To the editors:
Who is this chap Ed Zotti, and what qualifies him to hand out the gold medal in the Chicago Public Library design competition? (Reader, June 10.)
Zotti seems to know his technical details well. He is sadly lacking though in taste, and shows a conspicuous dislike for daring and innovative design.
Zotti’s first choice is the SOM design. This structure resembles a slightly modified update of the wretched old Mandel Warehouse, site of the present Central Library.
All five designs seem to allot more space to atriums, plazas, lobbies, auditoriums, halls, shops, restaurants, statuary, and trees than they do to the disposition of books–the primary function, I always thought, of a library.
The only one of the designs that displays an imaginative and stunning beauty, along with thoroughly practical features, is the conception of Jahn. Zotti disposes of Jahn rather scornfully.
The Library design selection committee will no doubt pick the ugliest, most commonplace, flashiest design. (Probably Zotti’s favorite SOM entry.) Then Chicago will be laughed at for years to come for its “world class” book warehouse.