cradle & arts center move
grady at ibiblio.org
Fri Feb 25 09:35:24 EST 2005
Hm, well, it would appear to me from skimming back through the thread
that the only people bitching about the thing are Richard Allen (lives
in NYC; projecting his youthful hatred of Suburban D.C. onto the
project), Tim Harper (mostly just concerned about where to park his
panel van, which should be easily handle-able; took a potshot at the
Main Street Elevation, which *does* look kind of polished & bland,
except for that interesting white building at the far right; however,
that elevation looks *so* generic that I suspect the reality would have
to be somewhat more variegated), and Dave Hollinghurst (apparently also
currently living in NYC, and in any case rendered permanently embittered
by those years spent in a van with Kenlan & Garrison so you gotta
discount half of what he says anyway).
Most of us who actually live here have by-and-large seemed pretty
optimistic in our posts.
I myself *would* like to get beyond the current namby-pamby
weak-postmodernism that southern commercial architecture seems to be
stuck in; it's neither vernacular enough to be useful in the South, nor
interesting enough to be, well, interesting. (I already mentioned that
white building at the western end of the project; I'd like to see more
details of that one)
I'd like to see structures that take advantage of the vast quantities of
solar energy available to us here, like the new Club Nova apartments
just a couple of miles further west do.
I'd like to see green roofs for stormwater control. I'd like to see
where the bus stop is, how sheltered it is, and whether it will be
possible for the bus to get completely out of the way of through traffic
on Main St to do all the loading & unloading of people that one hopes
would be required, considering we've got free busses in Chapel
Hill/Carrboro & thus residents of the project & surrounding areas would
have no real need to use their cars on a regular basis to get to/from it.
I'd like to see how the angled pedestrian plaza that aims at Weaver
Street is actually going to connect to Weaver Street right through the
middle of the most annoying (simultaneously pedestrian-, bike-, *and*
car-unfriendly) intersection in all of Carrboro.
By and large I *am* optimistic, but at this point my optimism is mostly
practical: I wholeheartedly support the idea of higher-density mixed-use
development in the middle of our existing communities, which is the best
place for it. Meadowmont and Southern Village are sorta nice ideas that
are executed in the wrong places; those people still have to get in
their cars to go to the drugstore, to the dry cleaners', to the library,
to a whole host of other places.
This development is a great idea that is being executed in exactly the
*right* place. I'm *not* convinced that the architecture is going to be
anything other than ho-hum, but I'm willing to put up with that. Maybe I
I think people are right to be wary of single-developer developments
that span whole city blocks and attempt to incorporate faux-public
spaces; certainly Southpoint of a good example of how evil such things
can be when done in a wholly cynical capitalist fashion.
But I spent several years living in Houston, where there is no zoning
whatsoever, and I can tell you right now that "the people", when left to
their own devices, rarely spontaneously generate genuine/authentic
"public" spaces, especially not in the middle of urban blocks,
regardless of whether there's a single developer or a dozen different
developers doing the design/construction.
I shouldn't have to remind y'all that the single most popular "public"
space in Carrboro is Weaver Street Market, which is "public" only in the
sense that the market is a co-op. There is nothing inherently bad about
a private developer setting aside "public" space. There *is* something
sad when fascist/pure-capitalist venues such as shopping malls become
the de facto public spaces of our communities, but I'm not sure that's
what's happening with this development; the "anchor stores" for this
particular mixed-use development are apparently the folks who're
currently there: the ArtsCenter, the Cradle, Performance (in a smaller
retail-only space, apparently), perhaps Vis-Art.
Will there at some point be a problem with free speech/association
issues on the pedestrian mall/outdoor amphitheater that will apparently
be on private property in the heart of this development? That is a
distinct possibility, and one we should be prepared to deal with, but
it's perhaps premature to get too worried about that just yet.
jenn.halter at gmail.com wrote:
>>Have you seen the property in question? If that's
>>small town character, give me Epcot Center.
> No kidding, there's not much character in that strip mall.
> I'm curious about everyone else's design ideas, I mean, if you don't
> agree with what they're going for aesthetically. More modern? More
> shire-like? Real brick instead of the "fakey fakey" mentioned? I think
> it might be impossible to have it *not* look new, because it will be,
> in fact, new.
> -- ch-scene: the list that mirrors alt.music.chapel-hill --
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