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NY Times Letter to Editor Noting Sydney Opera House Was Design Rescued By Juror

January 16 2004 at 9:34 AM

Re "How Greening of Design Swayed Memorial Jury" (news article, Jan. 8):
In your revelation that the designer Maya Lin may have had an unusually strong effect on swaying the jury of the World Trade Center Memorial competition to select the "Reflecting Absence" proposal, you make an observation that architects have long known: Who is on the jury is more critical in deciding the outcome than who the competitors are!
Many architects remember the story of how the architect Eero Saarinen, who as a jury member back in 1957 was so unhappy with the final schemes being considered for the Sydney Opera House competition that he rummaged through the discards to bring Jorn Utzon's now famous "sail design" to the attention of the other jury members. Mr. Utzon's scheme won the competition thanks to Saarinen's timely intervention, and as a result Sydney ended up with its new harbor icon.
New York, Jan. 9, 2004

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