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Pier Park mastermind Rob Rogers to speak at Sunken Gardens Thursday

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

St. Pete residents will have a chance to get up close and personal with lead designers of Pier Park this Thursday evening.

Rogers Partners Architects and Urban Designers principal architect Rob Rogers will speak at Sunken Gardens 7-9 p.m. to showcase his broad portfolio of previous work and lay out how urban design can flourish in St. Pete’s downtown community.

“Rob creates institutional and cultural buildings that are civic works. Believing that even a single building is a piece of urban design and that every surface deserves intimate attention, his work assertively and elegantly combines urbanism and architecture,” an email blast describes Rogers.

Attendees can expect a wide array of visuals showing previous work and a talk from designers outlining the relationship between architecture and downtown growth.

While Pier Park will likely be a hot topic of conversation, the meet and greet with residents is intended to be more of a conversation about urban design, growing communities and a showcase of work.

There’s a $5 suggested donation for the event, but it’s not required if anyone is unable to pay. However, residents wishing to attend do need to pre-register online. They can do that here.

Rogers will be in St. Pete preparing for another presentation Friday. Five design teams, including Rogers Partners, are vying for another $20 million project that would revitalize the Pier uplands to create a seamless transition between Pier Park and Beach Drive.

The winner of that bid will be chosen Friday.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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