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SOM’s Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse design wins GSA approval
The United States General Services Administration (GSA) has given its formal blessing to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)’s design concept for a 252,000-square-foot federal building in Fort Lauderdale that w...
The United States General Services Administration (GSA) has given its formal blessing to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)’s design concept for a 252,000-square-foot federal building in Fort Lauderdale that will serve as the new home to the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Rising nine stories above the southern bank of the Tarpon River atop a one-story podium, the breezy-but-elegant and distinctly Floridian mid-rise tower harkens back to civic buildings of the mid-20th century with a simple square form and facade clad in fluted metal and glass panels in a nod to Corinthian columns. It is set to include 12 courtrooms, 17 judges’ chambers, and offices for multiple federal agencies including the U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Probation Office, and the U.S. Trustee.
“The Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse embodies the ideals of dignity, transparency, and clarity,” said SOM partner Paul Danna in a press statement. “Our design emerged from deep study of the needs of all participants in justice proceedings, as well as a desire to create a building that symbolizes Fort Lauderdale’s culture and becomes an integral part of the city’s urban fabric.”
Scheduled for completion in 2026, the new courthouse will replace a blocky, concrete complex at 299 East Broward Boulevard that debuted in 1979. Although that downtown Brutalist building designed by the late, Jacksonville-based modernist architect William Morgan certainly has its share of admirers, it has been plagued for years by space constraints and frequent leaks. The monumental structure, which features a spectacular terraced interior courtyard, is currently undergoing significant repairs to the tune of $865,000 to render it usable until the new courthouse is completed. (Meanwhile, the nearby Broward County Main Library, a “soft” Brutalist landmark designed by Robert Gatje with Marcel Breuer and Associates, reopened in 2014 after a multi-year revamp.)
Last year, the GSA secured the 3.5-acre future courthouse site at Southeast Third Avenue and Southeast 11th Street for $13.6 million, concluding a site selection process that the South Florida Sun Sentinel called “nearly two decades in the making.” The Miami Herald described the area just south of downtown Fort Lauderdale (and relatively near the Broward County Courthouse and other governmental buildings) as “funky” and there are hopes that the new courthouse will usher in a flurry of residential and commercial development around it. To that end, a riverfront park and mangrove-lined public trail will be realized as part of the $190 million project and help to attract Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors alike to the south bank of the Tarpon River.
In addition to the use of natural, ubiquitous-to-South Florida materials like terrazzo, local coral stone, and oak, SOM has incorporated a suite of sustainable features into its design including displacement ventilation in the courtrooms, natural daylighting strategies, and infrastructure to support rooftop solar panels. Once operational, the building, which is targeting both LEEED Gold and SITES Silver certification, is projected to achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy use over baseline levels according to the firm.
While last year’s site land acquisition and now the GSA’s approval of SOM’s design brings to an end years of speculation as to where the new federal courthouse will be built and what it will look like, the next chapter for the current Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse is just beginning.
The fate of the 44-year-old building, as of now, is unclear. As reported by Andres Viglucci for the Miami Herald, preservationists have stressed its potential for adaptive reuse and are pushing to find out what the GSA might intend to do with the aging building once the new one opens. Per the Herald, Fort Lauderdale’s historic preservation board has voted 6–0 to ask the city to formally explore the possibility of designating the courthouse as a historic landmark. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis also relayed to the Herald that the GSA assured him “a couple of years ago” that if the government ultimately sells the property, it would be on the condition that the new owner cannot raze the existing building. It’s unclear if that assurance still stands.
“Demolishing that building would be tragic for Fort Lauderdale,” Steve Glassman, a city commissioner who formerly served as president of the nonprofit Broward Trust for Historic Preservation, told the Herald. “It’s really our public square. It’s a very significant corner. It’s quite stunning, Brutalism at its finest.”
Work on the new Fort Lauderdale Federal Courthouse is slated to kick off next year.
The Attack: Before, During & After with Donell Harvin & Clint Hickman
Washington Post Livehttps://www.washingtonpost.com/washington-post-live/2021/11/02/attack-before-during-after-with-donell-harvin-drph-clint-hickman/
The consequences of Jan. 6 are still coming into focus, but what is already clear is that the insurrection was not an isolated incident. It was a battle in a broader war over the truth and the future of our democracy. Join Washington Post Live for a special conversation hosted by national political enterprise and investigations editor Matea Gold about The Post’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, the forces that le...
The consequences of Jan. 6 are still coming into focus, but what is already clear is that the insurrection was not an isolated incident. It was a battle in a broader war over the truth and the future of our democracy. Join Washington Post Live for a special conversation hosted by national political enterprise and investigations editor Matea Gold about The Post’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, the forces that led to the breach of the Capitol, the extent of the dangers that unfolded that day and the fallout that is now reshaping elections across the country.
Donell Harvin is a Senior Homeland Security Policy Researcher with the Defense and Political Sciences Department of the RAND Corporation. He works on homeland security and national security issues including domestic intelligence, counterterrorism, public health and all-hazards preparedness, resiliency, and emergency response.
He is graduate faculty at Georgetown University where he teaches in the Applied Intelligence and the Emergency and Disaster Management degree programs. Additionally, he has served as a subject-matter expert for several organizations including the United Nation Counter Terrorism Office, INTERPOL Bioterrorism Unit and the Center for Homeland Security’s Executive Education Program (EEP) conducting executive level seminars in emergency management, terrorism and threat mitigation.
Donell is the former Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence for the Government of the District of Columbia (DC), where he oversaw the Fusion Intelligence Center for the nation’s capital with a mission to collect, analyze and share cyber threat information and intelligence amongst state, local and federal partners. He is also the first US-based member of the Counter Terrorism Preparedness Network (CTPN) a global consortium of major cities.
Prior to DC HSEMA, he served as an agency executive in the medical examiner’s office for DC and in New York City (NYC), directing large-scale forensic operations, including leading several 9/11 sifting operations, emergency management-related planning and response and led the agency’s occupational health and safety program.
Clint Hickman, a 4th-generation Arizonan from one of the West Valley’s most prominent families and businesses, was appointed to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors March 21, 2013. Hickman was reelected in 2016 for a four year term. District 4 voters have demanded strong fiscal stewardship starting with Jan Brewer to Max Wilson and now have passed the torch on to Supervisor Hickman.
Can we save the bees? Absolutely. Let’s start with the native species (commentary)
My name is Krystle Hickman. I’m a photographer, community scientist and public speaker based in Los Angeles, California. My photography revolves around three things: bees, the plants they visit and their ecosystems. As a community scientist I note behavior, times, dates and weather when out photographing bees and their flowers. Over many years, my notations have made it easy to notice changes in the ecosystems that involve bees ...
My name is Krystle Hickman. I’m a photographer, community scientist and public speaker based in Los Angeles, California. My photography revolves around three things: bees, the plants they visit and their ecosystems. As a community scientist I note behavior, times, dates and weather when out photographing bees and their flowers. Over many years, my notations have made it easy to notice changes in the ecosystems that involve bees and flowers.
As a result of my time and experience, I am disheartened when I see famous people, including Angelina Jolie, expounding the virtues of honey bees in magazines and on social media. While her heart may be in the right place, and while her activism and humanitarian efforts in other places have helped many people, she is misinformed when it comes to pollinators and what they need. Putting the focus on domestic honey bees shifts the spotlight away from native pollinators and contributes to the massive amounts of misinformation surrounding these imperiled creatures.
I too have fallen victim to misinformation about bees. It was a quote, posted on Facebook, attributed to Albert Einstein, that started my crusade to save the bees. “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” I was stunned: how could a creature we so commonly see, that is so important to the environment and human survival be going extinct? Countless people in the comments were talking about beekeeping, saving dandelions and doing their part. It was so inspiring! I spent hours watching beekeeping documentaries, reading online posts from beekeepers and I decided to get involved through my budding hobby as a macro photographer.
Beekeepers were more than happy to let me photograph their hives and tell me about the art of beekeeping. As I worked to get as many colorful photos of them as possible, I noticed that honey bees seemed to visit everything blooming. After about a year of photographing honey bees and building up my portfolio I visited a wildlife reserve to test out a new camera. On that day I photographed something new; bee-like, but not honey bee-like. I was surprised to find that my beekeeper friends didn’t know what kind of bee it was. After some digging, I stumbled across a native bee group on Facebook. “What on Earth are native bees?” I asked myself. Also, why was one of their requirements to join, “No posts about honey bees?” Well… weird but okay, “Request to Join.”
I soon learned that this was a group run by entomologists and melittologists; people who study insects and native bees, respectively. Very quickly the bee I found was identified as a native mining bee; called an Andrena. I learned that there are over one hundred species of Andrena in North America, that come in a rainbow of colors and visit early spring flowers when temperatures are often too cold for honey bees. I learned, too, that there are around 4,000 different kinds of native bees in the U.S. And native, meaning they had evolved in this country, where they are adapted to the special habitats and the unique flowers that occur therein. Through this group I also learned that honey bees aren’t native. I learned that the honey bees I had been so eager to ‘save’ didn’t need saving, but that many of North America’s unpretentious and unassuming native pollinators do.
How could I have wasted so much time on a false cause? I was horrified to think of all the times I had repeated and spread misinformation about honey bees, completely unaware of the real issue. This realization led to me completely reevaluate everything I had done.
Deciding to start over, I went out to photograph native bees. But for months I made attempts and failed. I had absolutely no idea why. I visited the same urban gardens I had photographed before, but these native bees remained elusive.
Everything changed when John Latsko, horticulturalist of The Crescent Farm, posted a picture on The Los Angeles County Arboretum’s Facebook page. His picture featured multiple native bees he saw that day. Visiting Crescent Farms for myself, I found five species in one afternoon. Here, in the heart of LA, I found jewel-colored sweat bees, fluffy bees with eyes as blue as Angeline Jolie’s, thin-waisted beauties with jawlines sharp enough to make models envious, and bees so unabashedly colored they would fit in at the Met Gala.
These bees energetically flitted from flower to flower drinking nectar and collecting pollen. The reason as to why so many native bees were present became very obvious. The Crescent Farm is a one-acre garden full of native plants. Native plants attract native bees. The urban gardens I had previously visited were full of non-native plants, many of which are invasive species. If you want to find native bees, look for native plants. Eventually partnering with the garden, I’ve photographed thirty-six species of native bees there.
Native plants also thrive in the habitats to which they are adapted, which includes the native bees that have co-evolved with them. Together, native bees and their native plants form a beautiful web of interactions, each benefitting from the presence of a community of the others. A community that includes butterflies, moths, bats, flies and so much more. What’s more, it is a community that has been
interwoven over thousands or even millions of years, as plants and their pollinators adjust to the same changes in climate and habitat. As an example, consider Perdita minima, the smallest bee in North America, no bigger than a freckle, and the exclusive visitor of the minuscule flowers of leafy spurge in the hot deserts of the southwest. Save the native bees, therefore, also means save the native plants.
In contrast, honey bees were imported to the U.S. from Europe. Through their own hard work, and easy relationship with humans, they have made their way around the world, providing wax and sweet honey wherever they are taken. Just as cows, chickens, pigs and sheep were brought by early colonizers, so too were honey bees. Time would be better spent devoted to native bees, as we do for native birds. There are no long-term relationships between European honey bees and native plants. Their population doesn’t decline with the decline of native plants, like native bees. Which means “saving” the honey bees does not lead to saving the native plants or ultimately native ecosystems.
See more news of bees at Mongabay here.
In native ecosystems, when floral resources are scarce, honey bees outcompete native bees for resources. They disrupt natural ecological connections between native bees and native flowers. As if that weren’t enough, like bikers at an unmasked Sturgis rally, they take viruses from their densely populated hives to all the flowers in the vicinity, where native bees then contract new diseases. It is very likely that honey bees are negatively impacting our native bee populations in permanent ways.
You may be thinking honey bees are still beneficial to us because they’re used in farming. What about the environmental impact large farming has on ecosystems? Large scale farming destabilizes and destroys ecosystems; not just through toxins and massive waste. In 2020 The Sacramento County Superior Court ruled in the favor of almond farmers that California lacks the authority to list bees as endangered species. There are currently four endangered bumble bees and many other threatened native bees in California. Elaine Trevino, president and CEO of the Almond Alliance of California, one of the plaintiffs said, “If these bees were listed as endangered, it would be devastating for the industry I represent.” Farmers in the Almond Alliance of California use honey bees for pollination.
Is it possible to farm alongside a native ecosystem without the use of honey bees? Yes. There are many smaller farms currently doing this and achieving seed and fruit set on par with that achieved by honey bees. Bee Friendly Farm, a five-acre farm in Willow Creek, CA, is a great example. This farm grows pears, apples, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and so much more.
They farm alongside the native landscape which allows pollination of their crops to happen naturally. So far, they’ve observed over 30 native bee genera, and even more species, on the farm.
Can we save the bees? Absolutely. But we must begin with the important question: ‘which bees need saving’? To many people “Save the Bees” equals “Save the Honey Bees.” The wording needs to change. For comparison’s sake, saying we need to save the bees, meaning honey bees, is like saying we need to save birds from extinction and the first bird we start with is a chicken. There are many birds that need saving from extinction, but not the chicken.
With all of that said, where did this quote come from? “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” There is no record of Einstein ever having said this. Doing a quick Google search, you’ll find that that this quote first appeared in the 1990s. Which was quite a while after Einstein had passed away.
We need to recognize that honey bees do not need saving. Let’s educate ourselves about the beautiful bees that live around us. Applaud the famous person who decides to take up native bees as their cause on social media. Take time to preserve native ecosystems and save a space for native plants in our yards, free of pesticides and herbicides. Recognize the value of using our own back yards to support diverse pollinators. Understand that just as individual bee species are important, so are our individual decisions. If we don’t act as responsible individuals to make a change now, the opportunity to change later may never come.
Los Angeles designates the home of Paul Revere Williams a Historic-Cultural Monument
Commissioned by a veritable backlot of movie stars, business magnates, and Hollywood power players, the thousands of private homes designed by the prominent Southern California architect Paul Revere Williams can be found peppered throughout the most expensive zip codes and exclusive neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles. However, the home of Williams himse...
Commissioned by a veritable backlot of movie stars, business magnates, and Hollywood power players, the thousands of private homes designed by the prominent Southern California architect Paul Revere Williams can be found peppered throughout the most expensive zip codes and exclusive neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles. However, the home of Williams himself, where he lived alongside his wife Della Mae Givens and a growing family beginning in 1921, was far humbler than the residences that helped catapult the L.A. native to mid-20th century architectural stardom.
Now, with the recent blessing of the Los Angeles City Council, that modest Craftsman-style bungalow at 1271 West 35th Street in South L.A.’s Jefferson Park neighborhood is the city’s newest designated Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM).
While Williams’ professional successes could have easily afforded him a family home comparable to the ones commissioned by his celebrity clients, he, as a Black architect, settled in Jefferson Park (the neighborhood is located with a larger district contemporarily known as Historic West Adams) due to the strict racial covenants that blanketed large parts of L.A. at the time. Those covenants did not exist in Jefferson Park, and, as a result, a sizable Black community thrived there.
As Williams wrote in the 1937 essay “I Am a Negro:”
“Today I sketched the preliminary plans for a large country house which will be erected in one of the most beautiful residential districts in the world. Sometimes I have dreamed of living there. I could afford such a home. But this evening, I returned to my own small, inexpensive home… in a comparatively undesirable section of Los Angeles. I must always live in that locality, or in another like it, because…I am a Negro.”
The excerpt from that essay has been shared by the nonprofit Los Angeles Conservancy, which spearheaded the campaign to landmark Williams’ first home in Jefferson Park as an HCM. As the Conservancy explained, the home “illustrates a part of Paul Revere Williams’ life and story that is rarely told or fully understood. In telling the full story about people and places, it is important to preserve this house as a physical reminder of what Williams achieved and his extraordinary career in architecture.” Until recently, the home was up for sale and threatened by potential redevelopment.
“So it may be that we’re working to save and protect places that look pretty ordinary or modest-looking,” relayed the Conservancy’s Adrian Scott Fine to LAist. “But they have extraordinary stories in which they can tell, and that’s really important in understanding the full history of the places in which we live.”
The push to landmark 1271 West 35th Street formally kicked off in September 2021 when the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) voted unanimously to take the Conservancy’s pending nomination submission under consideration. Just over two months later, the CHC voted to recommend the Paul Revere Williams House Historic-Cultural Monument to the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee.
Things moved along slowly and just earlier this month, the PLUM Committee threw its support behind the pending nomination. Shepherded by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the nomination then moved to the full City Council. On February 16, council members voted unanimously in support of the nomination’s passage. And, with that, the first home owned by a pioneering Black architect who helped to shaped L.A.’s modern cityscape was designated as a Historic-Cultural Monument.
Williams and his family lived in the now-landmarked Jefferson Park home for three decades. In 1951, 14 years after he penned “I Am a Negro,” Williams and his family moved from West 35th Street to a home of his own design in a L.A. neighborhood of his own choosing, the semi-gated Mid City neighborhood of LaFayette Square. That International-style residence at 1690 South Victoria Avenue, where Williams lived until his death in 1980, was designated as the city’s 170th HCM in 1976. It hit the market for the first time in 2017 for $2.4 million.
As previously noted by AN, while HCM designation won’t provide the Jefferson Park home with immunity from potential redevelopment and demolition down the line, it would allow preservationists to delay demolition by 180 days—and up to 360—so that an alternate resolution may be found.
Named as the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923 and later its first Black fellow (he was posthumously awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 2017), Williams designed many other notable buildings— churches, schools, hotels, restaurants, public housing projects, municipal buildings, and more—in a number of styles across Southern California in addition to his residential commissions during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Although smaller in number, he also designed a handful of buildings outside of L.A. and environs including the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, the La Concha Motel, now part of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas, and the landmark Hotel Nutibara in Medellín, Colombia.
Williams’ expansive portfolio also extends to the modernist desert mecca of Palm Springs. His work there, including the iconic Palm Springs Tennis Club designed in collaboration with A. Quincy Jones, as well as his larger impact as a trailblazing Black architect will be discussed in the three-part forthcoming symposium, Stories Untold: Black Modernists in Southern California, being held today, February 21, as part of the city’s annual Modernism Week festivities.
Marvel Reveals A Future For Moon Knight (Spoilers)
Moon Knight, created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin for Marvel in 1975 was a vigilante superhero comic, initially about an insane person, later revealed that his beliefs about Egyptian mysticism claiming him as the "moon's knight", the left "Fist of Khonshu", was all true. He would later be diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, all aspects that would make it into the new Marvel TV show on Disney+, as well as the Moon Knight being a legacy identity, going back millennia.Well...
Moon Knight, created by Doug Moench and Don Perlin for Marvel in 1975 was a vigilante superhero comic, initially about an insane person, later revealed that his beliefs about Egyptian mysticism claiming him as the "moon's knight", the left "Fist of Khonshu", was all true. He would later be diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, all aspects that would make it into the new Marvel TV show on Disney+, as well as the Moon Knight being a legacy identity, going back millennia.
Well, in today's Moon Knight: Black, White & Blood #1, Jonathan Hickman and Chris Bachalo take the Moon Knight forward by millennia instead.
A story at the end of the universe, as the heat death of entropy, leads to a natural end, fighting against the darkness by preserving what light remains.
With a Moon Knight of space, a young girl and a dog, on the hunt for the remains of Ra. The Sun god, all that remains of him, may power all that is left, a last chance for life in this unforgiving universe.
And a real Moon Knight, fighting against the Night emerges in those dark times.
Hope in a time of hopelessness. Maybe that might have added resonance? Gorgeous, weird, strange, one of three stories in the anthology published today, but one that I hope will line up with other Marvel visions of the end of days that have proved popular from the likes of Mark Waid, Al Ewing and more of late.
MOON KNIGHT BLACK WHITE BLOOD #1 (OF 4) MARVEL COMICS FEB220885 (W) Jonathan Hickman, Various (A) Chris Bachalo, Various (CA) Bill Sienkiewicz A BLOOD MOON RISES – AND ITS CONTENTS ARE BLACK, WHITE & RED! A bevy of comicdom's finest creators put their mark upon the Fist of Khonshu in stories depicted in stark black, white and blood-red! Jonathan Hickman and Chris Bachalo introduce the all-different Moon Knight of the future! Marc Guggenheim and Jorge Fornés tell a Moon Knight adventure in reverse! And Murewa Ayodele and Dotun Akande team the white-clad crusader up with the Amazing Spider-Man for a harrowing night of adventure! PARENTAL ADVISORYIn Shops: May 11, 2022 SRP: $4.99