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  #61  
Old Posted Jun 7, 2007, 11:21 PM
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The City of Sacramento invites you to attend the City Council & community meeting for the Railyards, which proposes to transform 240 acres of undeveloped infill land near downtown Sacramento into a vibrant mixed-use community.

Share your ideas about the latest proposed Railyards plan and learn more about the project’s history and next steps in the process.

Community Meeting
When: Thursday June 7 2007
Where: Southern Pacific Depot, Model Room, 5th & I Streets
Time: 6-8 pm

To view the new plan, check out the City's new Railyard website: http://www.cityofsacramento.org/dsd/projects/railyards
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  #62  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:57 AM
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Did anyone go tonight?
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  #63  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 4:05 PM
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Yeah I went last night to the Railyards meeting. There wasn't anything really new. At this point it's pretty much the same people showing up and we are simply repeating ourselves.

The only thing new was that instead of an arena the space where the arena was/is supposed to go was something they called "Vista Park".

As for the whole depot thing. The city is planning on refurbishing the old depot where it is reguardless of whether or not they move it. I suppect that the study to determine the feasibility of moving the depot is really an "infeasiblilty study" to show why it can't be moved. I think the council has 'gone on record' as supporting the idea just to placate those vocal preservationists who are stubbornly unreceptive to any ideas except their own.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 4:11 PM
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re: moving the depot: you're probably right. I never thought of that angle before. I think I read somewhere it would be the largest building (or one of the largest) to be moved like that. To me, the entire concept is ridiculous. For 1/10th the cost, they could build a striking glass tube with a moving sidewalk inside that got people from the depot where it is to the re-aligned tracks. It might be a nice mix of old and new architechture. That being said, I also might be the only person who loves the new Soldier Field in Chicago...
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  #65  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 4:33 PM
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It was quite a park for an arena replacement, since all the streets have been straightened out and changed around slightly. But they did have a detail of the new Vista Park. It has a couple entry ways, some changes in elevation, an ampitheater, a "technology walk" with some sort of Sac tech history displays, and a whole lot of trees to block out the water treatment facility behind it. Looked nice actually - quite big, but it wasn't just a huge patch of lawn.

They did have some slick 3D conceptual renderings of all the blocks and the various building massing. It really gives an idea of how flipping huge this development is. There isn't a mixed-use block there with a building under 5 stories. The main neighorhood/retail mix was probably between 5-10 stories, with a few 20-25 dispersed throughout. For all the skyscraper fans, the waterfront/hotel district showed about 3 towers that i would guess all to be over 600' tall.

Their inspirational photos to accompany the slides of the new land use plan looked like they fell in love with Denver. I'm not too familiar with that city, but I'm pretty sure I saw a lot of it last night.

They've changed around the parking as well. Now parking will be concentrated to fewer areas, instead of the previous plan to include parking absolutely everywhere. I think that's a good idea, because parking is generally ugly, and it will also get people walking around a bit more.

The EIR is scheduled to be complete later this year, then there will be a little time for more public comment... Then it's a go...

for the next 15-20 years
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  #66  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:08 PM
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I went too, and yeah, it was basically the same stuff with a few new pictures and some shiny things like the big public park and the art school.

Assuming that the city decides moving the depot isn't feasible, then personally I'd agree that making the current depot the entrance to a larger depot that reaches from the current site to the tracks is a worthwhile idea. When I visited the Los Angeles union station this spring I'm sure that their walk to the tracks was at least as far as the planned stroll--by making use of the intervening space (Greyhound terminal, restaurants, etcetera) more goals might be met: continuing use of the existing depot structure, greatly expanded facility to facilitate intermodal use and future expansion, room for things like more boarding platforms and a parking structure, and you don't have to relocate the building.

I'm not sure why I keep getting placed on the opposite side of the discussion. For me, the highest priority is maintaining the use of the current depot, not necessarily rolling it. If the best way to do that is to build a big, big expansion on the back of the depot, then hey, I'm a happy guy.

And I think Soldier Field looks like an alien spacecraft buggering the Acropolis, but in many ways that's an acceptable irony in terms of the Columbian Exposition's effects on city planning over the past century.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowerDistrict View Post
Their inspirational photos to accompany the slides of the new land use plan looked like they fell in love with Denver.


Seriously though, if they're taking notes from the large infill projects going on here similar to the railyards (stapleton, lowry, metropolitan gardens, union station, central platte valley, etc) then the railyards are truely going to turn out spectacular. The amount and quality of infill going on right now in Denver sometimes boggles my mind.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:32 PM
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my favorite part of the meeting was seeing the "December 2006" railyards plan. I never saw this released on any websites, and with good reason it probably wasn't made too public. there were the most ridiculous cul-de-sacs placed at the end of each of the numbered streets. it must have been some sort of inside joke.

and there were quite a few details presented there, that are relatively new. just no bombshells like an arena or a walmart. this is the first time i''ve seen traffic directions, sidewalk details, bike lane plans, amongst others. I also caught an interesting bit about connecting Alkali Flats via 10th Street with a pedestrian bridge over the tracks.

i spoke to the city's urban design manager, Bill Crouch, about the concern of homogenous buildings, considering there is only going to be one developer working these 250 acres. i was also assured that there would be many different architects working on this project in various phases, so the possibility of everything looking the same would be reduced to current trends in architecture. Much the same as the way the city was originally built, i suppose.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:47 PM
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Connectivity over and under the tracks is key. A grid means lots of route choices for foot or vehicular traffic, and more small streets can carry the same traffic flow as a smaller number of big boulevards. I did notice that they named three streets after three of the Big Four but didn't name a street for Mark Hopkins.

I was also hoping to hear more about the Railroad Technology Museum: a lot of Museum staff were present, but weren't part of the presentation.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 5:56 PM
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Did they say anything about whether this plan would all be built by one
developer or would it be built by several? My fear from the start
has been that if one team doe's the whole rail yard, the whole neighborhood
will look very similar. It would be cool to see it broken up with a variety
of architecture and themes by several developers for the different districts.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 6:43 PM
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innov8... i remember to asked about that, as you've brought it up before. See my comment above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Connectivity over and under the tracks is key. A grid means lots of route choices for foot or vehicular traffic, and more small streets can carry the same traffic flow as a smaller number of big boulevards. I did notice that they named three streets after three of the Big Four but didn't name a street for Mark Hopkins.
yeah I noticed what i now presume to be your comment written on the board. "Change Camille to Hopkins…" cause he's burried here.

7th Street looks like it's going to be a big artery... was it one way traffic with four lanes? three for auto/bus and another for light rail. i can't remember now.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 6:52 PM
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Quote:
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innov8... i remember to asked about that, as you've brought it up before. See my comment above.
Ah... I guess I did not process what you said. Thanks TD
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  #73  
Old Posted Jun 8, 2007, 8:06 PM
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petescafe - wow, did those photos ever bring back memories for me. My great-grandfather and grandfather both worked for SP in the long-gone South City (SSF) yards many years ago. While a different location, your photos definitely capture some of the same feel that those yards had: the cavernous industrial buildings; the engines and other locomotive parts laying around like children's toys; the overall massive scale of everything. My grandfather used to bring us to the yards quite often and it was always an adventure. You can imagine the viewpoint of a kid who loved trains experiencing the thrill of "driving" engines (I was at the controls anyway), riding on the turntable, and exploring a fully-functioning, extremely busy rail yard. It almost seems like a fantasy now.

Anyway, thanks for sharing those photos. The railroads in general, and SP in particular, had a huge influence on the development of California. That, and my childhood experiences with SP, always gave the company a special place in my heart. I rarely have a sentimental reaction to the end of a brand name after corporate mergers, but I really hated to see the end of SP. Corny as it sounds, it felt like a part of my family history ended that day.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2007, 3:05 AM
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I'd like to see the Towe Museum and the Pacific Bus Museum merged into a transportation museum, and located somewhere in the downtown, oldtown or railyards area.

http://www.pacbus.org/

http://www.toweautomuseum.org/
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  #75  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2007, 4:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon12 View Post
...I also might be the only person who loves the new Soldier Field in Chicago...
I drove by it last month and it looked like a giant UFO landed right on top of the old Soldier Field!

Definitely unique...and that's not a bad thing.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2007, 8:06 PM
travis bickle travis bickle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innov8 View Post
Did they say anything about whether this plan would all be built by one
developer or would it be built by several? My fear from the start
has been that if one team doe's the whole rail yard, the whole neighborhood
will look very similar. It would be cool to see it broken up with a variety
of architecture and themes by several developers for the different districts.
I read Towerdistrict's response and that does surprise me. With a project this complex and expensive - and so much of that expense up-front - I expected Thomas to sell off some to other developers and act as a master developer to both generate cash-flow and to create more architecturally diverse neighborhoods. But, if they're aware of the issue and are convinced they can deal with it appropriately, this is a team that has, so far, earned the benefit of the doubt.

Also, re. moving the station: using the existing station as a front with long tubes to connect with the platforms or something along those lines could work very well: think of the neon tubes in the Untied terminal at O'Hare. It's spectacular and I'm sure is a shorter longer distance than what we'd need at the Intermodal station.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2007, 8:16 PM
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According to Richard Rich, there will be at least a dozen architects working on the various Railyards neighborhoods. The tour and presentation were pretty swell--I'll post some photos tomorrow.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 2:32 AM
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Richy Rich is in charge.....goody gumdrops
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  #79  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 6:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimnebulin View Post
I drove by it last month and it looked like a giant UFO landed right on top of the old Soldier Field! Definitely unique...and that's not a bad thing.

That's what they call it too; the 'UFO"..

But I actually like it and the effect the architectural influence of the Columbian Exposition and the Field Museum.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 9:12 PM
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Originally Posted by urban_encounter View Post
That's what they call it too; the 'UFO"..

But I actually like it and the effect the architectural influence of the Columbian Exposition and the Field Museum.
I really like architecture that makes you think, and that it does.

OT: Ended up going to the Bulls/Pistons game , the Cubs game and then 7 bars in Wrigleyville and Southport with a local friend of mine after the game. Also hit-up Buddy Love's (great blues) and Giordano's with a guy who grew up in Chicago and he liked it better than his old time favorite, the original Uno's. Thanks for all the tips!
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