Friday, February 09, 2007

...and my city was gone

Published in the St. Louis Business Journal, reproduced in full in Toby Weiss's B.E.L.T.: Look what they want to do to Soulard!!

This is a bad, bad plan. It is suburban in form, scale, and layout. It is meant to cater to the heavy interstate traffic behind it, rather than the pedestrian-scale neighborhoods on either side. It will do nothing to knit together the sundered fabrics of Lafayette Square and Soulard. Its brick facades are only the dimmest and most trivial of gestures toward its context.

And it is certainly not "how you build a great city". You do that by creating memorable physical environments, scaled and planned for people instead of cars, responsive to historic context -- not scattered one-story buildings fronting on five acres of parking.

For reference, here's a map of the immediate area:


The gray houses are still standing. The red ones are gone. I will have much more to say on this -- stay tuned.

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