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Mrs. Peck Goes to a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Or so it was billed. The curtain comes down would have been a more apt description, as you'll soon see for yourself.

Over the last two years or so I've been posting photos of the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts which has been under construction that long, and perhaps longer, across the street from the Orlando City Hall. Thursday morning, 10 AM was the date set for the ahem, ribbon cutting. And, so I went to not only witness that but have a tour of the building. Built with both private donations and government money, during the ceremony it was mentioned that it is one of only 37 facilities of this type in the world. What exactly they meant by that, I cannot answer.

At any rate, parking my car in a garage on Pine Street, I walked the few blocks to the site which as you can see here, is still a construction site, just without barriers!
Walking onto the lawn with white folding chairs arranged in a semi-circle, I should have done what these folks did--sit in the shade!
I was not the only one with a camera!! Big, big media presence.
I chose to stand rather than sit for better picture taking opportunities.
So, there I stood waiting for the festivities to begin. I did, not that it will surprise you or anything, start up a conversation with these two folks standing beside me.
They both work for Visit Orlando; she does global marketing and he works on bringing conventions to the area. I was very interested to learn that there are 14 such offices around the globe! 10:00 arrived and after a brief introduction, this woman sang the National Anthem. My new friends told me she was on "The Voice" as a contestant from Orlando.
Does anyone know who she is? This gentleman, Jim Pugh is the developer of the project and the seated woman is the president of the center, both of whom, apparently worked tirelessly to make this day happen.
Here's a shot of both the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, his counterpart for Orange County, Teresa Jacobs, as well as former County Mayor, Richard Crotty, and a big wig from the Tourism Bureau. He was represented because a good deal of the money came from tourism taxes.
All in all, there were 13 speakers who thanked everyone under the sun except the construction workers which really bugged me. Behind the smiles above were some former tensions. Richard Crotty, standing on the left, began this project with BD. When Teresa Jacobs took over as County Mayor she went crazy about how the public money was being spent and called for accountability. Local gossip for you!

Now you see the curtain....
and now you don't!
Darn that man in the white shirt!! If he'd wanted to stand he should have been back there with me!
You can well imagine how much I loved the bio-degradable confetti!
The cross, included on the lower left of the photo, is from the First Methodist Church who actually sold this land to the city, building a new building in place of the one that was torn down. Isn't this all just fun and informative??

There was quite the crowd who then entered the building for the self guided tour.
There were, however, loads of volunteers wearing this shirt--the front...hi there, indeed.
and the back...
Cute, right?
A local choir was singing around this spiral staircase. Lots of terrazzo used in the building--making a big design comeback, or so it seems. There were, as mentioned above a ton of the curious, just like me.
The finish on the right wall is a little unusual to me. What I first thought was a bad drywall job turned out to be a faux finish, or so I think. In another area the same treatment was used on a purple wall. There is a lot of purple in the building.
I ran into a fellow I know from the annual city calendar contest, which, in spite of having the cover photo this year, none of my entries were selected for next year. Paul Hennesey is a retired parole officer who now works as a media photographer. Here we are taking the same photo.
Here he is looking at the cool model of the center.
Eventually we made our way to the actual Walt Disney Theater--very classy.
The ceiling is super cool as well...
Making our way through the maze, we eventually came to the entrance to the actual stage.
All in all, it is very attractive indeed. There is still work to be done, including finishing the demolition on what us old timers called, the round building.
To the right of the crane is City Hall for those who don't live here. In it's place I believe I heard they will be building a hotel which seems kind of crazy to me, but what do I know. I'm not sure how we ended up in the loading dock area but I'm glad we did. Here's Mayor Jacobs heading out the back door.
I wonder if the organizers ever thought about calling it a "curtain goes up" ceremony--seems rather fitting, don't you think? The earlier posts, linked to above, provide some context. :)
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