While I was thrilled to have my work featured in your most recent issue, “The Shipping News” simply did not accurately tell the story of how the Box Office came to be (May/June). Not only did the article contain a number of factual inaccuracies—starting in the first sentence where the dimensions of the boxes are quoted incorrectly—but the idea to build a building out of shipping containers on this site was not mine. That idea, without question, belonged to developer Peter Gill Case ’83. Peter had the vision to use shipping containers on that site long before my firm’s involvement with the Box Office, something that I communicated clearly during the interviews for this article.
Both Peter and I have always been adamant in sharing the credit for this project, as we were both critical to its creation (as was architect Joe Haskett). However, Peter was not interviewed for the article, whereas I was interviewed twice in person and a third time on the phone.
As a result of this imbalance of sources, much of what I described “us” as having done was ultimately attributed to “Brandt” when the article went to press. I fear that what should have been a story about cross-generational alumni collaboration turned into an article that marginalized a person who deserves the majority of the credit.
Joshua Brandt ’04
I was increasingly disheartened as I read the article about my husband’s building, the Box Office. It was my husband’s vision of a sustainable office building that brought him to a New Jersey shipyard to walk among the shipping containers and select some to be trucked up I-95 to Providence. It was Peter who brought together fellow architect Joe Haskett and builder Josh Brandt to help him execute his idea.
Peter is a first-class collaborator, and he takes great pleasure and pride in sharing credit for the Box Office with his fine team. However, there’s a limit, and the BAM sailed right past it. The almost exclusive focus on Josh Brandt in Maggie Lange’s article and the portrayal of him as the man behind the Box Office does an enormous and baffling disservice to Peter’s achievement.
Peter ’83 and Josh ’04, enjoyed a great cross-generational Brunonian working relationship. But it was Peter leading the way, and the building is a testament to his vision, tenacity, commitment, and—of course—excellent collaborative skills. This is Peter’s life’s work.
Lucia Gill Case ’85
Editor Norman Boucher replies: Lucia Gill Case and Joshua Brandt are correct: somehow we missed the real story behind the Box Office. By focusing almost exclusively on Brandt, the writer missed the collaboration between architect and engineer that was necessary both to imagine and to build such an innovative structure. We did not mean to slight the seminal role Peter Gill Case ’83 played in the project, and we apologize for the impression the article may have given readers that the project was almost entirely Brandt’s doing.