Pink Martini bandleader and arts impresario Thomas Lauderdale has slammed Mayor Sam Adams' plan to demolish the Memorial Coliseum in a conversation with Portland Architecture blogger Brian Libby.
Lauderdale told Libby this afternoon that he is "extremely disappointed in the position that Sam has seemingly taken."
"Memorial Coliseum is one of the best buildings this city has and one of the most beautiful," Lauderdale continued. "We're a growing city and we don't have a comparable other facility, and certainly nothing we build now will be as beautiful."
"I also find it curious and alarming that all of this is happening in such an accelerated fashion without a proper public process. This is unacceptable."
Lauderdale did not return the Mercury's calls for comment earlier this afternoon.
"This is significant," says Libby. "Because it represents a whole other block of supporters from the arts community coming out against the proposed demolition. Lauderdale is adding his powerful voice to the already vocal opposition of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Institute of Architects."
Lauderdale was also a prominent supporter of Adams in the wake of the Breedlove scandal.
"I know the position Thomas has taken on this, and we certainly count Thomas as a friend and a strong supporter, but I think this is an issue where we disagree," says Adams' spokesman Roy Kauffman. "There are certainly folks in the community that agree with Thomas on this, and we respect his civic pride and his activism."
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!