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Once again, we're running into very different definitions of "Orlando." OrlandoUprise has previously mentioned that he doesn't much like the idea of identifying ourselves as "Central Florida," but it is the definition of who we are and always have been. Downtown Orlando never has been the overwhelming hub of the region for a lot of reasons. I suspect it never will be even as "Central Florida" appears destined to be a top 10 MSA by 2050 if things proceed apace (of course, by then that designation may not mean much, either, as it's been suggested that we'll likely be part of a continuous megalopolis from the Atlantic to the Gulf known as "Orlampa.")

I have spent more of my life in Downtown Orlando than anywhere else and would have no desire to be elsewhere. Not that there aren't other great places to be but because more of the priorities important in my life exist here than elsewhere. I know because when I was younger, I went looking. I also have to admit that I don't understand why those who don't "get" our decentralized nature would live here. I love visiting NYC and Miami, for example, but would never want to live either place. If I ever found myself living in either place, I'd be doing my best to leave. I recognize there are lots of people who disagree, however, and are blissfully happy in both cities. I'd never suggest they need to change everything to be more like Orlando just to make me happy.

I was taught as an Urban Econ major that successful places come to be when they recognize the strengths of the local geography and grow accordingly.

For the most part, that's what we've done. Because there was never one central city in the region (if there had been, General Sanford made the case pretty well it should have been his namesake town and, were it not for Jacob Summerlin, he probably would have been right.)

But, sticking to parks for the moment. Central Florida is blessed with thousands of lakes. As a result, rather than one overarching park covering thousands of acres, we have recreational parks along lots of lakefronts.

As a result, just about every town has pleasant spaces, whether it be Newton Park in Winter Garden along Lake Apopka, Lake Toho in Kissimmee (and the Monument of States!), East Lake Toho in St. Cloud or the Chain of Lakes for boating in Winter Park and Windermere. I could go on but you get the idea.

Because of that, yes, Eola Park is pretty small, but just in the last 20 or so years there have been two  significant expansions. I have also noted in these pages that I believe we should keep going and have continuous park space from Summerlin to Rosalind. That would make sense given that today's downtown population is greater than ever before and is likely to keep growing.

But, compared to Atlanta's Piedmont Park, we have nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, Piedmont Park is larger, but it's mostly a big empty lot. It's famous in particular for pops concerts by the Atlanta Symphony (the Orlando Phil does the same thing in WP's Central Park, WG's park on Lake Apopka and The Springs in Seminole County.) In the summer, since there's no water and precious few trees, it's often too hot.

Eola Park, by contrast, recognizes this is the South and has a lot more trees and breezes off the lake, helped along by the fountain. I also prefer Eola because it's much more pleasant to walk to than Piedmont Park (I used to live in Midtown). We should also note that Eola IS truly downtown, while Piedmont is in midtown, so in a real sense it's comparing apples to oranges.

If we're going to compare parks just outside downtown, we should also add Orlando's Gaston Foster Park, which welcomes boating and jet skiing (something you can't do close to downtown Atlanta) as well as our very unique Dickson Azalea Park and Mayor Carl Langford Park in walking distance from Eola, which is the sort of "stroll along" park Olmsted would have liked. There's also Lorna Doone Park by the Citrus Bowl, which is about to be refurbished.

All in all, there are plenty of parks that just about everyone in the region is close to. As you may be able to tell, I love parks and look forward to even more (also note I haven't mentioned great OC facilities like Kelly Park or state parks like Wekiva Springs, most of which these days are in urban service areas.)

One final note: for people who came along during the age of the automobile and particularly since expressways came into being, we should note Central Florida's overwhelmingly most important "parks": our awesome beaches. As soon as locals have a driver's license, the first outing is usually a beach run (even before if you can snag a ride with an older sibling.) Most folks hereabouts can be on a beach within 45 minutes. Trust me, the folks in Atlanta (and Little Rock!)would gladly trade their parks for that kind of beach access.

I haven't talked about active parks with baseball and soccer fields and gyms for midnight basketball, but we have those too. There's always room for improvement but we're doing a credible job even now.

 

Edited by spenser1058
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Again, I'm not opposed to more park space I just thought you were advocating for a larger park in the downtown area. Now that I look at your list I see it includes many parks that are 30 minutes or more from their respective downtown areas.

I've seen a few comments on here that mention enlarging Lake Eola Park and that is the sort of thing I'd be opposed to. Not because I oppose downtown parks, but because I do not think it is the best use of our urban core.  Within 10 minutes of downtown we have a couple of larger parks such as Cypress Grove Park and Leu Gardens.  I'm not sure what is being incorporated into the packing District, but I think it is supposed to have a large chunk of parkland. And, as I've mentioned before, the Lake Lorna Doone area if expanded all the way to 441 could be make into a sizable park like Forsythe Park in Savannah. If you want to stretch the scope to 30 minutes out- like some of those on the comparison list- then we have places like Wekiva Springs.

 

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Oops- should have read Spenser's post before I chimed in... he always says it better (though I still don't agree with enlarging Eola Park).

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It's pretty short-sighted to complain about not having enough parks when we have so many already, then point at other cities and denigrate ours, while assuming that just because these cities have large parks in or near their city centers that Orlando should or even could do the same.

Most of Central Orlando is developed. It would require purchasing a lot of already very expensive, tax revenue generating real estate at an even further inflated price because the seller would demand it, then demolishing a lot of existing structures before work on the actual park(s) even began. 

So, aside from all the enormous initial expense, the tax base would shrink and for what? To provide yet another spot for hipsters to play Frisbee and yuppies to walk their dogs? And that's assuming they would even get used enough to justify the effort and expense.

Besides, we're about to get another pretty impressive urban park as part of the Packing District development anyway. 

Much ado about nothing, I think.

5 minutes ago, AmIReal said:

Oops- should have read Spenser's post before I chimed in... he always says it better (though I still don't agree with enlarging Eola Park).

Me neither. It's a very extreme and ungodly expensive idea that would detract from the urban feel of downtown.

I think the chances of it ever happening are close to slim and none anyway.

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I've heard a lot before.  But I've never heard anyone being called short-sighted for wanting more parkland.

In my opinion, leaving money on the table from 80 million tourists is short-sighted.  Think how much money those tourists would spend if they had a real reason to visit downtown.

My opinion on Lake Eola is NO different than what 3-4 other people said about it just last week (including Hank).  I think Hank said something like tourists have no reason to come downtown for a small lake with a fountain in it.  I think he is absolutely right.

But since I am saying it...everyone has to disagree.  Very odd...

I will also say that EVERY other city city has many smaller parks as well (other than their largest, best-known park). Orlando is not unique in that sense.  

As for cost, EVERY city (large or small) has parks. It's not a new or particularly innovative idea.  Orlando should have planned better.  Politicians can't whine about cost if THEY failed to plan adequately.  

Also, I lived in Atlanta as well.  Piedmont Park is a treasure.  

And almost all noteworthy urban parks are built around a lake, river or coastline. Nothing unique there.

I like Lake Eola, but it could be so much more than it is.  I really want people to have a reason to go downtown and spend money. 

Edited by I am Reality

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How large would Lake Eola Park need to be to satisfy your objectives and which direction do you propose it expand to meet that size. If not that specific park, then where in the urban core- which I think is what you've proposed- should we carve out significant acreage to build said park. 

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1 hour ago, AmIReal said:

How large would Lake Eola Park need to be to satisfy your objectives and which direction do you propose it expand to meet that size. If not that specific park, then where in the urban core- which I think is what you've proposed- should we carve out significant acreage to build said park. 

There are actually a lot of options.  It would take an investment of money.  But the idea is to bring tourists to spend money downtown. 

First, I would close Robinson, Rosalind, and Eola Drive to traffic.  Rip up Rosalind and Robinson for more green space.  To be honest, Robinson should have been closed to traffic 30 years ago.  Someone else said that Eola Drive is fine the way it is.  I agree.   It's the most charming part of the park.  Just close it to traffic. S

Someone also suggested a connector park on the current Cambria land.  I like that idea.  (It's obviously too late now).  But I would have bought that whole block bounded by Washington/Magnolia/Wall/Rosalind.   Demolish the existing buildings.  The new parcel would extend Lake Eola Park to the Orange Co. Regional History Center and the adjoining park.   It would be one big park, with the History Center and the Library located INSIDE it.  

I would buy the block across Robinson from the northeastern corner (across from the old Panera).  That block is bounded by Ridgewood/Cathcart/Robinson/Summerlin.  

Purchase the athletic field.  

Purchase the apartment building directly across Eola Drive. 

Purchase the old Helmsley Place (whatever it is called now).  It's a tired property.  Put it out of its misery. 

Build a community center, with a basketball gym, squash courts, classrooms, and locker rooms.  Offer free, daily classes for anyone (including yoga, tai chi, etc).  Offer bike, paddleboard, scooter, Segway, and in-line skates rentals. 

Build the new art museum in the park. 

Build a digital arts museum in the park (in collaboration with the UCF Downtown campus).  There is only 1 digital arts museum in the entire world (and it just opened 2 weeks ago in Tokyo). 

Allow more cafes/coffee bars/snack bars

Add water features.  I like the idea of 1-2 streams branching off Lake Eola (to create more water frontage).  Build stone bridges over the steams  and landscape the banks (Azalea Park is the PERFECT example).  

Build an indoor ice skating rink.  This would be a HUGE draw downtown, especially in the summertime.

Add a carousel (and maybe some smaller carnival-type rides)

Add a children's petting zoo. 

Add a live-animal pavilion. 

Add carriage rides.

Consider moving the Orange Co. Regional History Museum.   The museum has limited appeal to those who are not locals.   Use the prime location for something else.  

These ideas are just that . . . ideas.  They are not perfect.  Obviously, the list is long and overly optimistic.  Everything on this list cannot be done (nor even a percentage of things on the list).  But I think the ideas would work nicely.  The idea is to give tourists something to do on off-days from the theme parks.  I am sure that any investment would be paid off in multiples.   

 

 

Edited by I am Reality

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Sorry, but I just don't buy the notion that a huge or enlarged park in downtown Orlando would attract large numbers of tourists. When people visit urban centers, certainly they enjoy visiting parks, but that's not what draws them initially. They come to experience the entire package. Big, modern buildings, unique architecture, vibrant street scenes, good shopping, cultural attractions, exciting nightlife, etc. Parks are mostly just a side trip. A place to go relax in peace and quiet while taking a break from the hectic streets. 

What Orlando lacks is all the other stuff I mentioned. An enlarged park might be a nice little plus, but nowhere near the determining factor in drawing more tourists. We used to get busloads of tourists downtown in the 90's until Disney and Universal got wise and figured out how to keep them on their own property. And Lake Eola was the same size.

As for the large parks in other cities, they were ALL established several decades ago, most of them over a century ago in the 1800's, when plenty of undeveloped wilderness land was still available. Often times, the land was purchased by wealthy, private benefactors who then donated it to the cities. In some cases, the land was former WWI era military training camps that were either donated to cities the by said benefactors or purchased on the cheap by the cities from the Federal govt. But in none of the cases, was already developed commercial or residential land involved nor was there any major demolition required. I think Golden Gate Park was populated by rickety old wooden shanties that required very little demolition.

And finally, as far as any responsibility or blame supposedly lying with our current political leaders who "whine" about land costs, it's pretty hard to blame mid - late 20th century and current 21st century local leaders for any percieved lack of planning by those in charge back in the 1800's. Nobody back then could have ever envisioned Disney World coming here and causing little old Orlando to become a major metropolitan area that would benefit from a large downtown park.

Here is the list of city parks Lake Eola Park has been compared to, along with the dates established and prior land status. I think it's pretty obvious that there really is no comparison between the conditions in existence at the time these parks were created and the condition that exists in Orlando today, vis-a-vis obtaining new park land.

Fairmount Park (Philadelphia):  9,200 acres - est. 1812 - previously undeveloped

Forest/MacLeay Park (Portland):  5,100 acres - est. 1897 - previously undeveloped

Mission Bay Park (San Diego):  4,235 acres - est. 1940's - previously undeveloped

Burns Park (Little Rock):  1,700 acres - est. 1900 - former military training camp

Memorial Park (Houston):  1,400 acres - est. 1924 - former military training camp

City Park (New Orleans):  1,300 acres - est. 1854 - previously undeveloped

Emma Long Metro Park (Austin):  1,142 acres - est. 1939 - previously undeveloped

Golden Gate Park (SF):  1,017 acres - est. 1882 - formerly a shanty town

Central Park (NYC):  840 acres - est. 1880 - previously undeveloped

Discovery Park (Seattle):  534 acres - est. early 1970's - surplus military land donated by govt.

Franklin Park (Boston):  527 acres - est. 1885 - previously undeveloped

W. Potomac Park (not incl. National Mall or E. Potomac Park)(D.C.):  395 acres -  est.1897 - reclaimed flood land

City Park (Denver):  330 acres - est. 1886 - previously undeveloped

Grant Park (Chicago):  319 acres - est. 1884 - previously undeveloped

Lake Eola (Orlando):  43 acres - 1888 - previously undeveloped.

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I'm sort of fascinated by this fascination with bringing tourists downtown. Whenever DPAC is having an event, along with the Am and OCSC (or heaven help us all three at the same time), it's already cheek by jowl with folks. The city now has to regularly post traffic alerts for heavy event days.

Thornton Park often has events a couple of times a week and the days when jogging around Eola Park and easily avoiding the walkers is long gone. Publix at the Paramount is busy most of the time now.

The Orange Avenue bars are as busy as ever and the Plaza Cinema Cafe is one of the more successful downtown multiplexes (its oddball parking garage notwithstanding.)

We worked for a 24/7 downtown and are darn close to getting one. Sure, I'd like more retail but even that's improving.

Edited by spenser1058

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11 hours ago, I am Reality said:

There are actually a lot of options.  It would take an investment of money.  But the idea is to bring tourists to spend money downtown. 

First, I would close Robinson, Rosalind, and Eola Drive to traffic.  Rip up Rosalind and Robinson for more green space.  To be honest, Robinson should have been closed to traffic 30 years ago.  Someone else said that Eola Drive is fine the way it is.  I agree.   It's the most charming part of the park.  Just close it to traffic. S

Someone also suggested a connector park on the current Cambria land.  I like that idea.  (It's obviously too late now).  But I would have bought that whole block bounded by Washington/Magnolia/Wall/Rosalind.   Demolish the existing buildings.  The new parcel would extend Lake Eola Park to the Orange Co. Regional History Center and the adjoining park.   It would be one big park, with the History Center and the Library located INSIDE it.  

I would buy the block across Robinson from the northeastern corner (across from the old Panera).  That block is bounded by Ridgewood/Cathcart/Robinson/Summerlin.  

Purchase the athletic field.  

Purchase the apartment building directly across Eola Drive. 

Purchase the old Helmsley Place (whatever it is called now).  It's a tired property.  Put it out of its misery. 

Build a community center, with a basketball gym, squash courts, classrooms, and locker rooms.  Offer free, daily classes for anyone (including yoga, tai chi, etc).  Offer bike, paddleboard, scooter, Segway, and in-line skates rentals. 

Build the new art museum in the park. 

Build a digital arts museum in the park (in collaboration with the UCF Downtown campus).  There is only 1 digital arts museum in the entire world (and it just opened 2 weeks ago in Tokyo). 

Allow more cafes/coffee bars/snack bars

Add water features.  I like the idea of 1-2 streams branching off Lake Eola (to create more water frontage).  Build stone bridges over the steams  and landscape the banks (Azalea Park is the PERFECT example).  

Build an indoor ice skating rink.  This would be a HUGE draw downtown, especially in the summertime.

Add a carousel (and maybe some smaller carnival-type rides)

Add a children's petting zoo. 

Add a live-animal pavilion. 

Add carriage rides.

Consider moving the Orange Co. Regional History Museum.   The museum has limited appeal to those who are not locals.   Use the prime location for something else.  

These ideas are just that . . . ideas.  They are not perfect.  Obviously, the list is long and overly optimistic.  Everything on this list cannot be done (nor even a percentage of things on the list).  But I think the ideas would work nicely.  The idea is to give tourists something to do on off-days from the theme parks.  I am sure that any investment would be paid off in multiples.   

 

 

I love this! ambitious but why not.

 I personally am dying for the city make a ice skating rink, even if only in the winter time, a la Bryant Park, in front of the DPAC on the Seneff Plaza lawn area but I like the idea of a permanent rink , carousel, etc near the History Center in an expanded park.

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On 7/2/2018 at 12:13 AM, JFW657 said:

Sorry, but I just don't buy the notion that a huge or enlarged park in downtown Orlando would attract large numbers of tourists. When people visit urban centers, certainly they enjoy visiting parks, but that's not what draws them initially. They come to experience the entire package. Big, modern buildings, unique architecture, vibrant street scenes, good shopping, cultural attractions, exciting nightlife, etc. Parks are mostly just a side trip. A place to go relax in peace and quiet while taking a break from the hectic streets. 

What Orlando lacks is all the other stuff I mentioned. An enlarged park might be a nice little plus, but nowhere near the determining factor in drawing more tourists. We used to get busloads of tourists downtown in the 90's until Disney and Universal got wise and figured out how to keep them on their own property. And Lake Eola was the same size.

As for the large parks in other cities, they were ALL established several decades ago, most of them over a century ago in the 1800's, when plenty of undeveloped wilderness land was still available. Often times, the land was purchased by wealthy, private benefactors who then donated it to the cities. In some cases, the land was former WWI era military training camps that were either donated to cities the by said benefactors or purchased on the cheap by the cities from the Federal govt. But in none of the cases, was already developed commercial or residential land involved nor was there any major demolition required. I think Golden Gate Park was populated by rickety old wooden shanties that required very little demolition.

And finally, as far as any responsibility or blame supposedly lying with our current political leaders who "whine" about land costs, it's pretty hard to blame mid - late 20th century and current 21st century local leaders for any percieved lack of planning by those in charge back in the 1800's. Nobody back then could have ever envisioned Disney World coming here and causing little old Orlando to become a major metropolitan area that would benefit from a large downtown park.

Here is the list of city parks Lake Eola Park has been compared to, along with the dates established and prior land status. I think it's pretty obvious that there really is no comparison between the conditions in existence at the time these parks were created and the condition that exists in Orlando today, vis-a-vis obtaining new park land.

Fairmount Park (Philadelphia):  9,200 acres - est. 1812 - previously undeveloped

Forest/MacLeay Park (Portland):  5,100 acres - est. 1897 - previously undeveloped

Mission Bay Park (San Diego):  4,235 acres - est. 1940's - previously undeveloped

Burns Park (Little Rock):  1,700 acres - est. 1900 - former military training camp

Memorial Park (Houston):  1,400 acres - est. 1924 - former military training camp

City Park (New Orleans):  1,300 acres - est. 1854 - previously undeveloped

Emma Long Metro Park (Austin):  1,142 acres - est. 1939 - previously undeveloped

Golden Gate Park (SF):  1,017 acres - est. 1882 - formerly a shanty town

Central Park (NYC):  840 acres - est. 1880 - previously undeveloped

Discovery Park (Seattle):  534 acres - est. early 1970's - surplus military land donated by govt.

Franklin Park (Boston):  527 acres - est. 1885 - previously undeveloped

W. Potomac Park (not incl. National Mall or E. Potomac Park)(D.C.):  395 acres -  est.1897 - reclaimed flood land

City Park (Denver):  330 acres - est. 1886 - previously undeveloped

Grant Park (Chicago):  319 acres - est. 1884 - previously undeveloped

Lake Eola (Orlando):  43 acres - 1888 - previously undeveloped.

When I first moved here to Orlando in the late 1970s, downtown was very sparse.  The biggest buildings were the CNA Tower and the Angebilt.  [To put things in perspective, I lived on the edge of a large orange grove in SE Orlando].

  The city had plenty of space, even in the urban core, to grow then.  Even in the late 1970s, Orlando was considered a boom-town.  Yet no one has done anything since the 1880s founding of Lake Eola to significantly grow urban parkland (other than add a few lots)?   

Meanwhile, other cities are STILL adding parkland to their urban cores:

NYC added the 550 acre Hudson River Park in Manhattan 20 years ago. 

NYC added the Hunters Point South Waterfront Park (which I mentioned before) last wk. 

NYC added the Domino Park (also offering panoramic views of Manhattan) on the former Domino Sugar Plant just 2 weeks ago. 

NYC added the High Line a few years ago.

NYC is adding 14 acres of green space at Hudson Yards (this is a private/public partnership)

Philadelphia recently opened its own park on an elevated rail line.

Boston is adding 10 acres of parkland to its Seaport District downtown (where Amazon is adding 2000 employees and Google has a large office)

Dallas is spending $600 million for a new 10,000 acre park on the Trinity River.

Dallas  has already opened 3 new urban-core parks (Clyde Warren, Belo Park, and Main Street Park) since 2008.

Dallas is planning 3 new urban-core parks (Pacific Plaza, Carpenter Park, and Harwood Park) 

LA is spending over $1 billion to construct an 11-mile park on the Los Angeles River from downtown to Griffin Park (the federal govt. is contributing another $1 billion) 

Houston is spending $200 million to upgrade and expand Memorial Park by 100 acres. 

Toronto is adding a 200 acre park at Waterfront Toronto on the Don River.  

This is just a handful of other cities.  Many other park project are underway nationwide.  

 

 

Edited by I am Reality

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2 hours ago, I am Reality said:

When I first moved here to Orlando in the late 1970s, downtown was very sparse.  The biggest buildings were the CNA Tower and the Angebilt.  [To put things in perspective, I lived on the edge of a large orange grove in SE Orlando].

  The city had plenty of space, even in the urban core, to grow then.  Even in the late 1970s, Orlando was considered a boom-town.  Yet no one has done anything since the 1880s founding of Lake Eola to significantly grow urban parkland (other than add a few lots)?   

Meanwhile, other cities are STILL adding parkland to their urban cores:

NYC added the 550 acre Hudson River Park in Manhattan 20 years ago. 

NYC added the Hunters Point South Waterfront Park (which I mentioned before) last wk. 

NYC added the Domino Park (also offering panoramic views of Manhattan) on the former Domino Sugar Plant just 2 weeks ago. 

NYC added the High Line a few years ago.

NYC is adding 14 acres of green space at Hudson Yards (this is a private/public partnership)

Philadelphia recently opened its own park on an elevated rail line.

Boston is adding 10 acres of parkland to its Seaport District downtown (where Amazon is adding 2000 employees and Google has a large office)

Dallas is spending $600 million for a new 10,000 acre park on the Trinity River.

Dallas  has already opened 3 new urban-core parks (Clyde Warren, Belo Park, and Main Street Park) since 2008.

Dallas is planning 3 new urban-core parks (Pacific Plaza, Carpenter Park, and Harwood Park) 

LA is spending over $1 billion to construct an 11-mile park on the Los Angeles River from downtown to Griffin Park (the federal govt. is contributing another $1 billion) 

Houston is spending $200 million to upgrade and expand Memorial Park by 100 acres. 

Toronto is adding a 200 acre park at Waterfront Toronto on the Don River.  

This is just a handful of other cities.  Many other park project are underway nationwide.  

Where are your source citations?

If you want me to accept all that as fact, you'll have to provide a source for each claim, otherwise the veracity is suspect.

And this time, please don't "conveniently" omit information concerning what the current/prior usage/condition of all this recently/soon to be converted land is or was, as I suspect that it all is/was either undeveloped, run down or not in use. Like dilapidated former warehouse/industrial areas no longer in use and not generating revenue yet still costing these cities money in maintenance, police and fire protection, and attracting criminal activity, etc., or undeveloped/minimally developed areas and public right-of-ways similar to the land underneath I-4 that is slated to become an urban park at the completion of the I-4 project. 

All of that is unlike the land surrounding Eola Park which is privately owned and still in use, meaning long, drawn out negotiations or eminent domain proceedings, if that would even be possible for such a non-necessary use like expanding a park.

And BTW, back in the 70's when you claim to have lived here, the national economy was in bad shape and the local tax base was low, so buying up downtown land for new parks was the last thing on people's minds, as much as you'd rather chalk it up to laziness and lack of forsight and planning on the part of inferior Orlando and it's inferior leadership. As far as I can determine, no cities were buying up land and building new parks back then.

Finally, as I mentioned before, part of the new "Packing District" redevelopment on NOBT - Princeton - JYP, is a 100 acre park which will also be the new home of the Orlando Tennis Center.

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So does Orlando get any credit or attaboys from you for that?

Or just more derision and hyper criticism?

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The mid-70s recession was arguably the hardest on Orlando after the Great Depression (even worse than 2008). Hotel flags were changing with abandon as they couldn't keep up with payments, car dealers were dropping like flies and buildings sat unfinished. Not only was it bad financially there were fears the whole tourism business was going to die due to the gas shortages (can't visit if you can't get gas- back then, 80% of our tourists arrived by car.) Orlando also only had mom and pop tourism at that point as OCCC was yet to come and other major tourism activities like sports (think ESPN/AAU events for thousands of teenagers) weren't yet a thing. Trying to accuse Orlando of negligence in the '70's when our world was falling apart shows no knowledge of the area at that time.

Edited by spenser1058
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Holy hell, you have made this personal,

We are not publishing a law review. I don't need to "cite" anything.  It's all in the public domain.  But if you insist, try www.google.com.  

And since you have made this so personal, I wouldn't expect you to believe me,  

That is your call.  I don't care one way or another.  But it's really a shame you get so unwound about a discussion about freaking parks.

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1 minute ago, spenser1058 said:

The mid-70s recession was arguably the hardest on Orlando after the Great Depression (even worse than 2008). Hotel flags were changing with abandon as they couldn't keep up with payments, car dealers were dropping like flies and building sat unfinished. Not only was it bad financially there were fears the whole tourism business was going to die due to the gas shortages (can't visit if you can't get gas- back then, 80% of our tourists arrived by car.) Orlando also only had mom and pop tourism at that point as OCCC was yet to come and other major tourism activities like sports (think ESPN events for thousands of teenagers) weren't yet a thing. Trying to accuse Orlando of negligence in the '70's when our world was falling apart shows no knowledge of the area at that time.

The 70s were more than 40 years ago. The Economy has gone up and down many times since then.

Again, everyone searches for reasons why we don't have this or that.  The excuses are THE problem.  It's always another excuse.  

Other cities, with far worse institutional problems (more entrenched bureocracy, corruption, higher land costs, higher wages, smaller growth rates, powerful unions, more taxes), just get things done meanwhile. 

Eveything thing I say, someone has an excuse why it can't be done. How about we have a little bit more proactive planning? 

 

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1 hour ago, spenser1058 said:

The mid-70s recession was arguably the hardest on Orlando after the Great Depression (even worse than 2008). Hotel flags were changing with abandon as they couldn't keep up with payments, car dealers were dropping like flies and buildings sat unfinished. Not only was it bad financially there were fears the whole tourism business was going to die due to the gas shortages (can't visit if you can't get gas- back then, 80% of our tourists arrived by car.) Orlando also only had mom and pop tourism at that point as OCCC was yet to come and other major tourism activities like sports (think ESPN/AAU events for thousands of teenagers) weren't yet a thing. Trying to accuse Orlando of negligence in the '70's when our world was falling apart shows no knowledge of the area at that time.

Exactly. 

He keeps on conveniently overlooking any facts that don't support his anti-Orlando agenda. Comparing Orlando, a metro area of 2.1 million, to metro areas like NYC (20.3 million), Los Angeles (13.1 million), Boston (8 million), Dallas (7.2 million), Philadelphia (7.1 million), Houston (6.8 million), which have huge tax bases and unused land already municipally owned to convert to parks, shows his bias is plainly evident.

His response to my request for backup sources was to suggest I look it up myself. Obviously, I have already done that. That's how I know that all the parks he's thrown in our faces as examples of what other cities can do but Orlando is incapable and too incompetent to do, were mostly established over a century ago in the 1800's, or in the early 1900's, using land that was undeveloped and either donated by wealthy benefactors or purchased from the govt/military. Even the new examples he gave are all examples of the basically the same thing.

The new parks in NYC are old warehouse districts that were just sitting there creating urban blight and decay. The one in Los Angeles is going where the L.A. River is. Ever see the L.A. River? It's a giant concrete ditch that rarely has any water in it. People use it to drag race in. The others are also expanding into unused land or derelict industrial areas. Some are the similar to what Orlando has planned for beneath I-4.

What's really hilarious is how he flies off the handle and gets indignant everytime his claims are challenged, then accuses others of "making it personal".

I think some people's skins are just too thin for this whole internet discussion forum thing.

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7 minutes ago, HankStrong said:

I'm just curious why you are still engaging?  Just disconnect from the problem and life will be better.

That's usually my advice to everyone else. :rolleyes:

Guess I should practice what I preach, but on this one, the bias was so blatant, I couldn't resist.

I'm done with it now, though.

I made my point and got no plausible rebuttal.

So..... I won. :yahoo::D

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9 minutes ago, JFW657 said:

That's usually my advice to everyone else. :rolleyes:

Guess I should practice what I preach, but on this one, the bias was so blatant, I couldn't resist.

I'm done with it now, though.

I made my point and got no plausible rebuttal.

So..... I won. :yahoo::D

 

43 minutes ago, JFW657 said:

Exactly. 

He keeps on conveniently overlooking any facts that don't support his anti-Orlando agenda. Comparing Orlando, a metro area of 2.1 million, to metro areas like NYC (20.3 million), Los Angeles (13.1 million), Boston (8 million), Dallas (7.2 million), Philadelphia (7.1 million), Houston (6.8 million), which have huge tax bases and unused land already municipally owned to convert to parks, shows his bias is plainly evident.

His response to my request for backup sources was to suggest I look it up myself. Obviously, I have already done that. That's how I know that all the parks he's thrown in our faces as examples of what other cities can do but Orlando is incapable and too incompetent to do, were mostly established over a century ago in the 1800's, or in the early 1900's, using land that was undeveloped and either donated by wealthy benefactors or purchased from the govt/military. Even the new examples he gave are all examples of the basically the same thing.

The new parks in NYC are old warehouse districts that were just sitting there creating urban blight and decay. The one in Los Angeles is going where the L.A. River is. Ever see the L.A. River? It's a giant concrete ditch that rarely has any water in it. People use it to drag race in. The others are also expanding into unused land or derelict industrial areas. Some are the similar to what Orlando has planned for beneath I-4.

What's really hilarious is how he flies off the handle and gets indignant everytime his claims are challenged, then accuses others of "making it personal".

I think some people's skins are just too thin for this whole internet discussion forum thing.

Just can't resist the personal attacks, can you?  

I can't imagine what is so important about parks that would cause you to attack me. 

It must be pretty important though.

You've been reported again.

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For the last few months, I've watched one of the more pleasant online oases become the "I Hate Orlando" room. Since I am rather fond of The City Beautiful, and yes Central Florida, this is obviously no longer the venue for me.

That seems especially true since our Moderator's only suggestion when it was noted a room previously given to celebrating our successes and constructively proposing ways to improve was being torn to pieces was to point out there are other places to post. 

Accordingly, I am taking Neo's advice and leaving. Perhaps I can wake up the dead at SSC or follow in the footsteps of metrojacksonville.com. When its founder found himself unwelcome on another forum, he started his own. I have to say I love the wide variety of topics and there is much to emulate. I don't have the web experience to do it, but perhaps those are skills it might be fun to acquire.

For now, let me say I've enjoyed posting back and forth with all of you these last twelve years with the exception of one who spurs my desire to leave. Whether we've agreed or not, I've learned much. Let me just say "Oh, Thank Heaven!" one last time and I hope to see all of you (except one) elsewhere on the web.

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As an antidote to Orlando disgruntlement, I just got back from Vancouver. Vancouver is the "World's Most Liveable City" ... for the one percent. The 99% would live immeasurably better in Orlando.

In Vancouver, $4,000 a month gets you a studio. $4-million gets you a ranch house. And you're going to pay $5,000 a month in city taxes.

My bus driver said he can't afford to live closer than a 90 minute commute to downtown.

The have-nots are tweeting "Kill the rich!" And a nasty class war has ensued.

Snapshot of Granville St, the main drag: a shiny Sephora next to a dingy Burger King next to a boarded-up storefront with fairly well-groomed men sleeping on the sidewalk. These were probably the folks who didn't have a car to sleep in. Honestly, affordability is the new hip.

Skyline is awash in glassy towers that no one lives in. At ground level, dirty, circa 60's, pebble sidewalks and pigeon poop-encrusted street furniture.

Marvelous setting. Orlando could use some mountains and a harbor. But at least it has sunshine.

Vancouver has a fantastic rail system. All Orlando needs is a half-million Asians - and move Disney downtown - and it would have trains zipping everywhere.

Great seafood there, but no Beefy King.

Edited by Dale
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47 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

For the last few months, I've watched one of the more pleasant online oases become the "I Hate Orlando" room. Since I am rather fond of The City Beautiful, and yes Central Florida, this is obviously no longer the venue for me.

That seems especially true since our Moderator's only suggestion when it was noted a room previously given to celebrating our successes and constructively proposing ways to improve was being torn to pieces was to point out there are other places to post. 

Accordingly, I am taking Neo's advice and leaving. Perhaps I can wake up the dead at SSC or follow in the footsteps of metrojacksonville.com. When its founder found himself unwelcome on another forum, he started his own. I have to say I love the wide variety of topics and there is much to emulate. I don't have the web experience to do it, but perhaps those are skills it might be fun to acquire.

For now, let me say I've enjoyed posting back and forth with all of you these last twelve years with the exception of one who spurs my desire to leave. Whether we've agreed or not, I've learned much. Let me just say "Oh, Thank Heaven!" one last time and I hope to see all of you (except one) elsewhere on the web.

No need to leave.

If you have to, take a week or so off, then come back.

One poster shouldn't ruin everything else for you.

Besides, if you leave he might report you..... :rolleyes:

Seriously though, give it a little thought first.

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2 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

For the last few months, I've watched one of the more pleasant online oases become the "I Hate Orlando" room. Since I am rather fond of The City Beautiful, and yes Central Florida, this is obviously no longer the venue for me.

That seems especially true since our Moderator's only suggestion when it was noted a room previously given to celebrating our successes and constructively proposing ways to improve was being torn to pieces was to point out there are other places to post. 

Accordingly, I am taking Neo's advice and leaving. Perhaps I can wake up the dead at SSC or follow in the footsteps of metrojacksonville.com. When its founder found himself unwelcome on another forum, he started his own. I have to say I love the wide variety of topics and there is much to emulate. I don't have the web experience to do it, but perhaps those are skills it might be fun to acquire.

For now, let me say I've enjoyed posting back and forth with all of you these last twelve years with the exception of one who spurs my desire to leave. Whether we've agreed or not, I've learned much. Let me just say "Oh, Thank Heaven!" one last time and I hope to see all of you (except one) elsewhere on the web.

I hope you consider being be a little more open-minded and receptive to other ideas at your next forum.

In my mind, close-mindedness, ignorance and complacency are the last things this city needs.  You need to learn that you do not speak for the rest of the city.  Other opinions matter. 

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The new 131 Fremont Street building, San Francisco (a block from the Salesforce Tower)

Facebook's new SF office-space; 800+feet; residences; topped by a $42 million penthouse 

 

Facebook SF .jpg

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