They would tower over the waterfront, up to 500 feet of titanium and steel. The new plan proposed for the waterfront’s Navy Pier involves a giant sculpture of sails or wings, a new multi-level parking structure, a park and an amphitheater. And as we’ve been learning, the plan is stirring up a hearty debate.

I sat down Thursday with plan architects Hal Sadler and Greg Mueller, and with real estate magnate and philanthropist Malin Burnham, to talk about the plan for this week’s Behind the Scene TV. We also visited the pier itself to hear from a critic of the plan, Diane Coombs, a leader of a group called the Navy Broadway Coalition.

Coombs objects to the plan, calling it “another brick in the wall on our waterfront.”

Sadler said the plan started more than 20 years ago when he heard the symphony was looking for a permanent place to house its summer concerts. Sadler talked to his longtime friend, Burnham.

“We both had felt and he had carried the dream that San Diego might have some kind of structure that they would remember and that would be an icon not unlike what we think of today for the Sydney Opera House,” Sadler said.

I’ll share some more notes from our conversation in an upcoming post. You can watch the clip below, and tune in today to KPBS’s Midday Roundtable at noon to hear me talk about what people were saying about the plan this week.

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I’m Kelly Bennett, the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach me directly at or 619.325.0531.

And follow Behind the Scene on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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