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Spartan

Front Lawns Downtown

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I have been discussing with some friends the issue of these "front lawns" that we have in downtown. Please prepare for some constructive criticism. I would not be discussing this if I didn't care about our city.

I am talking about all of the grass strips of land we have in these random places. For example, the corner in front of the Marriott, the area in front of the library, all around ESA, Advance America, QS/1, American Rental (W Main @ Daniel Morgan). I'm sure there are more.

I absoluetly hate these things. There is no use for grass in an urban space like downtown. That is unless it is in the form of a park. For example, the park at the corner of St John and Church is a great use of space, and a great use of grass.

With ESA, the grass looks good and works at the elliptical fountain. But on the front lawn.... bushes and trees separated by those grassy strips. This is wasted space. Its not a park. Nobody will ever use that space for anything except mowing. The front of this buliding could have been lined with shops to compliment the other side of Morgan Square. So why is it there?

Take Advance America. It has grass and shrubs on these elevated garden areas. I can't figure that out at all. There is no way anyone could ever use those. At least ESA's front lawn is at ground level. So why is it there?

The Library... this is one of the worst culprit. Such a large front lawn. And what is it used for? A park? nope. Nothing. The front stairs don't even lead to it. What a waste. So why is it there?

The Marriott. This is almost the same as the library. Wasted space. People can't even walk to the street without crossing the driveway. So why is it there?

So perhaps you catch my drift by now. I don't like these grassy places. I do like grass in appropriate palces (like Denny's Plaza, Barnet Park, Morgan Square). But what to make of it?

The obvious flaw that I see is that the city is catering to drivers. They probably think "lets make downtown look great for those who are passing through, and maybe they will want to stop andlook around" which is a great philosophy. But does grass accomplish this? What happens when they get out and walk around?

I think it is in effecient. Why not have a slightly wider sidewalk or shops along the street so that there will be windows therem which would remove the need for a front lawn?

What do you think? Am I totally off base? Right on it?

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I think you make a good point about "catering to drivers" but right now I would take any greenspace in our downtown area. I think these "front lawns" are a good start toward making downtown more livable not mention greener.

Right now I look down both Main and Church streets and see great stretches of barren and treeless cityscape.

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I like some greenery, but understand what you're saying. in the case of the marriott, I'd rather see that grass instead of parking. I would eventually hope to see a huge water feature there.

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I would rather see a building instead of grass. Trees and shurbs make for a better look that grass in an urban setting like DT. It seems like the same rules that apply to Hillcrest apply to downtown, which should not be that case.

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Well, from the pictures in the photo tour thread, the only building that I could tell that had an excessive amount of lawn was the ESA HQ building. That really IS a bit much for a DT building. I couldn't really tell about the other buildings mentioned.

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They are there. Trust me :) I will try to do a photo schoot on this someday. The library and the marriot are the worst culprits. Just drive down Church St and you will pass by each of these, plus most of my other examples.

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i disagree.. with the exception of the marriot, which is wasting space in its present configuration, i really really like the greenspaces downtown. it makes it feel less concrete and softer... add some trees and its awesome. i think otherwise there would be too much concrete

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I like the strips of grass and landscaping I think it makes everything look more appealing.It's nice to have trees and shrubs through out the downtown area.

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You guys misunders stand me. I LOVE greenspaces downtown. They are great :)

What I do not like are these usless green spaces. Take that area in front of the Marriott- what will that ever be used for other than eye candy (and not very tastey cany at that)?

Make it a park. Put some paths, some benches, trees, shurbs, etc. Make it something that people will use, not that people enjoy driving by. The same goes for the Library.

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Ok i get your point now I thought you were totally against greenery. When placed properly a tree,or shrub, or even grass makes things look alot more friendly.

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Ok i get your point now I thought you were totally against greenery. When placed properly a tree,or shrub, or even grass makes things look alot more friendly.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Absolutely. Greenery is necessary, and a desirable thing, but I despise useless greenspace. If you look at the areas that I mention you will quicky see my point :) Make it accessible, and its fine :)

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i think even the greenery at the library and marriot are fine. the marriot is overdone, too big, i dislike it... but thats that at least its not concrete. i think they should add some trees and benches out front altho i dont think they would ever get used. thats the reason i dont care that they havent.

as for in front of the library, where teh fountain is, thats nice i think... once again i dont know that it would be used anyways seeing as how there's already an outside area at the library. the german in me says make everything functional, but this is america, .... sometimes thats too obvious....

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But in terms of catering to the pedestrian, the library does a poor job. That "front" entrance is not very inviting, though it is quite attractive to the passer-by. See, this is what I am saying- and trying to constructively criticize- as Spartans, we have become too used to the concept of using the car to get everything we need accomplished. Why could the library have not been built with a front entrance level with Church St as well as the other primary entrance for cars. I realize that at this point we won't have very many walkers, but I like the idea that it could be possible one day.

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as spartans we cant help but become too used to using the car. and with the huge desire i hear to build up more supershopping centers, it will only worsen.

the library i think built for more convenient use of its buses, and i agree that i kinda dislike that its not "friendly" to get into the entrance from the street. just remember, its your tax dollars, tell city council how it should be done.

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