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August 15, 2005

New names, new buildings...

That danged work keeps getting in the way of important things, like blogging.


I see that we've sold off the name of The Mark. That's OK. When they pick a new one, I'll ignore it, just like I have the new ones for the River Bandits and 23rd Avenue and the Lady Luck -- and so many others that sometimes only friends-for-years have any clue what I'm talking about.

'bout 99 percent of the other people will keep right on calling it The Mark, too. Only Press agents and media types will use the new name, and they'll only do it on paper. Talking, it'll be The Mark for most of them for a good long time.

Allen McCaulley, whose steadfastness as a Moline alderman and mayor was important as The Mark's foundation was put down, said he thinks taking the $4.25 million from i-Wireless for naming rights "cheapens" the arena, and the contributions civic-minded citizens put into it circa 1990. They didn't ask for naming rights, he said.

He's right, in the idealistic way that made politics a tough go for him. And it is a shame to dump a name that, as intended, has come to reflect a "mark of excellence" in civic arenas -- pretty routine for The Mark to be named venue-of-the-year in the industry mags.

But turning down $4.25 mil...? That's $425,000 a year for 10 years. Goes a long way toward keeping The Mark a spiffy class act without the need to call in markers from Moline and its taxpayers.

Hope for something innocuous. "i-Mark" is short enough and similar enough that people might actually use it. Am guessing, though, that the i-Wireless people don't like that option.


Meanwhile, across the river, another new name joins the Q-C cultural scene. The Figge Art Museum, incarnation of the Davenport Museum of Art, created waves in the greater cultural scene.

Vanity Fair magazine, in its "31 things to do in August" calendar, recommended visiting Davenport for the Aug. 6 opening of the Figge. Among out-of-town papers, the New York Times did two stories, a preview and an after-the-opening review.

I missed the grand opening (helping herd a bunch of 14-year-olds through Wisconsin Dells), but did visit a couple of days later. Nice place. "Functional" is the word that kept popping to mind, and not in any kind of back-handed, put-down sense.

It's a simple square building, with a two-story tower in the middle, glass-faced, pleasant enough to the eye. Interior design and lighting emphasize the Figge's nice collection, as is right. There's also space for an ambitious education program.

Even Sol Lewitt's "Tower" seems a nice thing in the Figge plaza, rather than the joke it was when tucked into the corner of the Rivercenter entrance. Yup, "functional" is the word.

Posted by jcb at August 15, 2005 02:14 PM


You're never going to convince me that Sol's piece is anything worth talking about.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 15, 2005 02:33 PM

I think maybe some people need to rethink the phrase "Change is good" and In my own personal oppinion it is a must. Even if it's only a name.

Posted by: Jeremy at August 15, 2005 03:09 PM

Did you ignore the name when the Angels turned to the River Bandits, or even when the Cubs turned to the Angels?

Do you still call Kone the name Montgomery Elevator? Is KFC still called Kentucky Fried Chicken? Change is change. We live with it and die by it.

Posted by: Jeff Henderson at August 15, 2005 09:46 PM