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(Chicago Sun-Times)   Illinois, the exemplar of fiscal responsibility, just paid $481K for 4 chandeliers and 2 sculptures. Which makes perfect sense considering the state is broke, recently had its credit downgraded, and all pay for legislators has been suspended   (suntimes.com) divider line 82
    More: Asinine, capitols, Illinois, Illinois Attorney General, Michael Madigan, state capitols, balanced budgets, office software, office space  
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1400 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Sep 2013 at 1:06 PM (51 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-08 10:45:37 AM
If you don't support Government spending then you love George W Bush

/Yes, that was intentional
 
2013-09-08 11:42:19 AM
Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.
 
2013-09-08 11:59:32 AM

Riche: Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.


You're right, but this is more representative of the IL legislature's spending habits (enrich themselves and their politically-connected family/friends) than anything.  It's hard to point to a political hire, a graft-laden contract.  This is right in the capitol, hanging over their heads.  There are no adults in charge, nobody is responsible enough to question their spending.

They also spent $670,000 on three sets of copper-plated doors.
 
2013-09-08 12:00:39 PM

Riche: Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.


Yes it does, nice job and good way to fund it.
 
2013-09-08 12:02:49 PM
It's a building that will last 100 years, all in all a better use for the money than they usually come up with.
 
2013-09-08 12:05:57 PM

olddeegee: It's a building that will last 100 years


The state will be insolvent long before that.  If anything these fixtures will be sold at auction for pennies on the dollar.
 
2013-09-08 01:08:59 PM
Couldn't they just shop at Ikea?
 
2013-09-08 01:12:38 PM
fta "[The Capital Development Board] assists in an estimating, contract, change-order review and project-management role, among many others," he said. "We work with our consultants and CDB during construction to make sure the design intent is followed. This is a very complex project requiring expert consultants and conscientious state employees - a project necessitated by deficient infrastructure, [the Americans With Disabilities Act], and life-safety systems in the building."

This small portion of a large, complex, and necessary project is an OUTRAGE!!!!!
 
2013-09-08 01:17:17 PM

olddeegee: It's a building that will last 100 years, all in all a better use for the money than they usually come up with.


I agree. "OMG IT COSTS TOO MUCH" is what leads to horrific disasters of civic buildings that inspire winces more than civic pride.

A state capitol building  should be grand.
 
2013-09-08 01:27:10 PM

olddeegee: It's a building that will last 100 years, all in all a better use for the money than they usually come up with.


You don't want your state capital furnished from Ikea
 
2013-09-08 01:29:03 PM
Maybe these things were commissioned a couple of years ago when things were a little rosier.  They finally arrived and there's no money to pay for them?  Not the provider of said riches' concern.
 
2013-09-08 01:29:46 PM

Rincewind53: olddeegee: It's a building that will last 100 years, all in all a better use for the money than they usually come up with.

I agree. "OMG IT COSTS TOO MUCH" is what leads to horrific disasters of civic buildings that inspire winces more than civic pride.

A state capitol building  should be grand.


They probably could have found something less expensive that is still dignified and impressive. The money saved could have gone to actual infrastructure repair rather than luxuries. It's not wasteful on the same scale of overfunded military or spy programs, but it's probably not the best of use taxpayer dollars when they should be tightening their belts some.
 
2013-09-08 01:31:21 PM
To be honest, if I had to choose between paying an Illinois representative and blowing the money on chandeliers, I'd probably go with the chandeliers instead.  At least chandeliers relatively harmless in comparison.

/Vote CHANDELIER in 2014!
 
2013-09-08 01:38:36 PM
The economic downturn is for the little people, darling.
 
2013-09-08 01:38:54 PM
Really? Capital expenditures, even as poorly timed or of the high end nature as above, are never the problem with solvency. Operations are always the problem. Capital expenditures make for more alarmist headlines though, which is the reason everyone uses them for soundbites rather than looking at the actual salaries and annual increases of appointee positions or the care packages for politicians no longer in office.
 
2013-09-08 01:39:46 PM

Riche: Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.


Looks like of like a roulette wheel.
 
2013-09-08 01:42:35 PM

Smirky the Wonder Chimp: To be honest, if I had to choose between paying an Illinois representative and blowing the money on chandeliers, I'd probably go with the chandeliers instead.  At least chandeliers relatively harmless in comparison.

/Vote CHANDELIER in 2014!


I'm concerned about where my tax dollars are going, and I want change.  Chandelier has my vote in '14!



oi44.tinypic.com
 
2013-09-08 01:45:57 PM

JollyMagistrate: Really? Capital expenditures, even as poorly timed or of the high end nature as above, are never the problem with solvency. Operations are always the problem. Capital expenditures make for more alarmist headlines though, which is the reason everyone uses them for soundbites rather than looking at the actual salaries and annual increases of appointee positions or the care packages for politicians no longer in office.


Never might be too strong a word here, but otherwise I think this is a good point.
 
2013-09-08 01:55:43 PM
Tossing a cigarette butt out of your car in Illinois will soon become a third strike felony
(recenly submitted thread)

financal problem solved
 
2013-09-08 01:57:09 PM

Rincewind53: A state capitol building should be grand.


why?
 
2013-09-08 02:05:40 PM

Riche: Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.


You left out the part where the dome & structure isnt sound and is falling down, the Oklahoma legislature knew it was falling down and needed repaired but went ahead without the required structural realist anyway because they wanted to show how fiscal they are and now the repairs are in the $100,000,000 realm.
 
2013-09-08 02:09:58 PM

ipsofacto: Rincewind53: A state capitol building should be grand.

why?


This is Boston City Hall:
upload.wikimedia.org
It is a disaster of a building; ugly, imposing, oppressive, and unfriendly. People who approach such a building will naturally conclude that the residents of the building share its unfriendliness.

On the other hand, this is the Massachusetts State House
www.foodtoursboston.com
It is grand, elegant, and speaks to a long and rich history of civic involvement. Such a building inspires the kind of awe that builders of cathedrals once used; this is a place for serious business, a place of reverence for the law, tradition, and warmth.

I think you can learn a lot about a culture from the way it builds its government buildings.
 
2013-09-08 02:12:58 PM

Rincewind53: ipsofacto: Rincewind53: A state capitol building should be grand.

why?

This is Boston City Hall:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x637]
It is a disaster of a building; ugly, imposing, oppressive, and unfriendly. People who approach such a building will naturally conclude that the residents of the building share its unfriendliness.

On the other hand, this is the Massachusetts State House
[www.foodtoursboston.com image 850x546]
It is grand, elegant, and speaks to a long and rich history of civic involvement. Such a building inspires the kind of awe that builders of cathedrals once used; this is a place for serious business, a place of reverence for the law, tradition, and warmth.

I think you can learn a lot about a culture from the way it builds its government buildings.


fark me, that's city hall? I've walked under it dozens of times when I've been to Boston. I always just thought it was an incredibly ugly office building thunked on a big plaza right over Fanneuil Hall. Huh, so that's why that T stop is Government Center.
 
2013-09-08 02:16:04 PM

Bloody William: fark me, that's city hall? I've walked under it dozens of times when I've been to Boston. I always just thought it was an incredibly ugly office building thunked on a big plaza right over Fanneuil Hall. Huh, so that's why that T stop is Government Center.


Yeah, it's one more the hideous examples of the Brutalist architectural style (sadly not actually named after the brutal look, but from the French "brut", which means concrete). Can you believe that the architects actually intended the disaster of the plaza to be "like an Italian piazza"? And the worst part is that to build it, they tore down a bunch of colonial and 19th century buildings in the historic part of Boston.

One of the worst civic projects in the history of the country.
 
2013-09-08 02:20:48 PM

Rincewind53: they tore down a bunch of colonial and 19th century buildings in the historic part of Boston.


Actually just found a great picture of the Brattle St. area where City Hall is now, from the 1920s:

upload.wikimedia.org

Such a goddamn shame.
 
2013-09-08 02:26:09 PM
Personally, I think spending money on chandeliers and statues rather than Illinois legislators is a wonderful idea.
 
2013-09-08 02:26:40 PM

Rincewind53: Bloody William: fark me, that's city hall? I've walked under it dozens of times when I've been to Boston. I always just thought it was an incredibly ugly office building thunked on a big plaza right over Fanneuil Hall. Huh, so that's why that T stop is Government Center.

Yeah, it's one more the hideous examples of the Brutalist architectural style (sadly not actually named after the brutal look, but from the French "brut", which means concrete). Can you believe that the architects actually intended the disaster of the plaza to be "like an Italian piazza"? And the worst part is that to build it, they tore down a bunch of colonial and 19th century buildings in the historic part of Boston.

One of the worst civic projects in the history of the country.


Wow. I always thought of it as just the blocky plaza you had to shlep through to get to Quincy Market. That entire area before you go down the stairs and cross Congress Street is just "another ugly concrete block area before you can get to the nice places with the stores and the cobblestones."

I'm just taken aback that that's city hall, in a city that's known almost exclusively for its beautiful Colonial architecture across the freaking board.
 
2013-09-08 02:28:35 PM

ipsofacto: Rincewind53: A state capitol building should be grand.

why?


Because much as we knock it, government is important, and because much as we knock it, symbolism is also important.
 
2013-09-08 02:30:44 PM
So... subby... how long have you been divorced?
 
2013-09-08 02:30:48 PM

Rincewind53: Bloody William: fark me, that's city hall? I've walked under it dozens of times when I've been to Boston. I always just thought it was an incredibly ugly office building thunked on a big plaza right over Fanneuil Hall. Huh, so that's why that T stop is Government Center.

Yeah, it's one more the hideous examples of the Brutalist architectural style (sadly not actually named after the brutal look, but from the French "brut", which means concrete). Can you believe that the architects actually intended the disaster of the plaza to be "like an Italian piazza"? And the worst part is that to build it, they tore down a bunch of colonial and 19th century buildings in the historic part of Boston.

One of the worst civic projects in the history of the country.


Well, the idea was to force a bunch of poor people out of the area. It was pretty good at doing that.
 
2013-09-08 02:33:30 PM

cptjeff: Well, the idea was to force a bunch of poor people out of the area. It was pretty good at doing that.


Yep. And there were quite a lot of people who thought Boston was becoming irrelevant in the United States, and had too many old buildings left over from the 19th century boom years, and just decided the best thing to do was knock them all down and build something  modern!
 
2013-09-08 02:47:50 PM
Chicago should be allowed to keep it's bankruptcy on pace with the rest of the country.

As America declines...lets stick together.
 
2013-09-08 02:50:52 PM

Rincewind53: cptjeff: Well, the idea was to force a bunch of poor people out of the area. It was pretty good at doing that.

Yep. And there were quite a lot of people who thought Boston was becoming irrelevant in the United States, and had too many old buildings left over from the 19th century boom years, and just decided the best thing to do was knock them all down and build something  modern!


That's the cultural equivalent of a Detroit radio station changing their format from Motown classics to Justin Bieber.
 
2013-09-08 02:57:14 PM

Riche: Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.


I'd be willing to bet that if or when someone starts looking through the renovation spending they find considerably more waste. The chandeliers and statues are a symptom of the problem rather than the actual problem.

Yes the Senate house should have some class and if this were in a public area like the main foyer or senate chamber I don't think it would be an issue. But this was in more or less office space that will seldom seen by the public. I have been in plenty of Class A office space that doesn't have that level of flare.
 
2013-09-08 03:08:52 PM

Lt_Ryan: I have been in plenty of Class A office space that doesn't have that level of flare.


Well, 15 pieces of flair is just the minimum.  Now, you know it's up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Or... well, like the Oklahoma state house, for example, has thirty seven pieces of flair, okay. And a terrific smile.
 
2013-09-08 03:09:51 PM

Lt_Ryan: Riche: Yeah, it looks really bad blowing what is (to everyday people) a lot of money on decorative stuff when financial times are crappy-- but the total cost of things listed in TFA amounts to less than 1% of an otherwise BADLY needed renovation.

And besides, the building is the seat of the state government-- nothing wrong with having some class.  Especially if the money to make the light fixtures and statues went to in-state businesses.

Of course, the smartest approach would have been to have a series of fundraisers to pay for the pretty stuff. That's how the Oklahoma capitol building dome was funded about ten years ago.

It looks very nice.

I'd be willing to bet that if or when someone starts looking through the renovation spending they find considerably more waste. The chandeliers and statues are a symptom of the problem rather than the actual problem.

Yes the Senate house should have some class and if this were in a public area like the main foyer or senate chamber I don't think it would be an issue. But this was in more or less office space that will seldom seen by the public. I have been in plenty of Class A office space that doesn't have that level of flare.


old chinese saying: you can measure the decay of a society by the relative value of appearance over function
 
2013-09-08 03:14:23 PM
If it was the Pentagon doing this, many of you "oh, it's okay because [insert lame excuse here]" types would be calling for a lynch mob about now.
 
2013-09-08 03:39:42 PM

Bloody William: Rincewind53: ipsofacto: Rincewind53: A state capitol building should be grand.

why?

This is Boston City Hall:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x637]
It is a disaster of a building; ugly, imposing, oppressive, and unfriendly. People who approach such a building will naturally conclude that the residents of the building share its unfriendliness.

On the other hand, this is the Massachusetts State House
[www.foodtoursboston.com image 850x546]
It is grand, elegant, and speaks to a long and rich history of civic involvement. Such a building inspires the kind of awe that builders of cathedrals once used; this is a place for serious business, a place of reverence for the law, tradition, and warmth.

I think you can learn a lot about a culture from the way it builds its government buildings.

fark me, that's city hall? I've walked under it dozens of times when I've been to Boston. I always just thought it was an incredibly ugly office building thunked on a big plaza right over Fanneuil Hall. Huh, so that's why that T stop is Government Center.


My sister likes to say that City Hall is the box that Faneuil Hall came in.

I have no idea why anyone thought building that monstrosity was a good idea, or that it would be an architectural marvel. Of course, that's what they said about the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks at the time of their construction.
 
2013-09-08 03:46:02 PM
archrecord.construction.com

A half million on a few fixtures that agree with the look and feel of a century old building? That's nothing, Dallas spent a hundred million on a bridge that connects a bypass to a poor neighborhood. It's the sort of bridge that should span a canyon or majestic river, not just hop up and over the levee for a river that's about 20 feet wide most of the century.

It only looks good up close.
 
2013-09-08 03:49:33 PM

Rincewind53: Bloody William: fark me, that's city hall? I've walked under it dozens of times when I've been to Boston. I always just thought it was an incredibly ugly office building thunked on a big plaza right over Fanneuil Hall. Huh, so that's why that T stop is Government Center.

Yeah, it's one more the hideous examples of the Brutalist architectural style (sadly not actually named after the brutal look, but from the French "brut", which means concrete). Can you believe that the architects actually intended the disaster of the plaza to be "like an Italian piazza"? And the worst part is that to build it, they tore down a bunch of colonial and 19th century buildings in the historic part of Boston.

One of the worst civic projects in the history of the country.


Point of fact - as you correctly point out, "Brutalist" comes from the French, but not quite to that etymology.  "Béton" is the word for concrete, while "béton brut" (literally "raw concrete") is the word for concrete that hasn't been finished in any way.

And, FWIW, it was a Swiss man - Le Corbusier - who coined it.  Personally, I'm not a fan of that kind of construction, because even if it's inspiring and welcoming when it's new (no mean feat), it does not age well at all without constant and expensive maintenance.  There's a reason that, here at least, you may pay a 10%-20% premium for an apartment in a pre-WWI cut-stone or stucco façade building over one in a poured-concrete modernist building that was erected in the '60s or '70s.
 
2013-09-08 03:51:48 PM
here, here's some chandeliers.  they don't cost nothin'.
 
2013-09-08 04:52:08 PM

Smirky the Wonder Chimp: To be honest, if I had to choose between paying an Illinois representative and blowing the money on chandeliers, I'd probably go with the chandeliers instead.  At least chandeliers relatively harmless in comparison.

/Vote CHANDELIER in 2014!


CHANDELIER'S A HACK AND A PEDOPHILE!!

/paid for by Sculpture. Vote SCULPTURE in 2014!
 
2013-09-08 05:03:52 PM
The Illinois project was actually  funded by bonds, NOT tax dollars. But you won't find that fact in any of the articles published that are tut-tutting it as profligate outrage against poor "mericunz".  It's just one of those late summer silly-season stories, something cooked up by people with an anti-government agenda, to get a little populist bump of outrage they cant turn around and use to fund a political campaign.  We shouldn't keep up a nearly 200-year-old  capitol building because Leroy down the street can't afford a new screen door? Bullshiat. And again, this was not paid for from tax dollars but BONDS. Separate from the budget. Exactly because of asshats that would deny funding repairs and improvements to The People's House.
 
2013-09-08 05:33:15 PM

Any Pie Left: The Illinois project was actually  funded by bonds, NOT tax dollars. But you won't find that fact in any of the articles published that are tut-tutting it as profligate outrage against poor "mericunz".  It's just one of those late summer silly-season stories, something cooked up by people with an anti-government agenda, to get a little populist bump of outrage they cant turn around and use to fund a political campaign.  We shouldn't keep up a nearly 200-year-old  capitol building because Leroy down the street can't afford a new screen door? Bullshiat. And again, this was not paid for from tax dollars but BONDS. Separate from the budget. Exactly because of asshats that would deny funding repairs and improvements to The People's House.


The article is pretty specific that this sum came from taxes. Can you back up the claim that the funds come from bonds?
 
2013-09-08 05:33:26 PM

clowncar on fire: Maybe these things were commissioned a couple of years ago when things were a little rosier.  They finally arrived and there's no money to pay for them?  Not the provider of said riches' concern.


And I'm sure you will accept the same explanation when you see unemployed people with nice possessions... after all, they were perfectly justified in spending money while still employed...

Weren't they?
 
2013-09-08 05:36:36 PM

TFerWannaBe: Any Pie Left: The Illinois project was actually  funded by bonds, NOT tax dollars. But you won't find that fact in any of the articles published that are tut-tutting it as profligate outrage against poor "mericunz".  It's just one of those late summer silly-season stories, something cooked up by people with an anti-government agenda, to get a little populist bump of outrage they cant turn around and use to fund a political campaign.  We shouldn't keep up a nearly 200-year-old  capitol building because Leroy down the street can't afford a new screen door? Bullshiat. And again, this was not paid for from tax dollars but BONDS. Separate from the budget. Exactly because of asshats that would deny funding repairs and improvements to The People's House.

The article is pretty specific that this sum came from taxes. Can you back up the claim that the funds come from bonds?


Unlikely.  Anybody from this state who defends our government so vociferously is likely connected somehow to the state government or the parasites who infest it.
 
2013-09-08 05:43:15 PM

Fark It: TFerWannaBe: Any Pie Left: The Illinois project was actually  funded by bonds, NOT tax dollars. But you won't find that fact in any of the articles published that are tut-tutting it as profligate outrage against poor "mericunz".  It's just one of those late summer silly-season stories, something cooked up by people with an anti-government agenda, to get a little populist bump of outrage they cant turn around and use to fund a political campaign.  We shouldn't keep up a nearly 200-year-old  capitol building because Leroy down the street can't afford a new screen door? Bullshiat. And again, this was not paid for from tax dollars but BONDS. Separate from the budget. Exactly because of asshats that would deny funding repairs and improvements to The People's House.

The article is pretty specific that this sum came from taxes. Can you back up the claim that the funds come from bonds?

Unlikely.  Anybody from this state who defends our government so vociferously is likely connected somehow to the state government or the parasites who infest it.


ITS A CONSPIRACY!
 
2013-09-08 05:50:40 PM

Rincewind53: ipsofacto: Rincewind53: A state capitol building should be grand.

why?

This is Boston City Hall:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x637]
It is a disaster of a building; ugly, imposing, oppressive, and unfriendly. People who approach such a building will naturally conclude that the residents of the building share its unfriendliness.

On the other hand, this is the Massachusetts State House
[www.foodtoursboston.com image 850x546]
It is grand, elegant, and speaks to a long and rich history of civic involvement. Such a building inspires the kind of awe that builders of cathedrals once used; this is a place for serious business, a place of reverence for the law, tradition, and warmth.

I think you can learn a lot about a culture from the way it builds its government buildings.


Have I ever blathered on in your vicinity about the importance of the artwork you choose to depict on your money?
 
2013-09-08 06:07:53 PM
Detroit is paying $200,000 grand to figure out what it's art is worth, and yet the emergency manager just said that nothing is going to be sold.

So the city spent $200,000 and all they got was, I imagine, a upswing in visits to the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Unless he's lying.  Basically the *best* case scenario is the city's out $200,000 and knows exactly  how much the art that isn't going to be sold is worth, which, I'm sure, won't be noticed by outstanding creditors.

/though I got in free last week 'cause I voted for a tax increase to help pay to keep it alive
//I brought three entrance fee paying friends, though
 
2013-09-08 06:08:42 PM

StreetlightInTheGhetto: Detroit is paying $200,000 grand to figure out what it's art is worth, and yet the emergency manager just said that nothing is going to be sold.


ftfm
 
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