December 12, 2006
Designing the Transit Mall, Twenty Feet at a Time
A little whilte ago, the Daily Journal of Commerce ran a "conversation" with Tad Savinar, who is working on the streetscape design for the Transit Mall. The core of the conversation is the idea of looking at the Transit Mall in micro-increments, a single block face, or even a single store front.
Savinar was kind enough to sit down with me and go through his design notebook, which also exists in PowerPoint form. Here are a few of the sketches and ideas from the notebook.
If every transportation project in the City had this level of thought going into the placemaking aspects of the project, I'm sure we'd have an even more vibrant City.
Keep up the good work, Tad.
December 12, 2006 9:14 AM
Chris Smith Says:
I'll also point out that the DJC article talked about Savinar "pushing out" big firms like ZGF and Shiels Obletz to get this assignment.
In fact, Tad tells me this is not the case, and he's actually a subcontractor to ZGF.
December 12, 2006 9:29 AM
Bob R. Says:
A couple of points -
The restroom entrances at Pioneer Courthouse won't be "replaced" so much as "renovated" - the idea is to preserve a bit of history.
And on the topic of preserving history: Most of the original iconic transit shelters on the mall are going away as part of this project. I'm not a big fan of the new shelters, but I can say that there was an intense public process and the new shelter designs were significantly adapted to respond to public input. (I just think the old ones do a better job overall, but I understand the trade-offs involved.)
If you are a fan of the old shelters, the only way any are going to remain on the mall is through adaptive use, such as becoming vendor kiosks (newspaper stands, coffee shops, flower stands, etc.), so if you have an opportunity to send in comments about the mall project, please be sure to mention that you support retaining multiple existing shelters for alternate uses.
- Bob R.
December 15, 2006 11:06 AM
cheesed on the mall Says:
People who can't abide the current shelters and trees are the same crew who couldn't abide Artquake or the idea of Pioneer Courthouse Square. They have no sense, either intellectual or intuitive, of what a real, vibrant, thriving city is. They will keep trying to kill off everything that isn't suburban-mall-like until they succeed in sterilizing downtown and eliminating every use that doesn't directly involve spending in their stores.
The only question is whether the Council will ever smell the coffee and remember that it's their job to stand for the long term interest, which in this case is preserving the trees and shelters, and otherwise making our downtown a real city.
The powers of darkness have only bought Savinar as the little bit of sugar that makes the medicine go down here. Those of us who want streets as good as Edinburgh and trees as good as Paris need to put up more of a fight here.
BTW, Artquake would today rival the Edinburgh festivals as an international tourist mecca if the short-sighted downtown retail morons hadn't been allowed to kill it off just as it was starting to get a national following.