The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 12, 1976 · Page 112
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December 12, 1976

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 112

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Sunday, December 12, 1976
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Page 112
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a - ( : The Palm Beach Post-Times 1 SI M)V, DKCKMUKK 12, 1976 SECTION F f J IW.u h a County Pi 1 Wij ' ' .. ! i t ; ! -trim West Palm Beach's Auditorium Can Hold 5,895 People With Teepee' Westward Move Area Landmarks j What is the history of this area's architecture? What influences were at work in the development of homes and buildings that we see today? This is another in a series, 'Area Landmarks,' by Post home writer Sandra Wesley and photographer Guy Fer-rell. 'Leaky When an artist's concept of the West Palm Heach Auditorium was unveiled in December l!tti4, it was described as "a giant coolie hat lying in lush green grass among swaying palm trees " When the building was almost completed in 17 and the rains came, it became known as "the leaky teepee.'' Prom conception, to construction the auditorium was one big problem. But it has survived the years of problems to become the hub ol westward expansion and a landmark that even architects acknowledge - sometimes grudgingly Talk of having an auditorium tor the city had been heard lor many years, but was forgotten until the West Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce submitted a proposal to the City Commission for a $400. 0(H) auditorium with a seating capacity ot 3,-000 In 11, Bertram Goldberg, a Chicago architect who had designed the multimillion-dollar Marina Center in Chicago, was hired to design an auditorium. The building he designed would cost the city r I CO about $2 million, according to newspaper articles. In early 19ti4 . the City Commission allocated $2.5 million for construction of an auditorium and sports arena. The funds were to come from a $4.7 million revenue bond issue. Goldberg scrapped his original plans and, in December 1964, his "giant coolie hat" was unveiled. By Pebruary li)65. when bids were put out, the cost had soared to $3.5 million and Goldberg was accused of "overdesigning the building." By late iyti5 construction was begun. The prime contractors were Butler and Oen-brink, but there were 13 other contractors under them The problems were just starting "It's a unique building," said auditorium manager Hod McCallurn. "A compression ring rather than beams holds the building together. But there are 48 beams of concrete and steel in the ceiling, each one weighing 52 tons. The compression ring has extreme differences in temperatures. Goldberg was called in and he suggested using a special concrete which cost another $25,000. By March, the roof was leaking for the fourth time. At one point 112 leaks developed in the roof. By this time the auditorium had been nicknamed the "leaky teepee." The auditorium was otticially opened Sept. 3, 1967, with three days of special free events, including a country-western show and rock concert. By 1968 the roof was still leaking At one point, seating arrangements had to be changed. Finally, in November 1968, the contractors at the request of Goldberg applied a latex waterproofing process which did the trick. McCallurn described the building as "esthetically pleasing, but functionally not well designed. He pointed out that the building lacks storage space, has inadequate office space and has no place for a permanent box office. ($ OPS Marks 33,000 lbs of steel and 61 yards of concrete." The circular building includes a sports arena and auditorium stage under a conical roof. A moat surrounding the building serves as a cooling tank for the air conditioner, and ramps lead from the parking lot and street level up an incline into the building. A traffic lane is provided at the door level. At its peak, the building is nine stories high, and the roof has about 21 a acres of .concrete. Builders had to hire a special crane to lift the 52-ton beams int6 place The crew-practiced a week with the crane before they could begin lifting the first beam. They laid 8 miles of copper piping under the floor which is used to freeze water for ice shows. It was in February 1967, while the workers were testing the freezing apparatus that the rains came and the conical roof began leaking. The leaks were caused by cracks in the concrete roof which was reacting to the rr p. : Lnc., Joy terested people, and in September 1974 we organized a committee." By December that year, 100 members had collected $1,000 in deposits. "On Dec 17, 1974, we opened in an old store front building. For the first 10 months we were incorporated as a part of the Leon County group, which helped us get credit with food wholesalers," he said. The idea caught on not just with college students but with one influential Gainesville businessman, who leased the co-op a 2,000 square-foot building twice as large as the old place on a busy street. The Granary gained real independence in October 1975, when it sev i: L Ji : iluU V f - Bleachers He added that elderly people find it difficult to navigate the steep inclines up to the gates and the stairway down to the seats Architect Ron Schwab of Schwab and Twitty defends the auditorium. He said people don't realize that the multipurpose building was extremely inexpensive and economical considering what it can be used for. The auditorium is a multipurpose building. With the help of draperies, it can be turned into a 2,000 seat, tiered theater for opera, ballet and concert productions With the draperies opened and permanent and portable seating, it can accommodate 5,895 people for wrestling, circus and ice shows. Without the bleachers, about 27,600 square feet of floor space can be used for exhibits and trade shows. Two months after the auditorium opened, Palm Beach Mall officially opened and westward expansion became not a term of the future but a reality. j-ff j Kftuio Dy arydn Onytoy average grocery markups of about 30 per cent. "Our biggest sellers are cheese -we have good suppliers in Wisconsin and upstate New York - and fresh produce Bulk grains are popular but they don't make much money for the co-op and they take up a lot of space." Peoples said "We feel we're solid Our Dun & Bradstreet rating, which we got so wholesalers would grant us credit, is good "We're still kind of selective and we haven't gone full tilt into getting bigger We'll just see how it goes Maybe soon we can get into some long-range planning," Peoples said ops 1.4 per cent of sales lor its services and pays back to each individual family member the equivalent of one week's shopping annually. The Northern Valley Consumers Cooperative in New Jersey is a good example of a small buying club that succeeded and went big It began in the Depression with 12 member families and has grown into 3,000 member families and two full time supermarkets Financing came from investor members who bought shares of limited stock, bank loans which are difficult to come by for cooperatives and several flotations of debenture bonds. Both stores ring up $60,000 a week in gross sales and total up $3,000,-000 in annual sales Turn to CO-OPS, F2 Hogtown Granary Serving 16,000 'IFc're Providing Good, Cheap Food' i l Carter, 5, Shops With Her Mother at Hogtown Granary Best Quality at Lowest Price months ago it was able to hire its I li st paid managers, at $100 and $75 a week "We're not having the cash problem some co-ops are," said Peoples, discussing the granary's relatively smooth birth. "We never experienced wholesaler boycotts, and we found our way through the bureaucratic maze of permits without problems " "I was a member of the large Leon County Cooperative in Tallahassee Then when I got a job in Gainesville the Leon County people asked me to see about starting a co-op here," Peoples said "1 received seven or eight responses to my advertising for in Seek go separate ways, depending on the needs and tastes of members Some buy the same kinds of grocery staples found in any chain supermarket Others buy fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy products, meat or bakery products Some co-ops buy many kinds of foods Health food co-ops, on the other hand, buy only what is grown organically: unhusked grains, nuts and dried fruits, special cereal mixtures such as granola and honey and fruit juices The prices all pay are usually lower than those charged in retail health food stores. Such co-ops eschew what their members scornfully refer to as "junk foods," meaning sugared breakfast cereals, soft drinks and processed foods that are high in chemicals and low in nutrition Sodium nitrate and red dyes are their arch enemies ered relations with the Leon County group, incorporated on its own and moved into the new quarters, Originally Granary members paid $5, $10 or $15 to join and were allowed to buy up to that amount of food Now, the nonrefundable membership fee is $15, annual dues are $5 i but could vary according to the coop's needs) and each membership contributes four hours' work in the store each month. Food charges are cost plus 15 per cent to active members, cost plus 25 per cent to inactive members (those who haven't contributed their work time) and cost plus 40 per cent to nonmembers Peoples said that compares with kets, eight furniture stores that sell high quality Scandinavian products and four pharmacies. The Federation of Cooperatives, a cooperative of cooperatives, services seven food co-ops in the metropolitan New York area that represent a total membership of 50,000 member families. . Its merchandising division buyers fan out across the metropolitan area looking for good buys in groceries, meat, dairy products, produce and delicatessen items for its 11 supermarkets. It also operates seven pharmacies and five optical centers and does a total of $45 million a year in retail sales. Its computer division handles all its accounts and bookkeeping operations as well as those of the United Housing Foundation. The federation charges its member co- By I1PCKY SCHHOIJOKU Pol SHIf Writer GAI.NKSVULK The Hogtown (Iran, try. a nucleus of eight Gainesville residents that grew to a thriving cooperative with more than 800 memberships anil 16,000 members, is celebrating its second anniversary this week We've proven we can make it," s.tid tounder Jim Peoples "We're providing good, cheap food to our members and we re earning a reputable place in the business community " A direct purchase co-op, the Hogtown Granary does $5,500 in business a week, nearly $300,000 a year. Six Food There are 5,000 food cooperatives across (lit ( nited Sttites serving more than hall a million families. What are the benefits of cooperative hujiiig? This is the second of a series on consumer cooperatives. By SOI. STEM HP. R. Special to Tht Pml About 5,000 food cooperatives are scattered around the country whose combined membership of 660,000 families accounted for $587,000, 0(H) in annual sales Pood cooperatives have one common goal purchase of food of the best possi ble quality at the lowest possible prices They also have in common principles established by Knglish pioneers in cooperativism 132 years ago each member has one vole and earnings, il any are re bated to the members From there, however, food cooperatives Food cooperatives fall into two, broad organization types: the large, well established store-front operations and the small, newer cooperatives that shy away from bigness Big co-ops run what amounts to big, retail businesses The biggest is the Consumers Cooperative of Berkeley, Calif , whose 75,000 families patronize eight cooperatively run shopping centers. The Berkeley organization also operates liquor stores, hardware-variety stores, gas stations, auto repair shops, a pharmacy, a bookstore, a travel agency, a taxi service and a natural food store and offers its members insurance and a credit union. It accounts tor 2 '-b per cent of the total retail business in the San Francisco area The Greenbelt Consumers Services in Silver Springs, Md , operates 12 supermar

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