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Everything posted by hauntedheadnc

  1. That link has some very interesting views of the renderings and massing... I like the "fresh and hip and with-it and new and now" aspect of it, but I worry that it won't age well and I'm still tired of boxes. Greenville has gotten a couple of really good neo-traditional projects in with the federal courthouse and the Grand Bohemian and I'd really like it if architects would try harder and give us something whose visual interest goes beyond random balcony placement or rows of windows that don't exactly align. I mean, has a caryatid ever caused you actual, physical pain? Have you ever been offended by a cornice, or a building with "shoulders"?
  2. The architecture of downtown, and pretty much everywhere else in Greenville, is already consistent. The prevailing style here is boxy, modern, and dull, aka "Charlotte Boring." Charlotte Boring is pretty much all the rage everywhere now, though.
  3. Edit: NVM. I watched the little video and saw the renderings there.
  4. Downtown rents would be high, but chains with a nationwide presence backing them up can still pay even more. Even if, for example, Smoke on the Water is killing it, it still doesn't have a thousand Applebee's franchises buoying it up. And that is to say nothing of how a district with nothing but chains is still boring. Times Square, for instance, is easily the dullest place in Manhattan. It's a bunch of chain restaurants and billboards with a lot of fake buzz and pseudo-excitement. Greenville's got a better thing going with a large selection of local businesses that still, for now, outnumber the chains downtown.
  5. I can't agree with you there. Chain retail and chain restaurants are boring, and you can already get your fill of them on all of Greenville's myriad sprawlways. Once chains infiltrate they always just end up driving the rents up to the point that nobody but chains can afford it, and kill off the local businesses. I don't go downtown to go to a mall. If I wanted that, I'd just go to the Haywood Mall.
  6. So close, and yet so far... That moat of parking between the buildings and the road ruins any urban feel it might have otherwise had.
  7. I don't know that I necessarily dislike it, but I do think it's a cheap attempt to add some interest to what is otherwise just another box. And speaking of, as I have to drive by Ms. McLaren there at least a couple of times a month, I've given her a first name. I think of her as Big, Boxy Betty whenever I see her looming in the distance down Academy.
  8. Likewise your opinions are subjective -- opinions do have that quality about them. That being said, yes, Charlotte is doing something right... but so is Atlanta, another place Greenville says it does not want to be like, while doing everything in its power to be like, what with rapacious badly-planned growth. And there are some aspects of what I talked about that are objective. For instance, central Charlotte is not a shopping destination and its urban form at the street level is awful, however nice the skyline looks from afar. Greenville has better downtown shopping and better urban form, especially on Main Street. Also, Charlotte has objectively destroyed the vast majority of its historic stock, whereas Greenville has preserved a lot of its old mills, parts of old mills, and mill villages and has made unique assets out of them. My point here is that Greenville has enough clout, and thankfully has managed to avoid enough pitfalls that cities like Charlotte fell into, that it could exert some control over the design process if it wanted. It does not have to accept whatever developers give it, but it has, and most of what developers have given it all looks the same. New buildings in Greenville tend to be large, blocky, squat, and blandly modern, this in a city that already lacked a large stock of distinctive historic buildings downtown. But what saves Greenville is that even the buildings tend to be dull, the urban form is outstanding, which is half the reason downtown is so successful -- with the other half being the natural resources. Combine good urban form, and a waterfall and you have a city that could demand better when it comes to design. And regarding light rail... Yeah, wouldn't that be nice? It will never happen here, but wouldn't it be nice to have this entire sprawling region tied together?
  9. I happen to think Charlotte is aggressively bland, soulless, and easily the most mediocre major city in America, in large part because at least a good ninety percent of their historic architecture was destroyed in successive waves of urban renewal, and what replaced it is a forest of anonymous, interchangeable glass boxes. I'll grant you that uptown Charlotte looks nice from a distance, but the street presence is abysmal, consisting mostly of blank walls, bank lobbies, and bars. There is next to no retail, so Charlotte fails in form and function alike. That being said, what saves Greenville is that downtown is a shopping destination, and it has an unbeatable natural attraction right in the middle. Plus, the city has done everything in its power to play up the "city of water" theme with fountains everywhere and relevant art that is not of the pointless "Look, here's some art!" Charlotte corporate plaza variety. That being the case, Greenville has enough clout to demand better and more interesting work from developers. What it's getting is okay, but usually not all that interesting from a design perspective even if the form is great. I mean, really the only two new buildings downtown that aren't blandly modern are the federal courthouse and the Grand Bohemian.
  10. No. Look at Charlotte: Developers are happy to just upend the jug and pour out the mediocrity as long as a community is willing to let them.
  11. I think the sprawl-a-rama that makes up the vast majority of the metro area is proof enough that fast growth and buildings lots of things isn't a good thing unless you've got high standards for it to adhere to. I've yet to hear anyone wax rhapsodic about Woodruff Road. That being said I like Greenville as well, and I like the things going on here. However, I don't think Greenville has done, or is doing, itself any favors with the "any old box will do" mentality toward urban growth. I think Greenville has enough of a cachet about it to demand better and land projects that will actively increase its appeal, rather than the continual parade of projects drawn by its appeal but which don't contribute to it aesthetically. Greenville is in the position to demand really eye-catching projects. It is not a city that has to accept whatever developers -- who are generally a very lazy bunch when it comes to design -- want to give it. Note: When I talk about plain boxes, I'm mainly referring to the slew of apartment and condo buildings in and near downtown. Take a good look : They all pretty much look the same and none of them are particularly interesting.
  12. You have to admit that an 8-story highrise is indeed much better than the 3- or 4-story "highrises" that usually get NIMBYs into such a dither.
  13. Why complain? Bland modernism is the name of the game for about ninety percent of what's been built inside the city Greenville in the past twenty years. Just ask people who live near paper mills and sewage treatment plants, and they'll tell you -- You can get used to anything after a while. But I'm with you... I wish Greenville would either take a page from Spartanburg's book and raise some really high-quality neo-traditional architecture, or I wish it would attract some really daring modern architecture. The middle of the road is boring and architecture is not one of Greenville's strong points. (For what it's worth, overly twee, precious attempts at nostalgia are the name of the game for what's been built outside the teensy incorporated city of Greenville in the past twenty years.)
  14. It sure didn't take long for a Greenville Driver (tm) to take out one of those new street trees in front of the courthouse. I don't know that I've ever lived anywhere that the cars so yearn to be free of the constraints of the road.
  15. What are all those things that look like ready-made facade pieces? Those cut outs look like windows and doors, like the whole front of the building just needs to be raised up in one piece.
  16. A lavender dirty chai that I had there was the first coffee I'd had in Greenville that was as good as what I was used to back in Asheville, so they've got a place in my heart. I don't get to go there very often though. I'm much more apt to find myself either at Crave out in the burbs, or Coffee Underground.
  17. Hm... I hadn't been able to read the article about this place and see where it was before now. I hope it won't affect Crafty Cats to have another coffee shop so close. I love that place.
  18. Why? Growth for its own sake is just cancer. Greenville is desirable enough that it should be able to exercise some clout and get something of better quality than a bunch of ugly boxes. I mean, look at Charlotte, since we're trying so hard to look like them: Charlotte is far and away the most mediocre large city in America. It's a bunch of glass boxes and beige EIFS. Why should that be any model to follow?
  19. That really is quite meh... Architecture just really isn't Greenville's strong suit, which is a shame. Greenville can't outdo Asheville with the flashy, authentic historic architecture but there's no reason it couldn't either pursue really dazzling modern architecture, or take a page from Spartanburg's book and build a lot of high-quality neo-traditional architecture. Anything is better than this growing collection of "Charlotte Boring"-style beige boxes. What really sucks is that the quality of Greenville's public spaces is the best in the region by far, but it just won't take it over the top with high-quality architecture too.
  20. It's a nice day for a white rendering. It's a nice day to start again?
  21. Just weighing in here, as a person who moved from Asheville to Greenville. What this area needs is fast, reliable, regular transportation between the two airports, so everyone can go where they need the fastest, for the best price. Hell, it works for New York, with their three major airports, and it works for Chicago with O'Hare and Midway. It works for any region with more than one airport. Here it would work because Asheville and Greenville don't attract the same clientele to fly out and don't attract the same passengers flying in. People go to Asheville to play and retire -- that's why the airlines are obsessed with connecting Asheville to every commercial airport in Florida, so the developers can advertise to new saps. Meanwhile, people come to Greenville to work. In fact, as the TV stations were forever reminding us, this is a region: Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson (Poor Anderson, always so lonely there at the end...), and it would benefit a lot of us if it started to really function as a region where different parts of the region serve different purposes, but they all work together all the same. (And while I'm dreaming, while I dream of commuter rail and airports working together, I'd also like a pony.)
  22. The disdain comes from the fact that nothing is so toxic or has hurt more people than morbid religiosity, and because I have been on the receiving end of it more times than I care to count, as has my husband -- which is to say that Bobby has made it abundantly clear he wouldn't want my kind visiting anyway. And not only because I'm gay: I'm white and my husband is Black, so we've got a compound sin going on here as far as Mr. Jones is/was concerned. Tell me for instance, has a Southern Baptist minister ever interrupted your stepfather's funeral to point at you and tell you you're going to hell, in front of the entire church? That happened to me. That being said, I appreciate beauty, even when ugly institutions which cause pain and darkness in the world collect it. I intend to visit. And that is all we need to say about the matter. Consider the subject dropped.
  23. Interesting in the website for the new museum how it appears they're trying to give themselves a bit of distance from Bob Jones University and the Bob Jones name. I wonder what they'll name the museum when it's built... On the site they just refer to it as the M&G, which is pretty vague. Truth be told though, I hope they do distance themselves and I hope they give it a better new name. Anything attached to the Bob Jones name makes you think that if you try to visit, Sister Beulah Betterthanyou will be on door duty, appraise you, and refuse to let you in on the grounds you are a wicked sinner who will burn in the depths. Either that, or you'll be forced to handle a snake before you can get in or something. Either way it's offputting.
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