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April 3, 2012

Chan Lowe: Broward's Best Building


In this morning’s Sun Sentinel, my colleague Robert Nolin wrote of a “Best Building” contest sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, wherein signature buildings from each county in Florida would be voted on to comprise a “Best 100 in the state” list.

Palm Beach County, of course, is home to Marjorie Merriweather Post’s (now The Donald’s) Mar-A-Lago and Henry Flagler’s Breakers Hotel. Miami has the Freedom Tower and the Biltmore. For some unfathomable reason, Broward County is to be represented by the Fort Lauderdale Municipal Parking Garage. This is the building we will present to the world to compete against other great structures in the state.

I’m no architect, but I did concentrate on architectural history in college (Wow! I can’t believe I finally get to use this!). My personal choice to represent Broward County in all its riotous panoply would be the futuristic and fanciful cylindrical structure at the corner of Oakland Park Boulevard and Federal Highway (seen here, if I can overcome the technological impediments to posting it). Citibanc-Building.gif
Most locals know of it. Those who have been around for a while might agree that the renovation performed around 20 years ago catapulted it into the forefront of memorable buildings in the county. There’s a fabulous mosaic in front depicting South Florida nautical themes, and Jetsonian frou-frou festoons the top rim, which is enhanced at night by dramatic neon lighting.

I have no idea why this building wasn’t chosen, if not to replace the raw concrete pile of the parking garage, then at least to complement it.

Maybe Broward’s entry was rigged by sourpusses from other counties who were fully aware of our treasure and conspired to keep it out of the running. In any event, I refuse to accept the results this contest.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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