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Image © Texx Smith via Wikipedia

St. Petersburg, Florida announced today that it is launching an international design competition for a new pier at its downtown waterfront. The current pier, with its its five-story inverted pyramid building, opened in 1973 and was designed by William B. Harvard, Sr., founder of Harvard Jolly Architecture in St. Petersburg. It is "nearing the end of its life span," according to a release.  

In August 2010, St. Pete's City Council voted to demolish the iconic pier completely to make way for a new one, a decision that was met with some sadness and resistance. In November, local officials met to discuss what they'd like to see in its place -- a walkable, car-, hotel-, and casino-free pier closer to the shore.

There's been a welcome trend of cutting-edge waterfront redevelopment/redesign happening across North America – think Brooklyn, Toronto, Cincinnati, West Palm Beach. What can St. Pete do?

From the release:

Interested parties must register for the competition by July 8, 2011. Submission of the Statement of Qualifications will be due on July 19, 2011. A juried panel will select three design teams to be invited to the second phase of the process. During stage two, the three teams will submit a design concept, and each will receive a $50,000 honorarium for participating in the process. It is anticipated that a final plan will be approved and contract negotiations will begin with the accepted team early next year.

For the rest of the deets, including more info about the pier, check out