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Best Chance to Screw Up SoBro 

Music City Center

"Convention centers are supposed to revive cities by bringing in revenue from out-of-town visitors and creating local jobs. But the more gargantuan they become, the less happily they fit into the places they're intended to benefit," writes New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger. Music City Center would deliver a 15-acre, special-event megabox to SoBro, already dominated by big boxes. When conventioneers depart, the center becomes a dead hole in city life. Budget slimming already in the works could cut features designed to give the behemoth what redeeming social values it has: quality cladding, a green roof and art program. "Putting one of these megaliths into the heart of the city is like trying to dock the Queen Mary in the local marina," Goldberger says. Still-to-be-determined: whether Mayor Dean is more Admiral Nelson than Captain Ahab chasing the great white whale. CHRISTINE KREYLING

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