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CorgiMatt

Columbia's parking garages

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A writer with the San Francisco Chronicle seems to be saying that a parking garage's architecture should be honest, that you should know at first glance why it's there. I have had this thought many times when considering what Columbia's parking garages should look like. Even in the Vista, the brick parking garage at Washington and Lincoln streets has fewer mitigating architectural touches than I anticipated. I was hoping they were going to put the vertical steel beams in all the openings to break up the horizontal-ness all the way around. According to the SFC writer, maybe it's good they didn't do that so that as you're driving up Lady into the Vista you can quickly see there's a parking garage up ahead.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../BAFM18EFB3.DTL

The Sumter Street-Marion Street area has the plain horizontal parking garages that definitely tell you why they're there at first glance. As long as they don't dominate the landscape, I guess I'm down with the parking garage look.

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A writer with the San Francisco Chronicle seems to be saying that a parking garage's architecture should be honest, that you should know at first glance why it's there. I have had this thought many times when considering what Columbia's parking garages should look like. Even in the Vista, the brick parking garage at Washington and Lincoln streets has fewer mitigating architectural touches than I anticipated. I was hoping they were going to put the vertical steel beams in all the openings to break up the horizontal-ness all the way around. According to the SFC writer, maybe it's good they didn't do that so that as you're driving up Lady into the Vista you can quickly see there's a parking garage up ahead.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../BAFM18EFB3.DTL

The Sumter Street-Marion Street area has the plain horizontal parking garages that definitely tell you why they're there at first glance. As long as they don't dominate the landscape, I guess I'm down with the parking garage look.

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I think I agree with the signage being more important than a building "looking" like a parking garage. I think architectural interest should be (after function), the most important aspect of a building.

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I think that there are times when it's good ok to have a garage look like a garage. When I was in San Francisco a couple summers ago, I found a parking deck that looked like a parking deck... but it had the key element that I'm always looking for: street level retail.

I still think that a wrapped deck with good signage is a better alternative to a standard deck. However, if the parking garages built in Columbia were architecturally distinctive in some way, then I could live with it. Not distinctive like new ones the Vista.... distinctive like the one in that article, or the parking towers in Chicago.

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The State newspaper is reporting that the location of the parking garage the city was going to build at Sumter and Washington has been changed to the northwest corner of Sumter and Taylor, their third choice. It would have been my first choice.

http://www.thestate.com/breaking/story/880557.html

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So one of the first choices was on Assembly across from the library? Assembly has much more potential than that. Ideally the surface lots and underused parcels along Assembly should have higher uses, specifically something that incorporates some retail.

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Does anyone know if there is a comprehensive land use plan for anything in the vicinity of the CBD area?

Seems like there should be some sort of retail development strategy on Main Street and the area between it and the Vista. If all goes well these areas should become linked in terms of entertainment activity. It should include where commercial land uses will be encouraged/discouraged so that the areas planned to be "lower" uses can be planned too. Parking decks are an unfortunate reality and necessity, but they should not front key streets. IMO, Assembly as a retail street may be a lost cause, but the cross streets may not be. Gervais and Lady have the most potential for retail crossing over Assembly.

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There was the retail study that was done not too long ago which suggested making Assembly the link between the Vista and Main (which we all knew already). I'm not sure if any type of official strategy was crafted around the suggestions included in the report though.

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So one of the first choices was on Assembly across from the library? Assembly has much more potential than that. Ideally the surface lots and underused parcels along Assembly should have higher uses, specifically something that incorporates some retail.

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You know that spot across the street from the library. i have a rendering for that spot to make a 37 story condo/hotel with a 6 story mall on the lower lever tha spans the whole block from Hampton st to lady st. and the tower on the corner of Assembly and hampton including garage. also have a entrance on the main st side also.

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If you read The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Schoup, your view on parking in America will be changed forever.

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^Yeah, the blog entry referenced that book. Heck, the blog itself gave me a lot to consider.

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