Monday, February 19, 2007

DC Convention Center Succeeds at Royally Sucking

The Washington Post gives quite a bit of coverage today to looking at what's happened since the Mount Vernon Square Convention Center opened. In short: it's not done a lot of business, it's losing money, and it hasn't helped the neighborhood develop. And everyone involved is shocked--SHOCKED!!--that it's failed to deliver a bevy of economic bennies.

We looked at the inside-the-paper headline--"Convention Center Fails to Deliver on Hype"--and were mad perplexed. How could the Post get away with saying that? I remember life before the Convention Center was built, and I can tell you exactly how the massive edifice was hyped:

--a structure that would lend a historic part of town some measure of heroic blandness
--a convention center that would be at least 100,000 square feet smaller than a state of the art convention facility and thus obsolete on opening day
--a center that would fail to attract the massive sorts of convention clients that the top locations attracy
--an edifice that would historically link the words "Anthony Williams" with the words "white elephant."

All of these well-hyped outcomes has come to pass, brilliantly, except for perhaps the last. And the fact that the Washington Post is pretending as hard as they can that the Convention Center was a brilliantly executed development plan that has surprisingly failed as opposed to the truth--a widely predicted failure waiting to happen--probably owes a lot to the ninny-ass way the local media seems to want to remember Anthony Williams as some kind of supra-genius as opposed to a bland and uninspiring douche who wasn't smart enough to get listed on his own party's primary ballot and who's hamstrung Shaw with a shitty convention center and the city with a shitty baseball stadium.

Or...maybe shitty. It's still a big to be determined. But that's no reason not to celebrate when something goes completely according to warning. Nice try, Washington Post.

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