The EWEB administration building was built downtown next to the river because that is where the city wanted it, according to one EWEB general manager. Now EWEB plans to vacate the building.
City government needs to step up and give the city’s most prominent building a next life of which we can be proud.
The EWEB building could have been a great City Hall. However, the mayor and council plan to build a new trophy edifice at the park blocks. With that option gone, they owe us a guaranty that the EWEB building will stay public.
No one wants to see a 5-foot-high red neon roof sign flashing “GENERAL INSURANCE” night and day, as well as altered public access to the river and loss of parking.
A meaningful life for this public building may include uses as a visitors’ center with continuous video travelogue of Eugene, city art museum, meeting rooms, restaurant, coffee shop, historical displays, shuttle stop for AMTRAK station-LTD station-EWEB loop, gondola roof stop for Skinner Butte-EWEB-Alton Baker Park loop, picnic and sporting supplies rental, Mayor’s Art Gallery, guided tours office, lecture hall, professional offices, convenience store, etc.
And finally, change EWEB to “WEBE Eugene”.