Hazard will leave a legacy of revitalizing Downtown Sioux Falls

While I have been a critic of Jeff over the years, I certainly am not going to do that today. Today I feel compelled to say something ‘nice’ about a person who I have sparred with over the years.

I will give Hazard credit for one thing unequivocally, he was the driving force into revitalizing downtown. While a lot of other people have helped along the way, mostly legislatively and with funds, Jeff had the vision to help save a lot of historic buildings downtown, and for that, it’s hard to say a bad word about him.

Jodi, as usual, does a nice story about Jeff’s friends remembering him.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to clear the air about something; Hazard was probably NOT responsible for the bad siding on the Denty.

As you can see in this early image of the design, Hazard, who helped design the Premier Center, originally designed the siding to be flat panels, which I thought would have given the appearance of a hexagonal-industrial look to the building. The panels also would have been incredibly durable and properly ‘locked’ into place to prevent gaps and leaks.

Like most design changes the design was thrown out the window due to ‘money’. This was likely not Jeff’s fault. As most people know, building anything, you can certainly take the recommendations of the engineer and architect, but quite often things ‘change’ and usually because of greed, egos or both. Ask the people who had to watch their big yellow house be torn down.

The only thing we really know about the change order is that likely Hazard or some other person on the design team, was ‘forced’ to sign off on the bad design that is rumored to save around $2 million in construction costs. I highly doubt Jeff would have proposed this change himself. As an artist myself, I will gladly accept criticism, but it doesn’t mean I will abide by the suggestions, but as a graphic designer, I follow the money and willingly ‘throw the copy out the window’.

We all have our guesses who made this incredibly BAD decision, and not only do I feel bad for Hazard but all the other contractors who had to take the fall for an out-of-control ego maniac, who to this day has never admitted wrong doing or making the incredibly idiotic decision. Go figure. It will however prevent this person from ever holding public office again, which in some respects is a fair trade for the dented up mess.

Some of this came out in the top secret million dollar settlement where once again Hazard was ‘forced’ to participate in. I doubt Jeff lost any money in the deal, but did probably lose a little of his pride. 

While I didn’t know Jeff personally, I did know one thing about him, he didn’t seem to lose much sleep over his critics, at least I saw that face of him publicly.

Architecture is extremely demanding profession, and it is difficult. I thought about becoming one, but I knew I could never pass the math classes. You are going to make mistakes now and then, and I think Jeff knew that. 

Jeff’s achievements certainly outweigh his mistakes, by a long shot. I will miss seeing him walk about downtown pondering his next project.

My condolences to his wife Sheila and his family.



6 comments ↓

#1 Desperately seeking Seney on 09.02.19 at 12:37 am

Whose responsible for the Smithfield plant, anyhow? Because I would really like to go back into time and shake his hand.

#2 scott pearson on 09.02.19 at 10:17 am

is the late steve metli the one responsible for every commercial building built in the last 30 years to have the same boring facade?

#3 anonymous on 09.02.19 at 11:03 am

Going forward, here’s where I stop reading comments from commenter #1…..

#4 Porter MoonBase Lansing on 09.02.19 at 11:55 am

Condolences. Protecting the old buildings will be the best thing downtown ever did.

#5 l3wis on 09.02.19 at 12:23 pm

anon, I think he was being sarcastic.

#6 Dr. Sarcastic on 09.02.19 at 1:25 pm

I don’t know, I think the Smithfield plant has some very good ‘The Jungle’ qualities about it, which must be preserved.

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