Patriots Park laser structure coming down

[Source: Michael Clancy, Arizona Republic] — Work to dismantle downtown Phoenix’s laser begins today, with hardly a soul to lament its demise.  When the steel spider of a structure was built in 1986, it was billed as Phoenix’s answer to the Eiffel Tower.  It operated for less than a year before its lasers were turned off for good.  Now, the laser and Patriots Square, where it was situated, are being torn down to make room for CityScape, a huge, mixed-use project stretching from First Avenue to Second Street between Washington and Jefferson streets.  Dismantling the structure will take three weeks.  “I am not shedding any tears over it,” said Attorney General Terry Goddard, who was mayor at the time the laser was installed.  “The concept was noble, but frankly, it never worked.”

The laser was the brainchild of architect Ted Alexander, and it captured the imagination of at least some people at the beginning, in the mid-’80s.  Patriots Square was being rebuilt to include underground parking, and a contract for design of the park went to Alexander.  In an early story in the Phoenix Gazette, Alexander said the laser would give the city “a town square that is unequaled anywhere in the country.”  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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