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Lmichigan

Detroit designs $50M Hart Plaza makeover

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This was brought up a few months ago, but a preliminary site plan is given in the article. I really hope that they can get the money they need from local, state, and national grants and such without having to go the route of selling naming rights for Hart Plaza.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...METRO/706160377

Detroit designs $50M Hart Plaza makeover

DETROIT -- Hart Plaza, the city's riverfront town square, is slated to get a $35 million to $50 million makeover that would transform the largely concrete gathering space into a more park-like setting.

Plans for the plaza, home to the annual Downtown Hoedown and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, include a cafe and restaurant, and the demolition of the Ford Auditorium to make way for a new outdoor amphitheater.

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Definitely an improvement, but PLEASE don't sell the naming rights. :(

Detroit's been pretty lucky with the naming stuff, and I'd like it to stay that way.

I'm not sure about the cafe and restaurant. I thought they were originally there and did poorly, and it was understood why. Anyway, I think a cafe would do fine there because of lunch and event goers, but a full restaurant I don't know. Best of luck though.

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Definitely an improvement, but PLEASE don't sell the naming rights. :(

Detroit's been pretty lucky with the naming stuff, and I'd like it to stay that way.

I'm not sure about the cafe and restaurant. I thought they were originally there and did poorly, and it was understood why. Anyway, I think a cafe would do fine there because of lunch and event goers, but a full restaurant I don't know. Best of luck though.

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Here's some interesting reading for those of you who don't think having

a Noguchi designed urban space like Hart Plaza in Detroit is a big deal.

Noguchicover.jpg

Click on the picture to read the article.

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i will call myself out... but i was airing more on the side of it being poorly maintained and in need of repair

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Noguchi's Dodge Fountain is the centerpiece, and that and the area around it will remain.

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If another artist painted over the Mona Lisa except for the mouth, would you still consider it a da Vinci because her smile remained?

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I suppose GM should have let John Portman's design for the Ren Cen stay as well, right Ram? Fact is that times change and the improvements proposed for Hart Plaza make it a more attractive place that is likely to attract folks on nonevent days even more now. Ive been there many times during the week and weekends and its never busy other then a few folks or homeless people walking through the sea of concrete. The Noguchi design is very nice and the most important part(s) will remain, however it isnt being fully utilized because of the design of the area. I understand youre quite fond of Noguchi but calling people out simply because they like the redesign more is foolish and unnecessary. Architecture and design is constantly being improved apon from generation to generation, my Ren Cen example is the perfect argument for that.

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If another artist painted over the Mona Lisa except for the mouth, would you still consider it a da Vinci because her smile remained?

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Lmichigan, there you go again trying to make this personal. So, if I don

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Its interesting that the words solitude and isolation are used to describe your idea of a town square. The faults of the plaza you have listed are exactly what the new design is trying to fix. A new amphitheater and restaurant to attract people on a daily basis. As well as the largest open grassy area located downtown. Think central park or Belle Isle in terms of use, and by that I mean people utilizing the space to lay out or play catch etc. The problem with Hart is that it doesnt promote people hanging around enjoying the area, its mostly a space to pass through.

I do agree that something needs to be done about Jefferson though. Id like to see some sort of nicely designed pedestrian bridge located near CAY.

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nofunk:

"The site plan looks great!"

Am I missing something? :dontknow:

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Lmichigan, there you go again trying to make this personal. So, if I don’t agree with your position there must be something wrong with me? You say that I’m unhappy with much that’s going on in Detroit when this is simply not true. I’m happy with many things in Detroit, for example, I’m perfectly happy with Hart Plaza the way it is right now (although it could stand a power washing and some regular maintenance). What I am unhappy with are civic leaders who squander scarce resources every 20 or 30 years on the latest trend in urban planning. Whether Hart Plaza is a masterpiece or not certainly is open to debate, but at what point did it stop working for people? I think it has fulfilled its roll as Detroit’s town square admirably for many years. Granted, there aren’t many people using it on your average weekday, but that is due more to its relatively isolated location rather than the design of the plaza itself. The plaza is walled off on the east and west by empty buildings. Until recently, the riverfront approach was a dead end and getting to the plaza from the north entails braving 10 lanes of hostile traffic on Jefferson Ave. The city won’t even time the lights so you can cross without having to stop in the center median. It is just too far away and takes too much time to get to for most office workers to use during their lunch break. Additionally, the city offers little in the way of activities or entertainment during the week, so other than the river view or to watch the fountain, what is there to attract people? Frankly, whenever I’m down there on non-event days, I enjoy the solitude, but that’s just me and as Lmichigan has pointed out, there must be something wrong with me.

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More grass isn't going to do anything, other than make it a playing field for kids. The only part necessary to change is the auditorium. Everything else is fine. I don't know why some people just love to see open grass. I like it covered with concrete much more than if it were dotted with areas of grass. Look at reflecting pools, flower stands, above ground concrete sitting areas, not just grass that will make the place even more desolate. This isn't a natural park, it's a man made urban park. Just IMO.

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Grassy areas provide a lot, not more desolation. Downtown doesnt have an area like this for residents and workers to utilize, other than maybe Campus Martius but often the grassy areas are in use. It will be a welcome change and bring people to the park that dont necessarily want to go down to Belle Isle.

ny-central-park-2.jpg

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More grass isn't going to do anything, other than make it a playing field for kids. The only part necessary to change is the auditorium. Everything else is fine. I don't know why some people just love to see open grass. I like it covered with concrete much more than if it were dotted with areas of grass. Look at reflecting pools, flower stands, above ground concrete sitting areas, not just grass that will make the place even more desolate. This isn't a natural park, it's a man made urban park. Just IMO.

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.....Or go out to the millions of square feet of suburban parking lots.

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Well, plain concrete isn't any better either. Your'e not getting my point. Greenery doesn't have to mean grass. You got all types of shrubs, flowers, bushes, trees, and so on, that can make a great urban park. Wolv, you should know, you have Millenium park.

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You are missing the point of an open green space that is all grass. There are certain recreational activities that you can only do on grass comfortably. Oh and Millenium Park happens to have a very large open grassy area right next to its amphitheater like in Detroit's design.

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But there isn't alot of beauty to it when it's not as colorful as say, Campus Martius, or even Millenium. I'm ok with the grass behind the theater, just like with Millenium, it's the expansion to the theater. All in all, they aren't doing something bad by putting grass, I just wished some of their plans included seasonal plantings other than grass. Of course it would be city owned, and I don't think they'll be interested or able to spend that much money just on flowers and shrubs everytime the ice melts.

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I do know.. .what I meant was that you had an either-or type of argument. You wanted the park to stay as it is, which is mostly concrete... .and yes there are some shrubs and flowers, but I think people want a bit more. They don't want a lot, as you made it out to sound. As you can see from the site plan, there's still a lot of paved plaza space. I think they've achieved a balance IMO

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