Stimulus Spending

Should stimulus funding only be awarded to local firms? Or, if we’re not that explicit about it – should local firms’ proposals get some kind of ‘preferred’ status? The Architect’s Newspaper reported last week that Foster + Partners has been chosen for the $121 million renovation of 50 UN Plaza, a historic federal building in San Francisco – chosen over SOM, Architectural Resources Group with HKS, and Hornberger + Worstell with William McDonough, all of which have San Fran offices. I’m not one to spout some pro-America nonsense, but the stimulus [paid for by us, eventually] seemed to be about improving the US economy by funding US projects and paying US workers. Sure, we’re a part of a global economy, but consider this: they would never dream of hiring anything but local laborers for this project. It might not seem like a big deal, but a project this size will generate enough income for a firm to retain a significant amount of workers, I would imagine. What do you think? Leave a comment!

Posted: July 7th, 2009
at 1:51pm by orangemenace

Tagged with , , ,

Categories: sidenote

Comments: 3 comments


3 Responses to 'Stimulus Spending'

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    I have been unemployed by the Architectural market for 7 months and am already discouraged by the lack of work and even greater discouraged by the lack of organization of the government, the ARCHfield, and local groups. I have to support myself by working in the restaurant industry and competing in theoretical projects as my “hobby.” We should be pro-city, pro-America, and pro-globe, but in that order of priority. Londoners are not going to pay for my welfare if I cannot enter the job force by the end of the year. You are absolutely right about the strength of construction unions in comparison to the weakness of architectural firms.

    Thank you for speaking out about this. DON’T STOP. Speak louder and more often.


    10 Jul 09 at 12:46 pm


  2. Wow – great comment.

    Yeah, I agree with you 100% – and I’m in the same position, as I’ve been unemployed now 5 months as a direct result of the recession’s impact on architecture/construction. What I wondered when I first read about this project going to Foster was whether my reaction was based on the stimulus plan and its effects in general, or my personal feelings because I’m jobless. After reading your comment, and thinking it over some more, I realize that the two things don’t need to be separated. The stimulus, on some level, is meant to get the economy going and to EMPLOY AMERICANS. Not because of our typical xenophobic BS, but because the whole point is US tax money being used to employ US citizens.

    We need to protest this or something.


    10 Jul 09 at 10:09 pm


  3. Architects are too stupid to organize. They always identify with their rich clients, even while they are eating Top Ramen in their apartments. The “successful” architects they emulate are often the children of privilege who can hold out for a nice contract or a boutique firm, while they themselves design commercial office parks. I sometimes wonder if even one of the architects in my office has read any work of political science. They all believe that “design can make the world a better place,” which is to say that political economy is lost on them.


    12 Aug 09 at 12:38 pm



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