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UrbanGossip

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About UrbanGossip

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  1. The city has bought most of the properties on Cullman Ave and I think will continue to try and buy the rest. I believe that a park will ultimately be the use there.
  2. Hart Witzen itself has flooded before too. It's amazing how short our memories are when it comes to things like this. All of Cullman and most of Brevard on the West side of 36th has been entirely underwater in the last decade. That entire area would not be able to have permitted construction below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) + 24" (I think that's right - someone confirm?). BFE is 692 and topo is as low as 682. That would mean first habitable floor would have to be about 12 feet above existing grades. Even Hart Witzen is 6 feet below what would be permitted today (but it's grandfathered). I suggest that means that it's destined to stay as it is or become a park. I was on the Cullman Ave Park Committee for the neighborhood association years ago. Fell apart because of no funding and no interest in funding. I always thought it'd be a really great park including athletic fields. It'd be well used with it's location.
  3. Pretty sure they went under option at one point with a developer - maybe it was MPV? Can't remember. Rumor mill only, but I heard the site was a brownfield and badly contaminated. Cleanup costs killed it for now.
  4. Bugs and Beaver, together forever. Yeah, I had a little time to kill this morning.
  5. Meh. The development is great from a planning and urban design standpoint. Architecture, not so much.
  6. I agree on failures of Modern (capital M) and contemporary design in some cases. But it's a big stretch to say that across the board "modern architecture isn't designed for people". Notre Dame is in fact surrounded by buildings that are also old, you are correct. They are old and were designed within their time according to the aesthetic of their time. They together tell the tale of the growth of Paris. IF they were all designed in the Gothic style for the next 400 years rather than the subsequent Renaisance, Boroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, etc. then yes, I think it would be less special. To explain my thought, perhaps some peoples objection to the tower addition is because it is designed in a way to look like it was always there, when it was not. That is the concept that I referenced in the guidelines for historical properties. What is historical should be preserved, what is new should be distinguishable as new. If you subscribe to that concept (which I obviously do).
  7. An extreme example I realize, but to drive home my point is an example taught in every 1st year Architectural History class to architecture students. St. Patricks Cathedral in Manhattan . The question is asked, "would this building be as special and precious if it were surrounded by imitations built every few decades versus the buildings that do surround it; those that were designed within their zeitgeist and represent their time?"
  8. From the Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties... Item #10 on the list of 10, and in my opinion one of the most important : "Designs that were never executed historically will not be constructed." This concept is for the most minute detail all the way up to high rise additions. It is to try and combat false historicism and confusion of what is actually historical and what is not. It also seeks to increase the importance of actually historical buildings and details by encouraging contemporary design to complement the historical rather than imitate. Think costume jewelry versus actual gold and opals. One is a cheap imitation and the other is priceless. One is worn by an impostor and the other is worn by a queen. Not saying you have to agree with the concept, but I think that is where a lot of the objection is coming from.
  9. I don't know much about that site, but I don't believe it has any affordable housing using the LIHTC program or Historic Tax Credits. I think it's all market rate residential and commercial. Information on the program : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-Income_Housing_Tax_Credit
  10. I believe that these were done and to be done (Johnston) under the LIHTC program which is a state administered federal tax credit program for affordable housing. I'm sure there were some historic tax credits in there too. Both tax-credits rely heavily on commoditization of tax credits to create funds for the development itself. Corporations buy the tax credits to lessen their tax burden. It also relies heavily on the bond market. Things are a mess right now with the program for a variety of reasons, but it all started roughly November of '16 when corporations became hopeful for a big tax break. It made the tax credits less valuable because they might not be needed as badly. Less value = less $$ for development. If I had to venture a guess, that would be the reason for the standstill.
  11. The ROW doesn't have to be abandoned. Very often railways are reluctant to abandon the ROW even though the line isn't used because it's such a valuable thing (Monopoly understood that) to have this ROW slicing across everything in it's path. What is often done is called "railbanking" where the rail company allows use of the ROW for a trail but still owns the ROW itself for future use. I agree that would be prudent given it is such a short section of trail that would serve a limited group. It would allow future use of the ROW if the time came that it could serve a greater number of people through a mass transit line by leasing or selling it to CATS. That's likely the way it would have to be done.
  12. Glad this is moving forward. Will begin opening the path (pun intended) towards a Rail Trail for the old R.O.W. through the neighborhood.
  13. I little piece of me just died a inside but was revived when I threw up a bit.
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