Originally Posted by rricci
I disapprove of posts like this one I'm about to post because it doesn't move the thread forward in any useful way for anyone except myself, perhaps, but I have a serious question for Summ or others who feel as she/he does. Summ notes that Dilworth Plaza will be 'amazing' when it is finished. I have looked at the renderings a dozen times and, frankly, I just don't get it. What we had was an interesting and diverse, multi-planed urban park that might have been grand with some plantings, fountains, and a good power wash. What we're getting is what appears to be a football field that is bound to get scrubby looking. I want to be excited about this. It's happening, and it's costing a boatload of money. Please help me understand your excitement so that I can join in the fun. Thanks.
I don't even know where to begin, without knowing if you actually liked the design of the old Dilworth Plaza, or if you are against the development due to cost (which many people are). If you feel the former, than you and I just see the world through different colored glasses.
The idea of a multi-level public plaza can actually work well, when the vistas and the grandeur of the sunken plaza serve to enhance the park. A great example of this is Trafalgar Square where the sunken plaza is so large that looking down onto it is incredible. Dilworth's sunken plaza is never used for anything, is awkwardly sized, generates no foot traffic b/c of its uselessness and serves only to sever the park in twain. Ever go to a Phillies rally there? it's so awkward b/c the sunken plaza eliminates any logical gathering point in the entire park. Worse yet, it's ugly and provides no dramatic vistas.
Who doesnt like the lawn? Anyone ever been to Bryant Park? http://www.bryantpark.org/
Really? This is the opportunity here, a large expanse of grass where public gatherings can be held comfortably, people can get sun, sit out on chairs and read, CCD sponsored summer movie night, there will be concerts, shows, events etc. in a logical set up in the most central of locations. They are incorporating a cafe in the layout, cross your fingers for allowing alcohol (imagine grabbing a beer during the summer months with city hall as your back drop) which will further encourage people to spend time here, rather than just pass through. I mean, really shouldn't this be the focal point, the central gathering hub of the city? As it stands now, it's a place to avoid--an epic failure on every level. The addition of the fountain/ice skating rink will provide activities year-round.
The presence of the varied levels of Dilworth serves to isolate and segregate the crowds...the new design imo will encourage interaction and congregation. I'd love to see them adopt more Bryant park features like ping pong, chess, petanque, but one step at a time.
Lastly, the best part is, due to the condition of the arrangement with the city, the CCD will be monitoring, patrolling, and upkeeping the grounds. This means it will be safe, relatively bum-free, clean, and manicured.
The reality is, many of these things could be done without a total overhaul, but i believe creating 1 plane for the entire public plaza is the real key to what is going to be a great public space.