The sidewalks downtown seem to be shrinking in width, even though the curb line hasn’t changed in years.
When I first passed Copia, above, on Wednesday three people were conversing just outside the door, blocking my only path. One moved the sign as I started to hit it and he said “sorry”, apologizing for the sign blocking the sidewalk. A half an hour later I come back through and the sign is placed in the same location. The supports for the awning also reduce the width. So does the planter in the background.
Block after block our sidewalks are effectively reduced to single file. Not exactly friendly or what was envisioned when the sidewalks were widened at significant public expense some years ago.
If allowed, some adjacent property owners will privatize the public sidewalk.
The work to fill in the old railroad tunnel under Tucker Blvd is dow to the end. All of the tunnel has now been opened up. Interestingly, the last few blocks of the tunnel were only half the width of the rest of the tunnel.
The empty space is being filled by the dense foam blocks being placed in the last of the tunnel now. i can’t wait for this work to be completed so Washington Ave is connected to Cass Ave.
Last week readers indicated in the poll the millions spent renovating the Central Library was a good investment. The results are at the very end but I want to show you some areas where the library has changed. I was fortunate to tour the library with the AIA St. Louis last week, many photos below.
The library reopens to the public on Sunday December 9, 2012 so you can see in person then.
First we need to understand how the central library was designed. From the sidewalk it appears to be a solid mass, but that is not the case.
So now you know how the building is organized around the grand hall, let’s head inside.
Still here? Below are the poll results:
Q: $70 Million To Renovate The Central Library A Good Investment?
Yes 113 [73.38%]
No 17 [11.04%]
Maybe 13 [8.44%]
Unsure/No Opinion 10 [6.49%]
Other “too much money but needed some renovation”: 1 [0.65%]
I was nervous about changing the library, the impact of so much money could’ve been a bad thing. In the end I think we’ve made a great investment for the next 100 years. St. Louisans in 2112 can decide what to do next.
Today parking garages are built with retail on the first floor so they are have potential activity at the sidewalk level. Unfortunately, we still have many garages built in earlier times when no provisions were made for anything other than the storage of cars. Some, like the 1960s stadium garages, can’t easily be retrofitted, see Fixes For Stadium West, Stadium East. The AT&T parking garage at 1101 Chestnut, built in 1985, can be retrofitted with retail.
Before anyone says something like ‘the city has bigger problems for its limited resources’ let me state this post is about trying to repair one small section our city by showing a way a corporate citizen can help out by modifying their private property . Why would they? Because they like to be seen as a good corporate citizen.
Yes, anyone that has ever had jury duty across the street knows finding a place for lunch isn’t too easy close by. Saint Louis University Law School will soon be located in the building adjacent to the west end of the garage.
This wouldn’t require 100% of the ground floor, although most of the south side facing Chestnut would be a good concentration facing the courthouse. The small area facing 11th and the long area facing Pine could be done later as demand increases.
Again, I’m not advocating public monies be spent on this effort. I also don’t think AT&T is going to start work on implementing this idea right away, or ever. It’s an idea I thought I’d stare because I think it could have a positive impact on the activity level in the area.
The City of St. Louis Parking Division operated by the Treasurer’s office recently built a surface parking lot at 3019-35 Olive Street to serve Midtown Alley businesses, including Hamburger Mary’s next door. The parking fee must be paid 24 hours per day.
I’ll be interested to find out if the Board of Public Service designed this for the Treasurer or if it was done separately. Regardless, it must be changed to comply with the ADA.
Larry Williams, the current Treasurer, is in his last month in office. Tishaura Jones will be sworn in as Treasurer on New Year’s Day. Jones indicated during the primary she’d work to remove parking as a responsibility of the office.
People often refer to vacant properties as abandoned. Though abandoned properties are usually vacant – unless a squatter has occupied it – a vacant property isn’t necessarily abandoned. Take the beloved Laclede Power building (1246 Lewis St) as an example. This building, long been identified as a t…
The city of St. Louis spends $2.5 MILLION a year taking care of the lawns of LRA properties and board ups. We've got more city owned vacant properties than any other other ward on the south side. Let's get some Aldermen at City Hall who want to get these into the hands of people who can develop them and know how to do so in a thoughtful and inclusive manner.
With more than two feet of snow expected to accumulate on NYC streets in the next couple of days, this city is about to get blanketed by nature’s traffic calming. Sneckdown fever won’t be far behind.
To get things started, we’re reposting the classic 2011 Streetfilm that introduced the phrase “snowy