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Why do you think Raleigh doesn't have a historic city center? I live downtown and I find the city still has an abundance of historic buildings versus cities such as Charlotte or Greensboro downtown. It's not Charleston or DC, but it never was.

Elm Street in Greensboro blows away Raleigh. If you could see pictures of what was lost you'd change that opinion. buildings like those on the 200 block of Fayetteville used to encompass a roughly 4 block by 4 block area. Just looking at Fayetteville St you have about 1/8 of what used to be there for commercial buildings from what was standing in say 1920. I have lived in or near downtown for 16 years.

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Elm Street in Greensboro blows away Raleigh. If you could see pictures of what was lost you'd change that opinion. buildings like those on the 200 block of Fayetteville used to encompass a roughly 4 block by 4 block area. Just looking at Fayetteville St you have about 1/8 of what used to be there for commercial buildings from what was standing in say 1920. I have lived in or near downtown for 16 years.

I doubt I would want Raleigh to be completely stuck in the 1920's. You can't expect a a city to be heavily historic if it didn't start off that way. Raleigh is a growing city. That's also one street in Greensboro. Downtown Raleigh as a whole, is mostly comprised of old buildings. Every house surrounding my condo can be considered historic. Bottom line is, the Edison is OUR statement. I say go for it.

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Elm Street in Greensboro blows away Raleigh. If you could see pictures of what was lost you'd change that opinion. buildings like those on the 200 block of Fayetteville used to encompass a roughly 4 block by 4 block area. Just looking at Fayetteville St you have about 1/8 of what used to be there for commercial buildings from what was standing in say 1920. I have lived in or near downtown for 16 years.

um, yeah. i was going to make this same comment. greensboro has maintained its history all over the city. not saying raleigh hasn't, or has "less" history than greensboro, but greensboro has obviously made a bigger, more concerted effort over the years to preserve its history.

i really love elm street. it feels like a vibrant, natural streetscape whereas fayetteville st, to me, feels manufactured.

in terms of the edison, i dont see why you cant have both: a concerted effort to preserve some historic structures (the ones worth saving, at this point), and also buildings that put raleigh "on the map" in terms of architectural statements.

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I doubt I would want Raleigh to be completely stuck in the 1920's. You can't expect a a city to be heavily historic if it didn't start off that way.

You are quite right. Raleigh was sort of forced on to the state and so it had a long way to go in terms of gaining growth way back then. IMO there are only 3 historic and eclectic cities in the state. Winston, Asheville and Wilmington. Two were large enough during the early years to have built up areas that can resemble what many of you desire these days. Sadly many other NC cities were to small and insignificant to have bustling commercial districts large enough to be considered a historic "got to see it" place. Which is why I am fine with some not all developments that have to demo to wake way for new projects. NC has to make history and mindful of the history to save. Thats just my glass half full synopsis. BTW I love the proposal. Raleigh has been waiting far to long for projects like these.

Edited by NcSc74
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The presumption that you have to replace structures to grow is a misnomer. I know we are trying to create, or recreate a vibrant downtown, but what the heck was here the last time downtown was vibrant....these old buildings.....Many big cities grew outward for years and preserved huge swaths of history, as a result Philly, Boston Alexandria, Richmond, DC.... Asheville, Wilmington and Winston are great historic cities but their attention is largely due to modern status or location(beach, mountains, triad anchor city. There are other historically significant places in NC that were rivals during the turn of the century or before and still have lots of historic buidings, Oxford, Mooresville, Morganton, Goldsboro, Edenton.....

You're not short-changing Edison at all by leaving out this one corner. As someone pointed out, you could even include it by stacking 29 on 39 and getting...omg...68 stories! How come no body is championing that idea for leaving our mark on history? As of now our mark, has been to erase most previous history.

Edited by Jones133
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The presumption that you have to replace structures to grow is a misnomer. I know we are trying to create, or recreate a vibrant downtown, but what the heck was here the last time downtown was vibrant....these old buildings.....Many big cities grew outward for years and preserved huge swaths of history, as a result Philly, Boston Alexandria, Richmond, DC.... Asheville, Wilmington and Winston are great historic cities but their attention is largely due to modern status or location(beach, mountains, triad anchor city. There are other historically significant places in NC that were rivals during the turn of the century or before and still have lots of historic buidings, Oxford, Mooresville, Morganton, Goldsboro, Edenton.....

You're not short-changing Edison at all by leaving out this one corner. As someone pointed out, you could even include it by stacking 29 on 39 and getting...omg...68 stories! How come no body is championing that idea for leaving our mark on history? As of now our mark, has been to erase most previous history.

Realistically speaking.... Not gonna happen.

On the other hand. Raleigh is a looooong ways of from becoming sterile like Charlotte.

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Elm Street in Greensboro blows away Raleigh. If you could see pictures of what was lost you'd change that opinion. buildings like those on the 200 block of Fayetteville used to encompass a roughly 4 block by 4 block area. Just looking at Fayetteville St you have about 1/8 of what used to be there for commercial buildings from what was standing in say 1920. I have lived in or near downtown for 16 years.

I really don't get this "we must preserve our past at all cost" mentality. I have often said that old bldgs and other architechture is only worth saving if it has historical value of some sort. Everything that is old is NOT historical. Areas like City Market, Oakwood, Mordecai, and Boylan Heights should be preserved as much as possible, because they serve as a type of monuments to Raleigh's urban past, but some of those old bldgs downtown need to be demolished because all that they are are crumbling old bldgs that are uninspiring and have no historical relevance.

As the saying goes, nothing lasts forever. It is time for Raleigh to recognize it's potential for the future, and and stop trying to clinge to the past so desperately. The Edison is a very, very good start.

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I don't think that's a fair characterization at all, especially when its downtown has managed to land two projects that have proven to be big draws both in Greensboro and other downtowns where they have been built: a ballpark and a center city park. In that regard, it's ahead of both Raleigh and Charlotte.

Those two things tend to do more in creating a vibrant urban atmosphere than just about any shiny new tower(s) ever could.

How can you make this claim? Raleigh has 2 downtown parks in the CBD (Nash Square and Moore Square) that are both larger than Greensboro's central park and Charlotte has a football stadium and an arena downtown.

In terms of a vibrant urban environment, it takes much more than a ballpark, a center city park, and/or a shiny new tower. There needs to be a good mix of residential, retail, dining, and entertainment if you're trully looking for a great urban experience as people are downtown visiting the ballparks and center city parks. I think that both Raleigh and Charlotte are ahead of Greensboro in this regard.

Edited by RALNATIVE
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The presumption that you have to replace structures to grow is a misnomer. I know we are trying to create, or recreate a vibrant downtown, but what the heck was here the last time downtown was vibrant....these old buildings.....Many big cities grew outward for years and preserved huge swaths of history, as a result Philly, Boston Alexandria, Richmond, DC.... Asheville, Wilmington and Winston are great historic cities but their attention is largely due to modern status or location(beach, mountains, triad anchor city. There are other historically significant places in NC that were rivals during the turn of the century or before and still have lots of historic buidings, Oxford, Mooresville, Morganton, Goldsboro, Edenton.....

You're not short-changing Edison at all by leaving out this one corner. As someone pointed out, you could even include it by stacking 29 on 39 and getting...omg...68 stories! How come no body is championing that idea for leaving our mark on history? As of now our mark, has been to erase most previous history.

I better get my 2 cents in before we get warned on being off topic...anyways I agree building around or using the existing building when trying to build a new project. There are great examples in DC where it was done right. Is this idea to groundbreaking for Raleigh? It shouldn't be. Being the Capital city there should be a dearth of new ideas that should be examined to show the "spirit" of the city. My concern is trying to create or re-create something Philly, Boston and even Richmond(which is highly underrated) just won't feel genuine.

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How can you make this claim? Raleigh has 2 downtown parks in the CBD (Nash Square and Moore Square) that are both larger than Greensboro's central park and Charlotte has a football stadium and an arena downtown.

In terms of a vibrant urban environment, it takes much more than a ballpark, a center city park, and/or a shiny new tower. There needs to be a good mix of residential, retail, dining, and entertainment if you're trully looking for a great urban experience as people are downtown visiting the ballparks and center city parks. I think that both Raleigh and Charlotte are ahead of Greensboro in this regard.

Far ahead....

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I hope the building heights along the Blount Street frontage don't leave City Market and/or Moore Square in their shadow after about 2-3 pm *every* day. They'll get a lot of morning and noon sun, but once the sun starts heading west, these towers will cast a shadow. How much of the day does RBC Plaza darken Mecca's doorstep?

It is a shame that there were no Empire Properties in the 60s and 70s to save/restore a lot of buildings lost to "redevlopment" in downtown Raleigh. Or even halfway decent owners that would have had good tenants to build community interest in saving the storefronts, especially along Wilmington Street. But that hasn't happened. Even with the somewhat presevered 200 block of F Street, it still feels "fake" in most people's minds because of the new sidewalk and street. The Martin/Hargett corridor from Salisbury to Blount (minus Wachovia, RBC, and the bus transfer/deck) is historic/preserved. I would be more concerned if we were losing better kept buildings like Lincoln Theater or even the Prince Hall Mason temple (unless it is really bad inside).

Putting a park on the roof of the soon-to-open interior deck might help with the sunlight issue. I hope it does not go underused like the one in Durham near the Carolina Theater.

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Ideally the Edison would eat empty lots before turning to existing structures. The ideal situation didn't happen, but the benefits of the new block far outweigh losing the old 1,2-floor buildings. Far, far outweigh.

This would be the densest block in the city, easily.

Edited by Spatula
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Ideally the Edison would eat empty lots before turning to existing structures. The ideal situation didn't happen, but the benefits of the new block far outweigh losing the old 1,2-floor buildings. Far, far outweigh.

This would be the densest block in the city, easily.

Instead of people crying over what we're losing, they should be thrilled over what we're getting. There are many cities in this country that are not in the same position as Raleigh, and wouldn't even be able to conceive of such a project coming to their CBD, especially in this economy.

This just goes to show how far Raleigh has come as a city, and where it is heading in the future. This project will undoubtedly spur other great things to happen downtown. If ever there was a case for being thankful for what one's got (or getting), this might be it.

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Instead of people crying over what we're losing, they should be thrilled over what we're getting.

I am the only one to raise any real criticism, and I'm certainly not crying. Sure, projects this huge raise the City's profile and lead to things like more retail, and people in downtown. But people are nuts if they think the livability of downtown is improved for the pedestrian on the sidewalk by massive towers. It really is a matter of preference, lots of preferences that make up what someone thinks a good downtown is and represents. The pattern here really is bad with Lawyers and Garland Jones slated for demo and the buildings on Jones coming down for Powerhouse Plaza.

So lets say next Sandreuter wanted to mow down the four buildings in the Mecca row...how do people feel about that? Those date from the 1880's, a little newer than the Reliable Loans row, but I somehow think people tag those as more historic just because Mecca has been there since the 1930's. The Square Rabbit actually has a 1980's addition on it. Do people really think City Market plus Briggs Hardware equals a good preservation of historic buildings in the city center?

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I am the only one to raise any real criticism, and I'm certainly not crying. Sure, projects this huge raise the City's profile and lead to things like more retail, and people in downtown. But people are nuts if they think the livability of downtown is improved for the pedestrian on the sidewalk by massive towers. It really is a matter of preference, lots of preferences that make up what someone thinks a good downtown is and represents. The pattern here really is bad with Lawyers and Garland Jones slated for demo and the buildings on Jones coming down for Powerhouse Plaza.

So lets say next Sandreuter wanted to mow down the four buildings in the Mecca row...how do people feel about that? Those date from the 1880's, a little newer than the Reliable Loans row, but I somehow think people tag those as more historic just because Mecca has been there since the 1930's. The Square Rabbit actually has a 1980's addition on it. Do people really think City Market plus Briggs Hardware equals a good preservation of historic buildings in the city center?

No disrespect. Give it a rest. This is the best project downtown the city has gotten. A true monument for generations to come.

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bolster the prospects of one day having a 24/7 center city.

I don't know if you'll see that in NC really anywhere. Remember the Blue Laws (no alcohol served after 2am)? It kind of puts a damper on nightlife at least. In NY you have 4am Blue Laws which kind of allows everyone to rollover to the next day making it a 24/7 environment. Not saying that this could not change however. Any thing's possible given very high demand.

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No disrespect. Give it a rest. This is the best project downtown the city has gotten. A true monument for generations to come.

Is this a board meant to just observe and quietly waive little Raleigh flags in support of everything or a place to share some thoughts, different or not? I am backing up everything I have said with reasoned opinion or simple fact. Since apparently those angles don't hold water here, I'll just say flatly Edison is no monument. Its a big multi-use site with multi-use buildings with plenty of benefits for any city. In my opinion, the aggregate of Empire's projects on Hargett St is the best development the City has ever gotten. Hatem has put more life on the street than any tower downtown has to date.

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I'm all for preserving historic buildings, but it gets to the point where the idea is more significant that the tangibility associated with it. In this case, Cooper's has been serving BBQ for 88 years out of the same building. Whats more important to the livelihood of downtown - some bricks from 100 years ago or a business that has been operating at the same location through all the ups and downs of DT Raleigh's history (and will continue to operate within this new tower)? Heck, even Cooper's is in favor of this project saying that the current building isn't worth saving. As for the towers not contributing to the street experience - how is this not addressed with almost the entire block containing retail/restaurants (and Cooper's) on the ground floor?

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Whats more important to the livelihood of downtown - some bricks from 100 years ago or a business that has been operating at the same location through all the ups and downs of DT Raleigh's history (and will continue to operate within this new tower)?

Jones133 has made it clear that he is not concerned with the buidling Cooper's is in. He is more concerned with the four buildings on the SE corner of Martin/Wilmington (Reliable, Isaacs). Seeing as how those buildings fit so well with those on 200 and 100 block of S. Wilmington, I also would prefer if they could somehow be spared demolition while not taking too much away from the current plans for the Edison project. If i am not mistaken, the eastern side of S. Wilmington around Martin and Hargett was where a lot of Raleigh's prosperous black population grew around the turn of the century. It would be nice to preserve some of that and possibly create an environment similar to the one near Raleigh Times. One of the reasons Raleigh Times is appealing to me is the historical character of the building. The Edison could still have two 39 story towers and maybe even keep the other smaller ones as well while keeping the old Wilmington streetscape in tact. It wasn't long ago that those plans included only two buildings.

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Any developer can put together an impressive set of conceptual sketches (see Reynolds, Ted). These projects have a way of getting pared down as time passes and economic realities happen. You guys should have seen the original conception of Hannover Square before the 1980s real estate recession happened. We ended up with the pared down and hideously ugly Sheraton downtown, connected to a mismatched office tower that sat 40% vacant for most of the 1990s...

So don't count on the Edison being built in anything like the current conception. It takes determined (crazy?) people with very deep pockets or power to carry off visonary projects (Donald Trump, George Washington Vanderbilt, Robert Moses, Leona Helmsley). People who don't have to have to cater to the (often not particularly visionary) whims of the financiers. Jim Kane is the closest thing we have to that here.

Edited by JeffC
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