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RestedTraveler

Piazza Bergamo

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I saw a feature on WSPA-7 this evening about the Piazza Bergamo, Bank of America Rennovation, etc.

Specifically, the story was about plans to replace the patch of grass outside of the Mast General Store with a paved plaza and efforts to "Keep the Green in Greenville."

However, there was a brief point in the story where they showed a model of the project. It looked great! From what I could tell, the breezeway bridge is gone. Also, there was a tree-lined paved patio and fountain between North Main and the Bank of America Building, which looked VERY different (i.e. it appeared to be almost entirely glass on the exterior or perhaps painted black instead of white). Also, the two buildings flanking the Washington Ave side of the Bank of America Building looked very nice as well. The Bank of America Building will take on a new address once all of this is complete, too: 101 North Main.

Here is the article on WSPA-7's Web Site. I wish they had video or a photo there of the model.

According to the story, this design is going before the City's Design and Preservation Commission on Thursday at 5:00pm at Greenville City Hall and then will go on before City Council for a final vote if approved on Thursday.

Edit: If anybody attends this meeting on Thursday, PLEASE snap a few photos of the model! :ph34r: I'll never make it down to City Hall by 5:00pm, myself.

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Mayor White spoke of the Bergamo Plaza rennovation a few months ago. It looks as though the plans are definitely in the works. I have mixed feelings about the proposal to pave the entire plaza, but if it is well decorated and creatively lit at night, it would be a welcome addition. I'd also like to see more shops and restaurants line the edges all the way to the BOA tower. The tower appears to have a slightly different facade in the model. The corners are all glass and the new color looks more tan or brown. It would be beneficial to recreate the top as well, but I'm sure funding is an issue with excess upgrades.

Interesting that RT and I happened to be watching WSPA last night. They were having some major technical difficulties in that show, so I changed the channel.

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I like the proposed changes. I too would prefer to see the top of the B of A building improved upon, but the cost is probably not justifiable. Also, it seems that changing the roof would be easier if the building were more square than rectangle.

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Mayor White spoke of the Bergamo Plaza rennovation a few months ago. It looks as though the plans are definitely in the works. I have mixed feelings about the proposal to pave the entire plaza, but if it is well decorated and creatively lit at night, it would be a welcome addition.

Saw a blurb on WYFF about the plaza. They said the remodeled plaza would be modeled after the one in our sister city Bergamo, Italy, with fountains, trees and sculpture. Sounds like a positive improvement. :)

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Last night on WYFF siad that the city is having a public meeting tonight about the plaza remodel becuase they have gotten so much anger over the plan.

Anger of course they created with their story the night before.

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Well, my kids have played on that little patch of grass, too; however, I think the new concept for the plaza will open it up and attract more people (not just with pets).

I suspect the anger is really coming from those who use it as a tiny little oasis of a place for their dogs to play. I can certainly understand that. There's not much else in the immediate vacinity without walking to one of the parks.

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Just heard on 1330 that the Design and Preserviation Commitee met last night and nixed plans for the new piazza saying the green space needs to remain for now.

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Just heard on 1330 that the Design and Preserviation Commitee met last night and nixed plans for the new piazza saying the green space needs to remain for now.

I don't get this. This "green space" is such a small patch of grass. A redone piazza with fountains, etc would be much better in that area. It's not like this piazza is currently a park....far from it.

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You've got to be kidding me! The plaza idea would far better serve the community than this "park" does now. Don't get me wrong, I like the little patch of grass, but there are better uses for it than a bathroom for dogs and this plaza is probably tops on that list. :angry:

There are sooo many things that the City of Greenville hits home runs with. I guess it's only natural that they also strike out a few times too. :blink: Man, that was a beautiful pitch to hit too, but no. We just stand in the batter's box and let it slide right on past without swinging. :blink:

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As Stuart Scott on SportsCenter would say, "Like a deer in headlights!" <watching that pitch go by>

All of this silly uproar over a little patch of grass! Someone from the city recently noted that the grass is unsanitary because of dogs using the bathroom there. Well, how about a law requiring them to scoop/dispose of their dog's feces (perhaps there is a law, but if so it's obviously not monitored)? That would go a long way toward convincing me that these people who want to keep the little patch of grass there care enough about the space to have a valid opinion. Because based on what I've heard, a large amount of the protest has been from those with dogs who live downtown and don't think their pets will no longer have anywhere to play.

If this rumor is true, I am very disappointed. Perhaps it is a rumor that will turn out to be false. <fingers crossed>

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I love dogs. Don't misunderstand me. If I lived downtown (and still owned a dog), I'd definitely want a place for it to play and do it's business. There aren't many of them downtown other than walking to the parks. However, I'd also pick up after my dog.

I feel that a pet walk area is definitely something that is an attractive thing for a city such as Greenville to have. One or more should be allocated somewhere downtown...just not where this plaza will be.

This re-done plaza is a potential catalyst for more activity in that immediate vacinity and will open up what is really a dead, useless space. Not to mention, it'll make it more attractive for tennants interested in moving their offices into the BoA tower.

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I went to the meeting of the Design & Preservation Committee yesterday to see the presentation of plans for Bergamo Plaza. They were not opposed to redoing the plaza, but they did have a number of concerns about the proposed design. One was a lack of adequate planting space. Personally, I don't think it necessarily matters if part of it stays as grass, or is used for some other type of planting, but I think they can do better than paving the whole thing and planting some trees around the edges. Another concern was the lack of public input. There were several downtown residents and business owners there that were upset that they knew nothing about the plans being developed. I think proper input needs to be heard from surrounding residents, business owners and the people who use the space to come up with a design that will meet the needs of those who will be using it on a daily basis, as well as for special events that are held there. I'm all for redoing this plaza, but I think it can be a lot better that what was proposed yesterday. Right now the design seems to provide a grand entrance for the Bank of America building rather than creating a public space that people will use. This is an important public space in the middle of downtown, and time needs to be taken to make sure it's done right.

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I personally think that a re-worked Piazza Bergamo should become our very own little Rockefellar Center.

Actually, I'd like to see it become more like the Pavillion at the Reston Town Center in Reston, VA.

It should have as its centerpiece, a facility that can be an Outdoor Ice Rink by Winter, Open-Air Pavillion by Summer, and a Gathering Spot Year Round.

Here are some images that I've googled:

res02PRINT.jpg

icernk.jpg

11_9_04_web.jpg

18238388_6d829a269c_b.jpg

Hyperlink to a very large photo.

The Pavillion at the Reston Town Center is surrounded by store fronts and fountains as well. It's a great place for concerts, weddings, ice skating, taking a stroll, sporting events (road races and bicycle races) and their award presentations, concerts, etc..

Something like this on a somewhat smaller scale would be an excellent venue to have at Piazza Bergamo and would be a superb addition to downtown.

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As long as everyone involved is flexible and wants what's best for Greenville, I am fine with them making slight changes to the proposed Piazza Bergamo. However, I do have a problem with people who want to keep it like it is in order to preserve the small grassy space (hopefully there aren't many of them). I agree that some dog parks nearby are needed, especially for the increasing number of people moving downtown.

Changing Piazza Bergamo, and improving the entrance to the B of A building, will do wonders for that area. I am optimistic that people will get this thing finalized with a plan that is even better than the original.

I have been to Reston Town Center, and it is great. That pavilion they have is definitely an area for people to congregate. The fountains are a nice touch as well. It is interesting that their entire town center feels very new. Perhaps it has benefitted from the population growth seen in the DC suburbs, but that whole area felt very new and clean. In fact, I remember thinking that their skyline was pretty impressive (especially for a suburb). Anyway, something like that pavilion could really be great for Greenville, especially since Piazza Bergamo is a natural gathering spot due to its location and surroundings.

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I have been to Reston Town Center, and it is great. That pavilion they have is definitely an area for people to congregate. The fountains are a nice touch as well. It is interesting that their entire town center feels very new. Perhaps it has benefitted from the population growth seen in the DC suburbs, but that whole area felt very new and clean. In fact, I remember thinking that their skyline was pretty impressive (especially for a suburb). Anyway, something like that pavilion could really be great for Greenville, especially since Piazza Bergamo is a natural gathering spot due to its location and surroundings.

The entire Reston Town Center was pretty much built in 1998/1999. It is very new. :D I'm sure that more has been built since I was working across the parkway from there back in 1999.

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Received a few more details about the proposed changes to Piazza Bergamo from Ken Betsch. I'll not share his entire e-mail here; however, suffice it to say there's some controversy sparked by exactly what we suspected.

I appreciate your thoughts and enjoyed reading the comments on the website.

We will get the design approved with modifications.

...

The fountain we proposed was based upon the fountain in Millennium Park or Square in Chicago. It has the ability to project images on its face for the interest and enjoyment of the general public. It would also provide an excellent image in the evenings. Check that out on the web; it is very cool.

This sounds VERY COOL. It's just the type of thing that I'd LOVE to see downtown. The fountain Ken is talking about is the Crown Fountain, I believe.

Some photos found on Flickr:

61900913_8f9c2cbb40.jpg

61900958_d980b1a9bf.jpg

There are many more photos out on Flickr and some are very very cool, but I only borrowed the ones that weren't "All Rights Reserved." Go check it out by searching everyone's tags using "crown fountain" or "crownfountain chicago" etc.

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The city has put together a design team to come up with a new plan for the Piazza Bergamo. They have posted a SURVEY to collect public input. There is also a design workshop being held next Monday, Jan 30, at 11:00 at city hall. It will be open to the public. This information has been posted on the city website's homepage:

http://www.greatergreenville.com/default.asp

Make sure to fill out the survey and get it in by the end of the day this Friday. Hopefully we can end up with something everyone can be proud of.

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I received an e-mail announcing this as well. Here is the full text:

Piazza Bergamo Public Meeting

To: Development Email list

From: Brennan C. Townsend

Subject: Piazza Bergamo Public Meeting

Date: January 23, 2006

Contact: Wanda Johnson Stokes, Public Information Manager

467-5794 (Office)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CITY WORKS ON PIAZZA BERGAMO PLAN

GREENVILLE, SC, January 24, 2006 - Recognizing that the Piazza Bergamo makes up one of Downtown Greenville's most significant public spaces, the City welcomes the comments it has received about the proposed design of the Piazza. In response to citizen concerns about some of the design elements, the City of Greenville has decided to take a new look at the plan. It has selected Scott Parker and Christophe Drumaine of Design Works in Charleston, SC to examine the concepts and facilitate the design procedure with Ken Betsch of Betsch Associates.

A design workshop has been scheduled for Monday, January 30, 2006 in the first floor conference room at City Hall. The designers would like to meet with interested members of the public beginning at 11 AM until 1 PM. This will provide an opportunity for citizens to express their ideas on the function, atmosphere and appearance of the Piazza, and allow the professionals to gain an understanding of the issues, and refine the design to reflect the wishes of the greater community. In collaboration, the architect and consultants will produce a schematic plan for the Piazza based on their observations and input from the public. This design will be presented to the public on February 16. The designers will then refine this plan and prepare detailed construction drawings for the renovation.

Interested persons are urged to submit their comments in writing prior to the meeting by Friday, January 27, 2006.

A questionnaire may be submitted on the opening page of the City web site, www.greatergreenville.com, or faxed to the City of Greenville Economic Development Department at (864) 467-5744, or mailed to:

City of Greenville

Economic Development Dept.

PO Box 2207

Greenville, SC 29602

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Thanks for posting this! I just filled out the survey, and stated that the area has a lot of potential that has been unfulfilled up to this point. I mentioned the need to open up the area by tearing down the building that separates the Piazza from the B of A building. I also suggested the need for the plan to be unique and memorable to tourists, just as Falls Park and Liberty Falls are, while still remaining people-friendly. I also think the plan needs to be something that is interesting without being stupid in 5-10 years.

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