The City We Deserve?

Posted: August 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Warning: plenty of opinion below.

This morning as I exited my building, walking to the Light Rail stop, I spotted a bright green flyer announcing a public hearing to discuss the razing of an old, abandoned building to make way for the creation of an interim parking lot.

Previous notices about this topic were ignored by me, because the appeal to “save a piece of mid-century history” didn’t hit home. To me this seemed like one of the several run-down, decaying buildings that dot parts of Downtown. In truth, “mid-century history” didn’t seem remarkable to me, and coupled with the intent to build a new ASU Law school in the heart of the city, it seemed VERY replacable.

However, what I do not agree with is the “interim use” for the space, another huge, likely vacant parking lot. Ignoring the arguments about how the land was bought and purposed, the concept of putting yet another parking lot in an area that needs in-fill and vitality is incredibly stupid.

What I take away from it is that someone honestly thinks we want this. Whoever has the responsibility, authority & accountability in this instance, really thinks that we, the citizens/workers/shoppers all want another parking lot.

If it’s on a 5-year plan, I’d much rather see a park, or a community garden, or hell, make the parking lot, but make it underground and make it to spec with the law school that will go over it someday.

It’s not a huge area, but it is a good opportunity, and could be a symbol, a new jumping on point of the many urbanists that our city needs in order to grow in stature and vibrancy.

Yes, I’m biased because I live downtown, but why should I want to live next to a parking lot? If that was appealing to me, I’d move to the suburbs and live between the Wal-Mart and the car dealerships along the freeway.

Instead of greenery, or history, or creativity, we’re trading a dilapidated building for a heat island. And when we all let this happen, maybe that’s what we deserve.

what we deserve


One Comment on “The City We Deserve?”

  1. 1 PhxDowntowner said at 3:42 pm on August 25th, 2010:

    Note that building wouldn’t be NEARLY as ugly if we just sandblasted off that horrid pink stucco that was added to it. That’s not the original exterior.

    Also note that building was used in 2007 as dorms for ASU. A little creative renovation by someone with guts and vision, and that building could have become a part of our fabric. It makes no sense to tear down usable 4-story buildings in downtown when we have so many empty lots.

    But alas the building is likely toast, but we can still fight against the parking lot! Let’s make that a green space for the public – we have very few truly public spaces in downtown.

    Nice post, Ryan!