Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Arkansas Symphony Christmas Spectacular (and City Hall)

Robinson Center lit for Christmas

The other night P and I (boyfriend, I guess should specify, not brother) took advantage of the gift of some tickets and went to the Christmas Spectacular at the Robinson Center. On the way we passed City Hall, and P and I stopped to look at it. There was a lit Christmas tree inside and lit Christmas trees have a hypnotic power when you are out on the sidewalk looking in and it is freezing cold outside. I'd never even been inside City Hall. Shocking, I know, that in a childhood full of field trips we never visited city management but there you have it. So today on my lunch break I went by to have a peek.

Surprisingly, City Hall is still in City Hall. I half expected operations to have moved to some drab 80s-era municipal building with nothing left of the old enterprise but the words "City Hall" in stone on the lintel. But no, City Hall is still in City Hall! This was the big discovery of my brief tour.

Scott Carter, public relations guy for city management, xeroxed me some plans for the building and tossed out a few recollections of the site. Apparently this is the 100th anniversary of the building and the Arkansas Historic Preservation people put together a tour to commemorate the occasion. So maybe I'll look that up. But mainly what impresses is the quiet and order and stately calm of the interior which belies what most people know of city operations. You expect the dehydration and muscle strain unique to airports and modern bureaucratic office space. Instead you get smooth proportions, tall windows, and cool, gray marble. People were quiet, and moved purposefully between offices across atriums, and answered questions directly. If the feeling of an interior can lend itself to efficient bureaucracy, then City Hall should have no trouble developing a functionary soft shoe through the troubles of officialdom.

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About Me

Little Rock, Arkansas
I work at a local museum, date a lovely boy, and with my free time procrastinate on things like blogs.