Monument to Profit

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

The “controversy” over the sale of the publicly-owned Candy Factory to a private developer was not about art, as suggested by your Urban Renewal columnist [“Artful City Living,” by Matt Edens, Nov. 26, 2009]. What was a vibrant downtown venue for over 150 community groups and thousands of users per year is now home to 100 or so residents affluent enough to buy in. The building, once a generator of cultural and social activity at the edge of a public park, is a monument to public-subsidized speculation and private profit. It’s “urban renewal” indeed, but in the most negative sense of that term.

Michael Kaplan

Professor of Architecture, Emeritus

University of Tennessee

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