I was sad to read of the passing of renowned architect Cesar Pelli. When Pelli was in Madison to work on his design for the Overture Center for the Arts and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, he learned part of the process was submitting his designs to various city commissions.
As a member of the Commission of People with Disabilities, I have a wonderful memory of Pelli attending a meeting held to address concerns about access for people with disabilities to the Overture Center and MMOCA.
Pelli arrived accompanied by a young assistant who was struggling with several huge framed copies of the blueprints. Pelli and his assistant willingly shifted the various framed blueprints so commission members could indicate the areas of concern clearly. It was quite a workout.
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Our commission was pleased that Pelli was extremely open to our concerns about access to the theater, especially for wheelchair mobilizers, blind guests and people with hearing impairment. He was equally eager to identify solutions and improvements in design and special adaptive equipment.
It delights me to think the knowledge gained here in Madison may have impacted Pelli's international projects.
Certainly those changes have ensured the enjoyment and participation of many here in the Overture Center and MMOCA.
Peggy Rakow, Madison