Well, I did get an answer and here it is:
Thank you for your email regarding the Denver Justice Center. I am encouraged that you are skeptical of what some of the Denver newspapers have written about the issue. I assure you that I had invested all that was in me as an architect to try to make this important public building a reality. The director of the project under the Mayor effectively rejected our design. In fact, he says that in a sentence in one of the recent newspaper articles. Here is the problem focused. How can a city which invested so much effort in selecting an architect put the decision for the architectural design in the hands of those who were not partial to the ideas of the selection committee and not sympathetic to an intense work of public architecture?Thank you, Mr. Holl.
For all the bad press concerning budget, I assure you we could have built our design on budget. Having just completed two public works on budget in September, the School of Art & Art History at the University of Iowa and the Swiss Ambassador’s Residence in Washington, D.C., the first (School of Art and Art History building) was built for just over $200 per square foot. We were counting on making the Denver Courthouse for $300 per square foot; however, we needed to use our materials palette and not the materials listed by the Project Director. One material price will show you the great difference: the Project Director specified terrazzo floors and these would be $20 per square foot. At the University of Iowa we used a terrazzo grinder on concrete floors which had a limestone mix in the aggregate. These are beautiful floors and everyone in Iowa, including the President of the University, praised them, and they cost $4 per square foot. In this $16 per square foot difference you see how we could have made a budget work.
Architecture is a very fragile art; it is like a flame one holds up to a group. Project Directors sometimes try to blow or stamp it out, so you must have a sheltering hand to protect it through the delicate process of realization.