The conversation this month ranged from the important symbolism of the big guy on Red Mountain, Vulcan, to the exciting momentum many feel behind recent initiatives such as Railroad Park. We sat down with Darlene Negrotto, CEO of Vulcan Park Foundation, and architect Richard Carnaggio, a principle with the city architecture firm, Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds.
Darlene Negrotto gets an up close and personal look at Vulcan everyday as CEO of Vulcan Park. From educational outreach to the sweep of city history to the magnificent views of the city from Red Mountain, Vulcan Park is an essential city site.
Negrotto is particularly struck by the importance of Vulcan when she is involved with the school groups that regularly visit the park as part of the foundation’s educational outreach program. “In so many way, Vulcan has always symbolized our potential and our children’s potential to be the future leaders of this community,” Negrotto says. “Vulcan is a vision for what this community can be, what we really stand for. The statue represents the city and the state, and it was built to inspire. It reflects what can be.”
Richard Carnaggio is used to that kind of reflection. As an architect, his stock in trade is creating first a vision and then a reality for a new building or a re-imagined space. He sees Vulcan, for example, as a wonderful symbol of artisanship and hard work
Vice president of the firm he manages alongside his wife, Tammy Cohen, Carnaggio and his team of architects and designers have been providing design and architecture services since 1996, working on a wide variety of projects from commercial buildings to healthcare to retail developments and custom homes.
“Some times we forget to stop and take a moment to appreciate what we have in Birmingham. How much there is going on here. There is a great deal of momentum and connectivity right now. From high technology to geology it is really magical. And some really great partnerships; these days more than ever you have to seek out others with similar missions,” Carnaggio says.