St. Pete Pier design proposal: "The People's Pier" by West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture (image courtesy City of St. Petersburg)
St. Pete Pier design proposal: "The Wave" by Bjarke Ingels Group (image courtesy City of St. Petersburg)
The St. Petersburg Pier's current "inverted pyramid" design.
St. Pete Pier design proposal: "The Lens" by Michael Maltzan Architecture (image courtesy City of St. Petersburg)
Which St. Petersburg Pier design do you like the best?
St. Petersburg, Florida - For nearly 40 years, the "inverted pyramid" at the St. Petersburg Pier has been synonymous with the city's skyline. Now one of three new designs budgeted at no more than $50 million stands to take its place.
Photo Gallery: St. Pete Pier finalists' design proposals
"Each design is interesting," says Carol Sandison. Carol is visiting from Washington State with her friend Mona Rominger. They take a look at the three finalists.
Carol would like to ask city leaders this: "I'd like to know the impact on the environment, the impact on the community, financially and jobs and how it will affect people's livelihood here on the Pier."
Mona asks, "Besides architecture, what would be the draw to get people down here?"
The Martzen design is shaped similarly to a tiara and appears to sit at water level and from the air, it looks like a lens looking back into the city and underwater.
The design by the group Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) looks more like a coach's whistle. It is called the "Wave."
The third design by West 8 is called "The People's Pier." It's a space-age styled structure called the "Eye." The West 8 design is the one Carol and Mona prefer.
Read more about the St. Pete Pier design finalists
"Seems more protected from the weather and offers interesting views and places for people to come," says Carol.
It's not long-time St. Petersburg resident Michelle Owens' favorite. "I have a real issue with 'People's Pier.' We know it's ours. We're paying for it," says Michelle.
Michelle works on the Pier. "They're wonderful designs, but do they have a purpose to be used?"
She has her own questions for city leaders about the final three designs. "How much will it cost to maintain on a yearly basis? How badly are they going to let this one deteriorate like they did this one before anything is done?"
The current Pier costs the city 1 and half million dollars to keep up. Michelle says there's better use of taxpayer dollars, she'd like the current pier to stay. "In this economy, it's not the smartest move."
A group wanting to keep the current Pier has started a website called www.voteonthepier.com.
As for the three final designs, the public will have a chance to view each one from December 6 through December 30 at the St. Petersburg Museum of History, located near the entrance to the pier.
A five member jury will rank the three designs from favorite to least favorite and post their recommendation by January 20. The St. Petersburg City Council will vote on that ranking February 2.
If the city moves forward with the new Pier, the timeline would look like this: the current Pier would be demolished around late 2013 or early 2014 and the new Pier would be completed in 2016.
Read the Proposals (PDF):