Capshaw's Shed Design Criticized By Local Architects

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Coran Capshaw is not only the successful and well-respected manager behind Dave Matthews Band, he is also quite a savvy businessman separate from DMB, with 15 real estate holdings in Charlottesville, VA, valued at nearly $50 million and a full service e-commerce and phone/mail-order enterprise, according to C-Ville Weekly.

Capshaw is currently working with the city of Charlottesville in the renovation of a downtown amphitheater. According to The Hook, the city's contract with Capshaw's Charlottesville Pavilion LLC
calls for a 4,000 seating capacity: 2,750 in fixed seats, 250 in boxes, and 1,000 on the lawn.

However, local architects are doing battle with the venue’s arch-and-canopy design and the 85-foot-tall arch. There is also concern the planned 40 concerts that Capshaw hopes to bring in will compete with the city’s Fridays After 5.

Local architect Candance Smith used “emasculated” to describe the design, and told Hook Magazine, “It will overwhelm City Hall. People are going to be amazed by the scale,” she criticized.

Smith also objects to the amphitheater's orientation, which she says is off-axis to the Belmont Bridge, City Hall and the pedestrian mall. "A citizen is going to look at it and say, 'Why is this thing cockeyed?'"

Bob Vickery, professor emeritus at UVA's school of architecture, complained that “the design at the end of the mall is a pastiche of half-baked ideas. I think the design is awful," he told the paper. He was also concerned that over-development of the Downtown Mall threatens the quality of life.

Still, Maurice Cox, former mayor, architect, and amphitheater proponent has urged his fellow architects not to rush to judgment. "One of our strong suits as professionals is that we can envision the great potential of a thing," he told The Hook. "We're not ones to say the sky is falling." — Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

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