NEWS

A Californian Parthenon?

SACRAMENTO (AP) – A Greek-American developer has proposed putting a replica of the Parthenon atop an office building he intends to construct in the Californian capital. Angelo G. Tsakopoulos unveiled plans last week for a 29-story office tower near the state capitol that would honor his Greek ancestors. «As a family, we will cherish the building as a tribute to the perseverance and accomplishment of our parents,» Tsakopoulos told The Sacramento Bee newspaper. The developer’s family, which has made money in real estate and is active in charitable organizations, has been in the United States for five decades since coming from the Greek village of Rizes. The 430,000-square-foot (38,700-square-meter) office building is estimated to cost between $105 million (83.23 million euros) and $115 million (91.15 million euros). While Tsakopoulos’s company said city planners have expressed support for the project, not everyone is enthusiastic about the plans. Architect David Eisen called a rendering of the design an «uncomfortable mix of boring and overbearing.» «This is the kind of kitschy proposal that might make sense in Disneyland or Las Vegas,» said Eisen, a former architecture critic for the Boston Herald newspaper. «It sends a very bad message to out-of-towners. It’s like you have no faith in today or the future, so imitating the past is the only direction you can go.» Architect Edwin M. Kado, who designed the building with the replica of the fifth-century BC marble temple, said he heard criticism when he designed a terraced pyramid that opened in 1998 along the Sacramento River. It was called gaudy, but is now featured on nationally televised Sacramento Kings NBA basketball games. «Any worthy architecture needs to incite some interest and controversy,» he said, «especially if you’re going to create a memorable, distinctive building.»