DES MOINES, IA—Saying that his designs felt oddly familiar as he was drafting them, urban planner William Reston confirmed Monday that while envisioning a revitalized downtown for Des Moines, IA, he had absentmindedly laid out the preexisting city of Philadelphia. “I was just thinking about putting the city’s main art museum and premier university on opposite banks of the river when all of a sudden it hit me: This is Philly!” Reston said after his project-stalling blunder, during which he gave Des Moines a sports complex with three major venues, 24 square blocks of colonial-era architecture, and a centrally located City Hall topped by a statue of a prominent regional historic figure. “Honestly, I really should have spotted it when I changed Western Gateway Park’s name to JFK Plaza and added Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, but for whatever reason it just made sense at the time.” Reston then made an effort to hide his error by mixing some obscure Seattle neighborhoods into his layout.

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