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How high the roof? 

How high the roof?

I am offering you a few corrections to Max Brantley's “Tale of Two Cities” column. Since the dispute between the library and the developer is about the 48-foot height limitation in the River Market, I think it is important to get the numbers right.

Let's start with the belief that the developer reduced the height and footprint of the proposed hotel. The first proposal submitted by the developer on Sept. 9 asked for a variance to build a 90-foot structure. The developer's revised request on Oct. 20 lists the height of the building as 78 feet with an architectural element of 12 feet. That so-called “architectural element” happens to be the roof, which, I assume, is necessary to keep the rain off the heads of the customers. Brantley then states that the building is actually 2 feet shorter than the Main Library. That is true only if you remove the 12-foot-high roof on the proposed hotel.

Next Brantley claims that the hotel is 5 feet shorter than the Budget Office Building, which is only 42 feet tall, or 48 feet shorter than the proposed hotel. If you choose to count the Budget Building's water tower, which is a true architectural detail and not a roof, the total height is 77 feet, or 13 feet shorter. And Brantley faisl to mention that the proposed hotel is 50 feet taller than our Cox Creative Center to the south.

Brantley's measurement is correct on the new manuscript storage facility, but he does not explain that it exceeds the 48-foot limit but falls within the four-story limitation and thus required no variance.

If your readers looked at a silhouette of the buildings together, most would agree that this hotel will dwarf its neighbors.

Finally, it makes absolutely no sense to compare the hotel being proposed in North Little Rock to the one in Little Rock. The North Little Rock location is a block away from the city's historic buildings on Main Street. A better comparison is the Marriott Hotel in the River Market which at least sits on the edge of the district. In contrast, the proposed Aloft Hotel in Little Rock would be dropped in the middle of a very small number of historic buildings.

Bobby Roberts

Director

Central Arkansas Library System

 

n (The architectural element is not the roof, the drawings show, but a sign that adds 12 feet to the 75- to 77-foot height of the building along the Clinton Avenue exposure. The footprint was reduced, the developer says, after Roberts' original objections resulted in a reduction in the proposed hotel size from 138 to 132 rooms. — Editor)

McCain vote

I read your special “Racism Issue” Dec. 4. Your writers seem ashamed that the voters of Arkansas didn't jump on the Obama bandwagon. Perhaps it is because, like several Southern states, Arkansas has an unemployment level well below liberal failures like California and Michigan. Maybe it's because with a balanced budget we won't need the big federal bailout Michigan, New York, California et al. are clamoring for. Or maybe it's because Arkansas self identifies as more Christian than most of the country. When the president-elect says his favorite verse refers to how America treats the “least of these” while his family rots in an African hut or Massachusetts slum we sense a bit of hypocrisy. When, as usual, it is revealed that the Democrat nominee gave pittance to charity and was dwarfed by the Republican candidate I ask him to get the log out of his eye before he talks to me.

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