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Redman84

BB&T Building Observation Deck

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I was having a conversation with my dad the other day about the Cardinal Club and it view, and we got to talking about the BB&T Building. Basically, neither of us have ever stepped foot into the building, but I couldn't help but wonder if there was an area at the top of the building where you could look out. I've seen some pictures posted in the forum before from what appears to the the roof or one of the areas on the side of the building where those railings are, but wondered how you can get there if you're even allowed to. Any insightful information would be appreciated.

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I could make observations regarding those awesome shots all night, but the one that eats at me is how much land that damned MLK/S Saunders interchange eats up. I want urban blocks connecting south to where I live off Maywood Ave and I am stuck with a freeway interchange adjacent to downtown that makes even walking or biking to downtown proper impossible, let alone having shops or anything interesting on the plot land....

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I was noticing the same thing, and from the vantage point of the top of the BB&T Building, it is painfully obvious how much that destroys any possible extension of urban fabric south of downtown. It is such a shame. Maybe in some far off year when downtown urban development in its whole is the rule and not the standard, they'll spend the money to change that... but thats really in our dreams and not any reality, probably ever.

The other sad thing is how the new apartments just below that intersection are so cut off from the downtown fabric. I mean who would want to actually live there when its such a pain to actually walk or bike somewhere? Its basically enclosed by that interchange? Such a shame.

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I think interchange 'conflict' is being blown out of proportion. Many other cities have freeways that slice through their downtowns. We have one interchange. There is not much urban fabric to pour into that area considering Downtown Proper is not developed ideally. When that does occur I think it will become clear how useful the interchange can be. While development, as I'm sure it will, spreads down the other southern arteries, person, blount, wilmington, fayettville, saunders; the dawson-mcdowell connection will do what its suppose to, connect I-40 to all of these areas quickly via S. Saunders towards downtown.

And as far as the apartments in that corner go: I think the developers built there because the land was fairly cheap. I can accept that. I cannot however approve of a development on the edge of downtown that does nothing for the 'urban fabric' you crave. The buildings don't front the street. There are parking lots. And instead of building mid rises (6+ stories), they built low rises. The only 'sad' thing is that the developers made bad use of the land they were given. Its a 'shame' that a better development couldn't have gone there.

And if you need examples, I'd be glad to draw a picture of what I would've put there.

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The development on the southeast corner of Western and McDowell is Gateway Park. Many of the houses on Jamacia Drive were crack dens/liquor houses/whatever, since there is a "getaway" tunnel under McDowell/Dawson.

Gateway Park has been open for a while, but still looks empty. It looks like it is for lower income families, though its proximity to the housing project on the other side of Western/MLK. It is intersting that the Western and MLK dividing line is at the Dawson/McDowell bridge. MLK didn't want to change to Western, and Western didn't want to change to MLK.

The interchange was a necessary evil from the Western Blvd realighnment from years ago. I think it is better than when all of east bound western blvd had to go up Boylan to South Street, and Cabarrus being the west bound street out of south downtown.

The corner of South Saunders and West South streets could be a funky and interesting area -- where Boylan Heights meets downtown. But it is storefront churches, two convenience stores, and almost constant loitering. Right now it is nowhere close to be considered safe, but the city's Saunders North area designation is working on that.

This removed any chance at a good north/south pedestrian/bike access across Western/MLK. The only options are to go along the greenway to South Saunders and then north, or along Fayetville street, where it just "dumps" foot/bike traffic at a six lane racetrack, with a blank wall on the other side. The Wilmington/MLK/Salisbury intersection has a pedestrian crosswalk, but the Wilmington Street train bridge south of the intersection is a heck of a climb.

It would be nice if Shaw or the city tried to improve the neighborhood south of MLK/east of Wilmington, but with Cargill and Kings Motel nearby, that is easier said than done. The area has had a Weed and Seed designation since January 28th, 1999.

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I was just thinking that MLK/Western and Dawson/McDowell Connector could have been put in at grade in order to leave the interchange loops out so the land could be built out with taxable, hopefully appropriately urban buildings. It sould have made a logical place to extend the convention district years in the future.

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If the teachers' assocation and the gas company could move, there is some room to expand the CC/PE Center district to the southwest.

But that would create an even "harder" edge at MLK. It would be nice to see a district along South Street, if the train bridge was seen as a feature and not the current divider.

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I dunno, y'all. We have quick, easy connections for downtown/south Saunders and SE Raleigh to Western Blvd businesses. This project made getting 2 miles open up quickly. I'd hate to have a signalized intersection at S. Saunders/Western clogging up traffic arteries and effectively pushing zones away from each other. (remember our discussion about Avent Ferry/Western) .

I've gone downtown for lunch several times because I can move down Western Blvd so freely. Otherwise I'd be dumping more money into Crossroads restaurants.

I think we need to worry about making quality blocks for downtown before we need to add more blocks. Maybe y'all are saying that it should have been a diamond intersection, maybe?

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It would be nice to see a public observation deck with a restaurant on one of the towers.

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I dunno, y'all. We have quick, easy connections for downtown/south Saunders and SE Raleigh to Western Blvd businesses. This project made getting 2 miles open up quickly. I'd hate to have a signalized intersection at S. Saunders/Western clogging up traffic arteries and effectively pushing zones away from each other. (remember our discussion about Avent Ferry/Western) .

I've gone downtown for lunch several times because I can move down Western Blvd so freely. Otherwise I'd be dumping more money into Crossroads restaurants.

I think we need to worry about making quality blocks for downtown before we need to add more blocks. Maybe y'all are saying that it should have been a diamond intersection, maybe?

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With the two traffic lights, the Western/MLK - McDowell/Dawson intersection could easily have been a diamond. I guess they were "thinking for the future", but a left turn from westbound MLK could easily be perfomed with a "yield green" most of the day. The right turn ramp's lane on the bridge could be used as a left turn lane. The lay of the land makes a left from eastbound Western gets a little trickier, but could still be done if the traffic signal was shifted to the west.

If it was built a few years later, could the intersection have been a single point urban interchange (SPUI)?

There are enough blocks if "downtown" edges are expanded to Peace, Person, MLK, and Glenwood/Boylan or South Saunders. The Saunders/South area, going south along Saunders, could be a bohemian area, but it is too far from a college/university and too close to the housing project. It would be nice to see a organic/laid back area develop in the area from City Market eastward, but few businesses are in city market proper. Person north of Peace, over to Logan's/Seaboard could have been a contender, but with the state govt. land sale, it will probably be too upscale.

The three closest areas Raleigh currently has are all far removed from the CBD -- Hillsborough Street near cup a joe, Five Points, and Bickett Blvd. None are really large and are surrounded by non-bohemian entities.

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It would be nice to see a public observation deck with a restaurant on one of the towers.

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I really like the Lafayette set up -- bistro/coffee shop/desserts on the ground floor and restaurant/bar on the roof. I've always wondered why downtown have any open rooftop bars???

In DC, there are several small open rooftop bars in the Adams-Morgan district in converted two or three story buildings. In Raleigh, there's Rudino's at Strickland/Six Forks, and nothing else that I know of.

Glenwood South (and hopefully soon F Street) will have a high enough density of bars to not worry about street level presence/hustle and bustle. One of the best locations is the Sidetrack brewpub, assuming they don't continue to get sidetracked and continue to put off opening.

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Just a quick reply about Two Hannover or the BB&T bldg. When I worked for BB&T in 1999, I used to take lunch on the top floor's balcony. There are a few offices and an employee lunchroom and a small outside area to eat at. There are great views to the west from it.

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^^ I work on the upper floors of that building, and people always say very nice things about our view. Our space has no exterior balconies, though (which is really just fine with me).

My office looks out over the Marriott site, so lately I've had a great view of the dudes way up in those cranes-- NOT my kind of job! Yes, technically I'm higher up, but I prefer the comparative stability of the building to their little box in the sky.

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^^ I work on the upper floors of that building, and people always say very nice things about our view. Our space has no exterior balconies, though (which is really just fine with me).

My office looks out over the Marriott site, so lately I've had a great view of the dudes way up in those cranes-- NOT my kind of job! Yes, technically I'm higher up, but I prefer the comparative stability of the building to their little box in the sky.

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You use to be able to go up to the top floor. it was never advertised. We use to just walk in and take the elevator up to the top. No one ever said anything to us. I'm sure that security may be a little tighter right now.

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.......so I went back up there today and proposed to my girlfriend:

engagement3.jpg

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Wow! Congrats.

So, it's not the Eiffel Tower, but I imagine it's a memorable moment nevertheless.

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