State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam criticized both the design and “extraordinary cost” of a $75 million renovation of the Florida Capitol complex in Tallahassee. Putnam, widely seen as a top Republican candidate for governor in 2018, also criticized the design of the project proposed by the state Department of Management Services (DMS): “The concepts and images manage to diminish an already unattractive Capitol design.” Putnam learned the work was underway from a newspaper article, not directly from DMS, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Built almost 40 years ago, the 22-story Capitol has a vaguely phallic design that has inspired snickers for decades. But the Capitol complex will remain largely unchanged as construction crews repair water damage to underground parking garages beneath the House and Senate chambers at an estimated cost of $50 million, and reconfigure the Waller Park entrance to make it accessible to handicapped visitors, estimated to cost an additional $25 million. Extensive landscaping is part of the plan, including the removal of approximately 154 trees from the Capitol complex in Tallahassee because root growth has damaged the underground parking garages. [Palm Beach Post] – Mike Seemuth