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« Elevating the debate | Main | Bradbury »

Jun 06, 2012

Comments

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Kim

Wouldn't miss the GSO Inn, but what about all the other business on that block.

Ron

The timing of the closing of the Greensboro Inn was no coincidence ;).

I think the architecture of this structure is great. Very sleek and modern. To me it says we are a city of the "new south". I am impressed with the private donations so far, particularly since these donors hadn't even seen the renderings.

Fec

Matt Brown's presentation was amazing.

Ron

Now if only the city can partner with a developer and that PAC parking lot in the plan could change to a mixed-use component. Restaurants and an IMAX theater behind performing arts center sounds about right.

Collards

The three legged stoop principal applies downtown. To have a vibrant area, you need three legs on the stool.

Number 1- Ballpark

Number 2- Greenway

Number 3- Performing Arts Center.

I was skeptical at first but think this will be great for downtown. I wish they could keep the small portion of the Summit Station Eatery that is an old Pure or similar old gas station.

Andrew Brod

I like the site. I've always thought it a shame for a surface lot to occupy such a key location (though even with a PAC, there'd still be a lot of parking spaces on that block).

Ron

Honestly I don't buy the notion there has to be on site parking.

NewBridge Bank Park doesn't have its own parking yet the stadium seats over 8,000. The PAC will seat about a third of that and there are plenty of nearby parking decks. Also the city may be able to work something out with Wrangler in using part of their lot.

Ed Cone

A cautionary tale about suburban design for urban cultural sites.

Ron

Many of the things that are on Action Greensboro's 2001 downtown comprehensive plan are being checked off.

1. ballpark
2. center-city park
3. international civil rights museum
4. greenway
5. performing arts center (maybe)

things on the list that have not happened yet.

1. IMAX theater
2. Museum of Art
3. Rail Yard Park
4. Inter-university Center (concept is now being expanded to a downtown district)

SAL LEONE

I think the Performing Arts Centr can work. The speed of it is a concern but you have to trust your council, we voted them in and they researched everything. I trust Johnson and Vaughan, Perkins, they all seem to have a good head on their shoulders. The people need to come together here and support the project, we only win as a team.

Ron

Its amazing when I think about how much has changed downtown. Many young people don't remember when there was a Western Auto parts store at the corner of North Elm and Summit Ave. (where GPAC is being proposed)

Dave Ribar

Wouldn't a development in Ole Ashboro be better--easier entry and exit from major roads, maintains the proximity to downtown and Elm street, but extends development into an area that could really benefit.

Fec

Jeepers, Ribar. Get with the program. Matt's worked so hard with that gimpy arm. Where's your compassion?

Ed Cone

The City-owned lots at South Elm and Lee have obvious advantages in terms of accessibility and cost, but I hear they didn't make the cut.

That said, I like the urban feel of the proposed location, and also the N&R property.

Ron

I agree Ed. The North Elm and News & Record sites are the best locations. The North Elm site seems to work perfectly. There is a big hotel across the street and the Bellemeade parking deck on the opposite corner. The North Elm location is best for a sleek and contemporary designed performing arts center which appears to be the direction the city is going. The office towers would make a great backdrop along with the PAC reflecting off of the U.S. Trust tower.

Ron

Another thing. I realize the coliseum is in Diane Bellamy-Small's district but why is she SOOO passionate about the PAC being at the coliseum? Doesn't she realize a bond for a War Memorial upgrade failed twice at that site. The downtown bond may still fail but at least there is a better chance of it passing with more community support behind a downtown PAC.

Kim

I think you answered your own question.

The GC GIS shows six property owners on that block.

Ron

No but Diane is beyond passionate. She's almost angry that its being planned for downtown. Council persons need to understand they won't always get everything they want for their district. Her whining about the PAC is starting to get irritating. Its never gonna happen at the coliseum

Billy Jones

So Ron, tell us again, do you work for, contract to, are invested with or receive any compensation in any form from any of the principals involved in building any of the proposed performing arts center projects?

PS. If you haven't seen the Tabb study you might be interested as it mentions the PAC as a way to improve East Greensboro.

Fec

I really don't understand TDBS. After all, they found an Uncle Tom and his wife to be honorary co-chairs of the Wyndham Championship. Shame on East Greensboro for refusing to be placated with meaningless jestures. Of course, Perkins' MO is to screw you with one hand while patting you on the back with the other. White people have been doing this to minorities in this country since Manhattan was sold for a handful of trinkets.

Spag

Robbie is trying to help Roy fill his condos.

P.S., why do I get the feeling that there would have been a blog post about Wisconsin if Scott Walker had lost yesterday ?

bubba

"....why do I get the feeling that there would have been a blog post about Wisconsin if Scott Walker had lost yesterday ?"

Oh, but that obviously wasn't important.....never mind the broader implications Walker's victory produced.

Fec

As with NC Amendment One, the Wisconsin recall rejection is an harbinger of doom. Such a realization often requires time for the thoughtful to digest. Incessant bloviation from the hateful, ignorant and intolerant is only beginning. There is still plenty of time to gloat and bray before the specter of Christofascism puts an end to everything we cherish.

cheripickr

Yeah, that's the ticket...
Moving on to a similar voice of reason and moderation, democracy as we know it died last night. Don't you hate it when the damn people get to decide things...by voting, at that? Yes, we're doomed as a nation by such fascism when we vote to keep a duly elected official a duly elected official by popular vote. Excuse me but I have some more gloating to do..

polifrog

Fec:

As with NC Amendment One, the Wisconsin recall rejection is an harbinger of doom. Such a realization often requires time for the thoughtful to digest. Incessant bloviation from the hateful, ignorant and intolerant is only beginning. There is still plenty of time to gloat and bray before the specter of Christofascism puts an end to everything we cherish.

Just a quick 'word cloud'...

...........................................

...........specter...........doom .........

......bray.........intolerant..............

....................Chritofascism..........

.......harbinger................hateful....

.....ignorant..............................

...........................................

bubba

"Excuse me but I have some more gloating to do.."

....before you join the rest of us in finally putting an end to everything they cherish.

cheripickr

Actually Poli, he deserves restraint points for incredibly withholding "racist, misogynist, social retards, knuckle draggers, short bus, and booger-eaters" from his stale and limited artillery of easy-selfstring-pull Dungeons and Dragons fantasy air-gun blanks.

Ginia Zenke

When the GPAC discussion started, I wondered if they would fix the obvious design/function flaw that exists with the current auditorium. They didn't take the hint. For seniors, disabled, and people who hate inconvenience brought about by poor planning, the front entrance is STILL parsecs away from the parking lot!

Our parents main complaint about the auditorium at the colosseum was that if you wanted to use the parking lot designated for handicapped/seniors for an 8pm performance you had to park by 6:30pm!
I can't believe they haven't fixed one of the major things that is wrong with what we have! For all the money we're supposed to spend on this project aren't we supposed to fix the problems and get a better product?

David Wharton

Am I the only one who finds the concept plan visually uninspiring? It has a kind of "City of Tomorrow" circa 1963 vibe. It does not look like a 21st-century building, and it is dull.

How strange also that the plantings in the front are laid out to prevent crowds of people from easily circulating among one another, which is just what concertgoers like to do before and after the show. Of course what's shown is just an architect's conception, but if the architects aren't thinking about how people will use the spaces...what ARE they thinking about?

There's nothing in the report about how this facility/site and its uses will relate to the rest of the human geography of downtown. Without taking nearby restaurant/retail/entertainment space into consideration, there's no way to know whether this is a good site for it. Most of what's nearby is big banks.

John Amberg

No one in this thread has stated what else would be raized and replaced by the GPAC besides the Greensboro Inn. Burton's Pharmacy? Summit Station Eatery? What about Festival Park?

Am I the only one who believes this thing is being slapped together like some pre-fab structure with hot glue? Where's the freaking fire?

Ed Cone

I hope this early conceptual plan is opened up to public comment, including the type of critiques in this thread. I'll make sure these remarks get to the committee.

DW, I think your comment about integrating with the urban environment is on the same wavelength as the points about the vast parking apron and the article about the Barnes.

ron

Unfortunately David, there are not too many available sites for a large performing arts center. We can't have everything on South Elm Street. We need to spread development all throughout downtown. I do believe the parking in the back is not needed and it would be better if that parking were replaced with retail and restaurants. I think the site is right for GPAC because we need something to help spur more development on the north end of downtown. With exception of the ballpark, downtown is dead north of center-city park at night. The North Elm street site is not too far away from all the restaurants on South Elm street. Most folks like to stroll four or five blocks through downtown anyway. It helps create street activity all along Elm Street. As far as the architecture, I think its great. I don't see the 1960's vibe you are talking about. It looks sleek and modern to me. In fact it looks better than most PACs going up these days. But understand this first rendering is conceptual. It may end up looking much like the rendering but there will changes in the design. But if we really want an ultra sleek design, anywhere near South Elm Street is out of the question.

Spag

"we need something to help spur more development on the north end of downtown."

Because....?

Is there something wrong with the development that is there now ?

ron

There are 9 separate parcels on the North Elm site. Using information from the Guilford County GIS website, the values of all 9 parcels add up to roughly $9.2 million. So if the construction of the performing arts center is at least $40 million you are looking at total of at least $50 to $51 million once you add in other costs.

Billy Jones

So Ron, tell us again, do you work for, contract to, are invested with or receive any compensation in any form from any of the principals involved in building any of the proposed performing arts center projects?

Billy Jones

Ron, did you design/draw the PAC in the picture?

David Wharton

Ron, the site is pretty near where I live. I did a walk-around this evening, and I think there's plenty of underused real estate within a few blocks that the PAC could help perk up. So, I wasn't criticizing the site per se, but the fact that the consultants (and our city employee) have not taken into account the demographics, nearby real estate, and distribution of parking.

As to the architecture, the site has a nearly pure glass box on one side and a Richardsonian Romanesque revival church on the other. Nearby are some tall, modernish but undistinguished buildings. That kind of architectural setting deserves some very careful thought. Just putting something up that's just "sleek and modern" won't make the kind of statement that Greensboro needs to make here. People are watching. Are we going to be hasty and dull? Sophisticated and daring? Stodgy and traditional? We need to at least have a public conversation about it. This building will help define our city for a couple of generations.

Cities often have architectural competitions for this kind of thing. Why not us?

ron

You bring up good points David. But too often developers don't go for the bold and daring architecture because they try to cut cost. The PAC as designed is certainly different from anything I have seen downtown and its an impressive design. I'm sure it could be better and more than likely it will. The final product never looks like the first renderings. I remember seeing the first renderings of the aquatic center and the outside of the building appeared to be corrugated metal. But again the renderings are conceptual and at least it gives us an idea so we can begin to discuss how it will finally look. The PAC may not even go on that site.

Fec

What Ron said. According to the presentation, the GPAC is a vast improvement over DPAC and will be great for lyrics for 500 years. It's essential we get this thing built before War Memorial Auditorium crumbles to the ground.

ron

Yes DPAC is certainly plain and boring. I dare to say if GPAC is built exactly like the rendering it would still be the most attractive PAC in the state. Its a great start for a first rendering. However the interior of design of GPAC needs some work.

Fec

Ron, I totally agree and can barely contain myself at the prospect of a second rendering. Oops, I've ejaculated. How embarrassing.

Ginia Zenke

I concurr w/ David Wharton, decent compared to others, but uninspiring, PAC-in-a-can. More brick. Yippee.

MJP

My favorite sentence (7.2.j.2.)

"The auditorium and lobby spaces will use materials that produce an impression of high quality."

(nothing says high quality like wood veneer and accent lighting)

Why are we outsourcing the design to a firm in Atlanta?

http://www.rosser.com/work/

ron

NOOOO LOLL No more brick! It gets pretty boring when everything of importance in downtown Greensboro has a retro brick facade. That is totally uninspiring and it becomes the same old same old. We've gone overboard with all the retro. You can take a good thing too far.

Billy Jones

Why does the PAC look so much like War Memorial Auditorium?

Billy Jones

MJP wrote: ""The auditorium and lobby spaces will use materials that produce an impression of high quality."

(nothing says high quality like wood veneer and accent lighting)"

As Roch Smith Jr put it some time back, the motto of Greensboro is now, "Esse Quam Videri".

David Hoggard

I, too, am uninspired by the design rendering.

I may not attain Fec's result at the prospect of seeing alternatives to "sleek and modern", but such a project desrves more than on architectural firm's idea.

I was encouraged to hear that Walt Teague was involved in the schematics (of TFF Architects, whose offices are adjacent to the proposed site), but more can be done.

Wharton is right... why not an architectural competition? Such a process is what is needed. Slow down and get this right.

Ron, I get the impression that even if the rendering was presented in the post-modern outhouse style of architecture, you would be gushing forth with the same nauseating "yea rah rah." fervor. Cheerleaders are built that way, I suppose.

Ron

The problem is that if we start getting too fancy and bold its going to drive the cost up and make it nearly impossible to build. It seems like the city wants a great design while keeping cost down. There are a number of developments downtown that could have been designed better but it all boils down to cost. In this case the design is better than the developments that have been going up in recent years. There is nothing wrong with the current proposal. A little tweaking here and there and it will be better. But again its conceptual meaning there could be changes. If this goes on another site it could look entirely different. But it does seem like they are settling on the North Elm site which also is the most expensive site.

Billy Jones

Ron, why are you refusing to answer our questions? Your postings appear to be little more than propaganda.

Fec

Robbie says the economy is gonna be better in three years and we've gotta be ready to take advantage of it to attract high paying jobs. I know he's got an MBA from Duke and is a whole lot smarter than me, but it would help if he could tell us more about how the economy is gonna improve. All I've got is Zero Hedge for info. Is he in touch with benevolent aliens?

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