Category Archives: urban design

Important civic gateway or suburban office bldg?

I had planned on waiting until Thursday to write a quick post about the skywalk debate/panel discussion set to take place on Wednesday evening in the Underdog. That was until I woke up this morning and saw the article on cleveland.com by Steve Litt about an effort to hide the existing Amtrak Station (Photo, Click Here, Courtesty of Cleveland.com) with (drum-roll please) landscaping.

While it would be difficult to build a credible argument that the existing Amtrak station is a beautiful piece of modern architecture from the 70′s, I find it hard to believe that landscaping is our best option for dealing with the complaint from the Global Center for Health Innovation – GCHI – (formerly known as the Medical Mart and Convention Center) that the Amtrak station is an eyesore as seen from its truly remarkable new grand ballroom. In an urban environment, adjacent what will likely become an important lakefront piece of property very soon, it seems unlikely that we should deploy the same design device (landscaping) oftentimes used to mask suburban office buildings from the parking lots that serve them. I really believe that the importance of this site warrants something with a little more impact than landscaping.¬†Unless you are talking about landscaping at the scale of Weiss Manfredi’s Olympic Sculpture Park (photo – CLICK HERE), couldn’t we begin to consider tackling the various issues at the site collectively instead of individually. While the context of the site has changed quite a bit since the 2009 Cleveland Design Competition,¬†with the GCHI now complete with its remarkable views to Lake Erie, perhaps there is a discussion worth entertaining about how we get from downtown Cleveland to the Lakefront, create an appropriate civic transit gateway with a new multi-modal transportation center, all while ensuring the GCHI’s connection to the Lakefront is enhanced. I’m sure landscaping will improve the view from the GCHI ballroom, but I think the City and the GCHI deserve something spectacular, not just better.

-mc

Well its about time…

MONTHS after setting up this webpage, after realizing how inappropriate it was to have a webpage that aggregates everything you are passionate about, and NOT keep it up to date, I FINALLY took the time to set everything up!

While I’m not quite sure how I am going to use the site, with the background info now here, I am really hoping to be able to use the site to highlight and talk about important downtown Cleveland issues/developments (skywalks, public square, lakefront, etc…) and post random updates on some of the projects I have been fortunate to be a part of over the years. While I had high hopes for the ability of Facebook to allow people to have civil discussions and in depth, thoughtful conversations about important issues, it seems unlikely that people spend time reading through lengthy Facebook posts. Perhaps a better alternative to providing more in-depth information about a topic you care a great deal about, might be to blog about the topic and provide a concise summary and link on places like Facebook and Twitter, so that anyone interested in participating in the discussion further can do so at their own discretion!

For my first post, I will be writing about the debate that I am participating in on Wednesday evening in the basement of the Happy Dog (Underdog). The debate will be around the skywalk discussion that has polarized quite a few people in the City of Cleveland as we try to understand context and encourage smart civic decisions This debate is a dry run of a new initiative meant to make us all better at disagreeing with one another and having that disagreement yield mutual respect for someone with a differing opinion. More to come on that as well!

:)