Joseph Passonneau- Renowned Architect
Defended St Louis Arch;
helped design I-70 freeway through Glenwood Canyon, CO;
but later let Washington, D.C. down
Died August 22, 2011 in a Washington DC nursing home, diagnosed 7 years ago with dementia- symbolizing his later years apostasy regarding urban freeway planning.
Attended Harvard on a scholarship, graduated 1942, entered Naval intelligence in the South Pacific.
Received job as chief architect for the Tennessee Valley Authority, and then a position at St Louis Washington University to teach part time, before being made Dean of that university’s School of Architecture.
Promoted the idea of the St Louis Arch.
Left St. Louis in 1967 for Chicago and later by the 1990s Washington, D.C.
Was involved with freeway design.
Designed the acclaimed I-70S Glenwood Canyon Colorado segment of tunnels and cantilevered motorways through environmentally sensitive narrow canyon. (I would have like to see him take that design approach to a 2x2ing of Washington, D.C.’s Canal Road past Georgetown University!)
Also designed the un-built Chicago Crosstown Expressway.
http://books.google.com/books?id=PJ8OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA257&lpg=PA257&dq=joseph+passonneau+chicago+crosstown+expressway&source=bl&ots=z0Ui554IRP&sig=knZXNcsvbT2qGPpwzP7aoXii65U&hl=en&ei=DrBlTsOSI8bpgAe89biaCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=joseph%20passonneau%20chicago%20crosstown%20expressway&f=falseThe Chicago Crosstown was cancelled in 1979 as one of Mayor Jayne Byrne’s first acts, and more recently suggested to be revived in some form.
The highway was planned as a divided roadway, with northbound and southbound lanes separated by a strip ¼ to ½ mile in width. Generally, this highway would bracket a linear industrial belt. Continuous frontage roads would be located in the interior of this corridor so that the land between expressway halves would have much greater accessibility than land on the outside. In its clearest form, this could become an effective design, providing greater (and continuous) access to high intensity industrial uses within the corridor; and lower accessibility (and therefore protection from heavy traffic) for residential areas on each side.
Passoneau had hence been prominent in freeway design rural and urban. You might not have known that from listening to him in his later years- particularly since the late 1990s when he was listed as a member of the “Committee of 100 on the Federal City”, and gave a number of presentations at Washington, D.C.'s National Building Museum.
It was during his years in Washington, D.C. that he finally went apostate.
As a start, contrast the words of this one time Chicago Crosstown Expressway designer, with these given in 2004:
http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php/topic/2871-i-26-connector/page__st__25This was evident with Passonneau's August 2000 National Building Museum presentation as the man for presenting the future Undergrounded SE Freeway presented as a less expensive alternative to a future Underground SW-SE Freeway- never-mind the sheer implausibility of that as the two freeways currently connect in an elevated configuration (IOW- burying – lowering – covering the SE Freeway requires likewise for the connecting segment of the SW Freeway at least to 7th Street SW).
Next up was Passonneau, who introduced himself by noting that as a career transportation planner, he'd worked on most of the major highway projects in the country. Widely recognized as an expert in his field, Passonneau wrote an article about the history of the Washington, D.C., highway system that appeared in a recent issue of National Geographic magazine. Highway activists in the audience, on hand to support a six-lane I-240, seemed to greet Passonneau's appearance at the lectern with an admiration that bordered on awe. Knowing his time was limited, Passonneau said he wanted to add just two things to Moule's presentation. "Traffic always damages the corridor it goes through," he declared. "And if citizens aren't involved from beginning to the end, the project will not be successful."
Passoneau’s proposal was done without any apparent engineering considerations for the connections between this proposal for a SE Freeway Tunnel that somehow met the existing elevated grade of the SW Freeway.
West Portal of Joseph Passoneau’s SE Freeway Tunnel Proposal