youthful associates alike seized the opportunity. Here’s a sampling along with Richard’s and Jon’s responses:

How can the City of Eugene and the University of Oregon engage and persuade the community to follow their lead on important issues? The forthcoming decision on the West 11th Avenue extension of EmX is an example where the city and the UO both endorse the project but it faces strong opposition by some.
JR: You have to listen to everyone in the community. That being said, people need to understand that decisions being made today will impact generations to come. We cannot afford to be shortsighted.

RL: People confuse unanimity with consensus. It may not always be possible to wait for everyone to agree on everything.

Has the university considered a long-term plan of developing satellite campuses dispersed at points along a fully developed EmX system?
RL: No.

The University of Oregon is physically close to downtown Eugene. Why doesn’t the university build student housing downtown? In the days before urban renewal, downtown Eugene had plenty of older buildings with apartments occupied by students above ground floor shops.
RL: We’re trying to keep students on campus because the neighborhoods prefer it that way.

Of the “college towns” that Eugene is frequently compared to, which ones are doing it right?
RL: Certainly not Austin, Texas.(4) Years ago, Austin enjoyed a reputation as progressive but more recently the effects of poor planning decisions are becoming evident. Eugene is still not so big that it cannot be managed. It’s also not so small that it can’t manage its destiny. Eugene still has an opportunity that it must not squander. It doesn’t want to risk making the same planning mistakes that Austin did.

What about incentivizing desirable forms of private-sector development to facilitate desired outcomes?
JR: The Envision Eugene process is considering the promotion of strategies like variable systems development charges that would reward favorable development strategies with reduced fees.

The City has a tendency to roll over to the demands of NIMBYs. Can this change?
JR: The concerns of neighbors–those “on the ground” and whose lives are directly impacted by development–can inform and improve neighborhood plans. The City cannot ignore their voices. However, the City wants to avoid both over-regulation and reactive decision-making. The use of form-based codes may be a means to secure greater acceptance by neighborhood groups resistant to the prospect of new development. By illustrating commonly shared and desirable development objectives, the City is hoping that form-based codes and the projects designed to comply with them will typically garner support rather than opposition. Walnut Station may be a crucial test of this concept for Eugene.

University of Oregon president Richard Lariviere (L) and Eugene city manager Jon Ruiz (R)(photo by Don Kahle)

A key set of questions that hovered over the entire proceedings dealt with how AIA-Southwestern Oregon could assist the university and the city in the pursuit of their common goals (especially those endorsed by the architectural community). What is our future role in the relationship between the UO and the City of Eugene? Can we help the city take greater advantage of the university’s intellectual capacity? Is there a way we can better leverage our considerable talents to the benefit of both institutions? Don Kahle opined that it wouldn’t take much. Simply being a third party might be enough to stir the blinkered “town & gown” dynamic.

We have already assisted the City of Eugene by conducting charrettes that addressed vital urban design issues. AIA-SWO professionals and UO faculty have also worked together on complex community projects. These separate partnerships have fostered a culture of synergy and innovation. There is no reason to believe that a three-way association involving AIA-SWO in an advisory role on matters of mutual interest to all parties would not also thrive.

The potential for involvement is limitless. Jon cited the promise inherent to the strengthening of connections between downtown Eugene and the UO campus. He mentioned the Millrace and the Willamette River and their significance to both the university and the city. For his part, Richard challenged us to design inspiring places. He asserted that architects have a moral duty to speak out when something is not being done right. In his view, the consequences of poor planning and design are too significant for AIA-SWO not to contribute to an investment in the shared social capital of the city.

This conversation of leaders was lively, frank, and thought-provoking. It felt as if we were just getting started when the call came to wrap things up. Heartfelt thanks to both gentlemen for a most enjoyable evening.

Richard Lariviere and Jon Ruiz have assumed the helm of leadership at a propitious moment in Eugene’s history. Their influence will indelibly shape the future of this place we call home--its prospects, character, and identity. If AIA-Southwestern Oregon is to join their company, we must be prepared to demonstrate the same caliber of leadership on matters of importance to all of us.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Note: I previously blogged about the town & gown phenomenon, primarily with respect to the relationship between local architectural professionals and the UO School of Architecture & Allied Arts.

(1) Lariviere became president of the University in 2009. Prior to coming to Oregon, he served as executive vice provost and chancellor for the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Ruiz previously served as assistant city manager for Fresno, CA. He assumed the position of Eugene’s city manager in 2008.

(2) The University’s 22,386 students contribute $232 million directly to the local economy. This includes supporting a total of 2,932 on-campus jobs and $107 million in household earnings. It is one of the largest and most stable employers in the Eugene-Springfield metro area. UO athletics events, the Olympic Trials, the Oregon Bach Festival, and other attractions make the university and the surrounding community a significant tourist destination (each year, 690,000 people attend academic events and an additional 650,000 attend athletic events on campus).

(3) My transcription skills are severely limited by my spastic penmanship and subsequent inability to read my own writing. These extracts are my best shot at reasonable facsimiles for Richard’s and Jon’s own words.

(4) Richard Lariviere served as dean of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin from 1999 to 2006.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rebuild & Renew

The smiling bunch in the photo above is the AIA Oregon delegation along with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley (center in photo) during its visit to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. earlier this month as part of the 2011 AIA Leadership & Legislative Conference ("Grassroots"). The Oregon delegation included five of AIA-Southwestern Oregon’s own: 2011 AIA-SWO President Paul Dustrud, 2011 AIA-SWO President-Elect Kurt Albrecht, AIA-Northwest & Pacific Region Associate Director Shawn Jenkins, AIA-Oregon Delegate Bill Seider, and AIA-SWO Executive Director Don Kahle. They, along with nearly 1,000 architects from across the country presented AIA’s four-step plan for rebuilding Main Street:

Step One: Unfreeze Credit, Create Jobs
Thousands of needed construction projects that would employ millions of Americans are on hold because credit is frozen. Banks received billions in federal taxpayer bailouts; now it's time to ensure those banks lend. Congress should support efforts to reign in regulatory overkill and allow the financial sector to lend to worthy projects that put Americans back to work. [Link to Issue Brief]

Step Two: Remove Regulatory Burdens that Hold Small Business Back
Small architecture firms and sole practitioners know all too well the burdens of high tax rates and burdensome paperwork. In 2010, the AIA helped defeat a plan to increase payroll taxes on thousands of small architecture firms. Now Congress needs to repeal the expensive and unneeded new Form 1099 paperwork requirement slipped into the health care reform bill. [Link to Issue Brief]

Step Three: Jumpstart the Market for Building Retrofits as an Engine of Economic Growth
Across the country, building owners, state and local governments and school districts want to lower energy bills by retrofitting their buildings, but lack the financing to do it. By increasing incentives for efficient building designs and renovations that show real results, Congress can create jobs while securing our energy independence. [Link to Issue Brief]

Step Four: Pass a Transportation Bill to Get our Communities Moving Again
Crumbling infrastructure and rising congestion have crippled our nation's competitiveness, reduced safety, and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Worse, outdated transportation laws have slowed projects down and deprived the public of a voice in the planning process. Congress needs to enact transportation reform legislation this year that gives people real choices in how they move. [Link to Issue Brief]

I had the good fortune to attend the Grassroots conferences in 2008 and 2009. In addition to leadership skills development and networking opportunities, I acquired an appreciation for the value of political advocacy. As an architect, you have insight and expertise that is useful to your members of Congress. They may not always agree with your position on certain issues, but they are always interested in listening to what professionals residing or working in the communities they represent have to say. And congressional staff values your thoughts as well—it helps inform them on the issues and consequently advise your members of Congress on which legislation to support.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 Block Kids Competition

The Eugene Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and the Science Factory are seeking judges for the 2011 Block Kids Competition, Saturday, February 26 at the Gateway Mall in Springfield, OR.

Block Kids is an award-winning national program that introduces children to the construction industry in an effort to create an awareness of and to promote an interest in future careers in one of the many facets of the industry.

The program is open to all elementary school children in grades 1-6. The competition involves the construction of various structures with interlocking blocks and three of the following additional items: a small rock, string, foil, or poster board. The young competitors explore how and why a structure is built while building any structure of their choice.

Local winners advance to Regional competition and one semi-finalist from each region is entered in the National Program competition. National prizes are awarded to the top three projects.

NAWIC welcomes interested architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors to judge the competition. Judges evaluate the entries by asking each child the same set of questions and scoring the responses. The judges encourage the entrants to describe in their own words how they designed and constructed their projects.

It’s been a while since I participated as a judge for the Block Kids Competition. I do remember how much fun the experience was. It’s rewarding to see young interest and enthusiasm for the possibilities of a career in design and construction, if only for a day.

If you’re interested in participating as a judge in this year’s Block Kids Competition, contact Ellie Cooper at 541-342-3641 or by email at All you need to bring with you is your hard hat and a clip board!

And if you know of a youngster who would like to be a Block Kid, you’ll need to get him/her signed up fast because spaces are limited! Pre-register by either downloading a registration form (or stop by the Science Factory (2300 Leo Harris Parkway, next to Autzen Stadium in Eugene) to register. The registration deadline is Wednesday, February 23. The event itself is free for participants and spectators.

Block Kids Competition at the Gateway Mall
Saturday, February 26
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Gateway Mall

Competition for children in grades 1-6 only.
Check-in at 1:00 pm; competition begins at 1:30 pm.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Matthew Knight Arena—A New Landmark for Eugene

Matthew Knight Arena (all photos by me)

My wife and I finally had our opportunity to attend an event at the University of Oregon’s new Matthew Knight Arena last Saturday, January 29. Despite forward Amanda Johnson’s game-high total of 26 points, our hometown UO Women’s Basketball team lost a hard-fought contest to the visiting Cal Bears. Regardless of the outcome on the floor, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and join those singing the praises of the sparkling new facility.

I won’t go to great lengths to describe our visit. Many others have already written expansively about how the new arena represents a quantum leap in amenity and accommodation beyond what old McArthur Court could offer. Fellow blogger and Oregon Duck fan Brian Libby did a particularly good job of reviewing the LEED Gold-rated design by TVA Architects and Ellerbe Becket through the lens of an architectural critic. I also wrote an earlier post after visiting the building during its construction.(1)

What I will do is share some pictures I took and observations from our game-day experience. I will then offer a few thoughts about what Matthew Knight Arena signifies for Eugene.

View from the intersection of Franklin Boulevard and Villard Street.

Viewed from Franklin Boulevard the arena makes a big impression. It is a landmark, a new gateway at the eastern end of the University of Oregon campus. It looms over its neighbors and yet at the same time is a welcoming presence. The pewter-like metal cladding and glass curtain walls agreeably reflect the character of the light that strikes the building’s sides.

Massive columns greet fans as they enter Matthew Knight Arena.

It’s immediately evident upon crossing the entry threshold that the new facility is light years removed from Mac Court. For one thing, the spaces that encircle the wood-clad walls of the seating bowl are generously proportioned.

Daylight floods the main concourse.

The concourse is brightened by daylight and offers panoramas of the surrounding neighborhood. The transparency of the curtain walls also allows views from the outside in, especially at night.

The interiors don’t seem fabulously lavish, as one might expect of the most expensive college basketball arena in the land. The finish palette features an abundance of gypsum wallboard, exposed concrete, and rubber base, rather than gold leaf and marble.

One of the two Duck Stores in the new arena.

There is a much greater variety of food concessions to select from, including a Voodoo Doughnuts outlet (yum!). There are nine toilet rooms for each gender, plus four family restrooms. There are not one, but two shiny Duck Stores!

The interior of the seating bowl itself is remarkably intimate. Ellerbe Becket crafted a cozy setting that compares more than favorably to the ambiance of McArthur Court’s snug confines.(2) The absence of enclosed luxury suites (that could have generated huge sums of revenue) and the steep rake of the seats bring as many fans as close to the action as possible. Matt Court will be intimidating.

Against the Oregon State Beavers on January 23, the Oregon Women’s debut in the new arena drew a Pac-10 record crowd of 12,320. The attendance for the Cal game was much more modest, only 4,011 fans; however, with the “room reduction curtain” in place, there were no large swaths of empty seats once the game started.

Too much visual stimulus.

The court floor—well, I guess I’m among those who don’t like the “Deep in the Woods” graphic. It’s gimmicky and vertigo-inducing. And where’s the center court line? It’s supposedly there but I couldn’t see it. I’d be surprised if players and officials can always distinguish it during the course of frantic play. No doubt there’ll be a few missed “over-and-back” and timeline violation calls.

I’m all for Oregon’s new “tradition” of thinking outside the box and standing out in a crowd. I love the fact that the football team has a bazillion different uniform combinations. I like the athletic department’s aggressive and flashy marketing. The shadowy forest painted on the court floor just seems inconsistent with the clean and sleek aesthetic that has become a hallmark of the Ducks.

The adjacent practice courts, here populated by kids and their parents during a pre-game event.

Overall, the spectator experience is first-rate, from the moment you catch a glimpse of the “Knightvision” video board through the entrance tunnels, to the comfort of the seats, and the unobstructed views of the action on the floor. It is truly a “theater for basketball.” I look forward to seeing many more games at Matthew Knight Arena in years to come.

Click to enlarge the photo so that you can read the "Matt" motto.

Now that the arena is complete, I’ve noticed that my perception of Eugene is suddenly changing. Previously, I never regarded the morphology of Eugene as particularly city-like. Its spatial structure lacked the rich layering that is characteristic of memorable urban environments. Landmark buildings are essential components of such environments, and until recently, Eugene’s collection was woefully small and awash in a sea of banality.

Aside from the many fine buildings cloistered on the U of O campus, it was arguable that the number of “landmark” structures in Eugene could be counted on one hand: 1) the Hult Center for the Performing Arts; 2) the Eugene Public Library; 3) the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House; 4) the downtown Post Office; perhaps 5) the Grain Millers silos. There are buildings that are more physically prominent; the unfortunate Ya-Po-Ah Terrace immediately comes to mind. There are noteworthy examples of ecclesiastic design, including First Christian Church. There are landmark neighborhoods, such as the East Skinner Butte Historic District. Until recently though, Eugene’s natural features—Skinner Butte, Spencer Butte, the Willamette River, and the surrounding hills—were its most memorable landmarks. The majority of the city’s architecture was unremarkable and ordinary.

Landmark buildings are significant for architectural, historical, or cultural reasons. The influence they exert upon their surroundings is not unlike that of massive objects in the cosmos. Their gravitational pull attracts other objects, combining to create systems greater than the constituent elements. As elements of a complex system (a city), landmark buildings function as centers, parts that are distinguishable from the whole system and yet cooperate with it. Matthew Knight Arena will warp, bend, and shape the future development of the city fabric around it. I view its completion as a “tipping point” for Eugene, an achievement of critical mass.

As the Register-Guard noted in a January 14, 2011 editorial, Eugene has in quick succession acquired three first-rate pieces of architecture, a necklace of modernist gems along Franklin Boulevard: TVA/Ellerbe Becket’s Matthew Knight Arena, ZGF’s Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes, and Morphosis’ Wayne L. Morse Federal Courthouse. A pattern is beginning to form and as it emerges, momentum gathers to sustain it.

This momentum includes budding efforts to revitalize the EWEB riverfront property, develop the mixed-use Walnut Station area on Franklin Boulevard, and breathe new life into Eugene’s moribund downtown. It is bolstered by the expansion of Lane Transit District’s EmX BRT system and an attendant increase in LTD ridership. The Envision Eugene process, currently underway, is identifying strategies for meeting the economic needs of Eugene residents, providing affordable housing for all income levels, planning for climate and energy uncertainty, promoting compact urban development, and protecting neighborhood livability and natural resources.

The combined effect of developments like Matthew Knight Arena, infrastructure improvements, and inspired planning heralds a new, emergent urbanity. After a protracted adolescence, Eugene is finally maturing as a city.

(1) My Matthew Knight Arena Sneak Peek has easily received the greatest number of page views of any of my blog posts. Over 7,000 unique visitors have clicked the page since I wrote it last April.

(2) As a specialist in sports facility design, Kansas City-based Ellerbe Becket designed the seating bowl and court. Robert Thompson, FAIA, of TVA Architects was the lead architect for Matthew Knight Arena.

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