After coming under fire for using outdated images of the city's proposed new pier, St. Petersburg officials released nine updated images of The Lens today.
The updated renderings were supplied by Michael Maltzan Architecture, the firm behind the Lens design. The images show more detail of certain features of the futuristic pier, such as an open-air grill that would be operated by the Columbia Restaurant, and staircases leading to scenic platforms. They also reflect design changes, such as the canopy height increasing to 104 feet above sea level, the widening of a pier approach to 12 feet and a new Columbia Restaurant at the entrance to the pier.
"It takes into account a lot of the technical engineering work that has gone into the project, but the essential concept, we don't see that changing," said City Architect Raul Quintana.
Members of Concerned Citizens of St. Petersburg, the group that forced a referendum on the Lens, had claimed the city was misleading voters by using old renderings of the controversial project on the city's website.
Council Member Wengay Newton added his voice to the criticism, accusing the city of using taxpayer dollars to mislead the public.
The renderings date back to December and are based on the original design of the $50 million project, which the city selected to replace the inverted pier building and the aging pier approach. City officials said they convey the basic structure of the Lens but recently added a disclaimer to their website saying the images "may not completely replicate the current design."
The new images were used to update the city's website this afternoon.
"Some people will look at them and say, 'Nothing has really changed.' That is kind of the point," said Quintana.
City residents will vote on whether to scrap the city's contract with Michael Maltzan Architecture on Aug. 27.
The updated pier renderings can be seen at www.thenewstpetepier.com