No more pies, popcorn or porn?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

What should be done with the 100 Block of State?

Leave it alone
7
35%
Add a little powder and paint to the exteriors
7
35%
Plow it under and make it a plaza
3
15%
Make a Wintergarder
3
15%
 
Total votes: 20

Bwis53
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Postby Bwis53 » Sat Dec 11, 2004 10:04 pm

Wouldn't Richies enjoy having tea in the Castle & Doyle building instead of a glass box? I used to have my hair cut upstairs. I love that exterior and have a great color photo of it.

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Postby Ducatista » Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:15 am

regnad_kcin wrote:This town just doesn't fucking get it. Some buildings don't need to be saved, true-- but why do we have to eliminate retail space, neighborhood space, buildings people can live and work in-- and create quasi-public space that caters to the tastes of the priveleged? Living downtown really offers only two options: you're either a drunk, destructive student or a wealthy condo owner bemoaning the grime or panhandlers or upscale shopping options.

Open your eyes, man, there's a sizeable middle living and working downtown that doesn't fit either extreme. I'm one of those far-from-rich downtown homeowners who would rather see the 100 block preserved, and who think 16 stories on Block 115 is in-fucking-sane, and who like the grit and grime which is why we haven't moved to the suburbs as we've inched our way up the economic ladder one plasma-selling year at a time. And there are plenty more where I come from. Stop craning your neck to glare up at all the Evil Condos and maybe you'll see us. (Though the reality of how long it takes to accumulate capital and purchasing power means many of us are over 30, so maybe we don't count?)

If you like stewing in your own "rich bastards!" juices, that's cool, bitter is one of my favorite flavors, too. But if you'd unclench a little you might find that the downtown outlook isn't as grim as you think.

There'll be some giant fuckups, just like there were in the '80s when I moved to town, and there'll be some successes, like the Women's Bldg landmark status.

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Postby wpatterson » Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:07 am

In July of 2003, The Madison Trust for Historic Preseveration commissioned a rendering of the properties on Fairchild street across from the Overture Center. To quote Joe Lusson, Madison Trust President

"In advance of the Summit, and in anticipation that there will be significant focus on the issues surrounding the potential redevelopment of the 100 block of State Street, the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation commissioned artist Kevin Pomeroy to pen an architectural rendering of the buildings on Fairchild Street that abut the new Overture Center. This rendering depicts a development scenario which restores the buildings to their original look and keeps the massing and scale of the block in its historic nature. "

"This rendering, and the development opportunities that it suggests, preserves the current massing and look that historic preservationists value. Under this scenario, our downtown community will continue to reflect the rich history and thoughtful architecture that has stood the test of time over the last century. We are hopeful that this Historic Preservation Summit will educate our community on the importance of creating and preserving an architectural legacy that will be enjoyed by generations to come."

Image

The Madison Trust for Historic Preservation commissioned this architectural rendering of buildings on Fairchild Street to help focus debate about the future of the block. Most of them are the backs of State Street buildings, some dating from the 1850s, which are adjacent to the new Overture Center. [illustration, Kevin Pomeroy, Downtown Planner]

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Postby regnad_kcin » Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:53 pm

snoqueen wrote:That said, I'm not sure a park with cafes across from Overture necessarily excludes people of average or small means. They can't get tickets to some full-dress opera, but they might go see a movie and eat at Himal Chuli and have more fun anyway.


What happens when the homeless or street kids set up shop? Kicked out so as not to intimidate the Overture crowds?

They keep the riff-raff off Monona Terrace (and smokers too). See how fun "public space" is when you soak it in pretentious, whitewashed ideals?

PS: (off topic!) $200 million could have built one hell of a homeless shelter.

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Postby Ducatista » Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:46 pm

wpatterson wrote:In July of 2003, The Madison Trust for Historic Preseveration commissioned a rendering of the properties on Fairchild street across from the Overture Center.

Thanks for posting that. Does the Trust have clout, or friends with clout?

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Postby snoqueen » Sun Dec 12, 2004 11:04 pm

That drawing is most interesting and I'm going to walk up and take a new look at the block sometime this week. It sure doesn't look like much today so it's hard to tell how far from reality the picture would be. Thanks for posting it.

What would happen if that block of Fairchild were closed to traffic? It'd mess up the outer ring for cars, but if some other way could be found for them to go, wouldn't users of Overture (and, I still hope, patrons of new businesses across from Overture) appreciate a more pedestrian-friendly approach?

Speedy
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Postby Speedy » Mon Dec 13, 2004 2:20 am

regnad_kcin wrote:
snoqueen wrote:
What happens when the homeless or street kids set up shop? Kicked out so as not to intimidate the Overture crowds?

They keep the riff-raff off Monona Terrace (and smokers too). See how fun "public space" is when you soak it in pretentious, whitewashed ideals?

PS: (off topic!) $200 million could have built one hell of a homeless shelter.


Hey Nick, have YOU even worked at a homeless shelter? How much of your income do you give to the cause? That was private money, not public. Your Dangerously close to sounding pretentious.

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Postby regnad_kcin » Mon Dec 13, 2004 3:04 am

I didn't see anyone staging a sit-in-at-the-Mayor's over the lack of Phantom! Of The Opera! prior to Overture.

We must ask ourselves: are there things in life more important than "Cats"?

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Postby jjoyce » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:01 am

2 things:

1. The buildings across Fairchild from the Overture would look a lot better without restaurant garbage stacked up on the sidewalk and a little window repair and facade cleaning. The buildings are a'ight, but they're obscured by junk.

2. The people who want a month-long run of the Phantom don't sit in, they persuade via Frosty Ball, Downtown Rotary and other traditional venues. If you had plenty of money to throw around and were inclined to match funds for a downtown shelter, I'm guessing any number of high ranking officials would take your meeting.

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Postby pulseCzar » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:15 am

Did I miss the proclamation where I'm supposed to face the direction of Overture each day at noon and bow my head in silent homage? We really need get past our drunken Overture frenzy and let the dust settle for a few years before we even consider all these projects.

As far as views go, from the front of Overture, I can take a few steps over to State Street and check out the view of the Capitol. I can also walk a block and see the view from West Washington. There's a nice view from Monona Terrace and from the Top of the Park. Actually there are picturesque views from all around the square and any of the streets leading up to the square. With all these different views why do we need to tear down or alter the 100 block of State Street just so people inside of Overture can look out the window at a "better" view of the Capitol? If we add a park or plaza won't the trees planted there start to block the view when they mature? Are they going to start calling for trees on the square to be chopped down in the name of their precious view?

On the other hand, Overture is not architecturally interesting enough to warrant clearing out spaces to allow a better view of it. We cleared out a whole block to build it and that is plenty. I think this place still needs to prove that it's not going to be the next Miller Park; lacking in attendance once the novelty wears off. The fact they have already announced price hikes has me a little nervous. Come back in ten years and we can talk.

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Postby jjoyce » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:47 am

I think the issues isn't necessarily views of the OC; it's views FROM the OC. If I know anything about rich whities, it's that they love to talk about the shortcomings of what they're looking at. I'm guessing that not long after the OC was open to tours from local arts muckety mucks, somebody said something like, "Gee, it's great. But what a shame that there's all that garbage across the street."

I was privvy to similar conversations while working as a caddy at a suburban Minneapolis country club where some of the members often discussed how they might force certain neighbors of the club to clean up their backyards or change their behavior to better accomodate the playing of mediocre golf. Just as the low handicappers couldn't have cared less about the condition of someone's lawn outside the club's boundaries, it's my guess that people who head to the OC more for the art contained within than the social opportunities in the lobby don't spend much time thinking about the condition of Fairchild.

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Postby Wesmon » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:12 am

jjoyce wrote:I think the issues isn't necessarily views of the OC; it's views FROM the OC. If I know anything about rich whities, it's that they love to talk about the shortcomings of what they're looking at. I'm guessing that not long after the OC was open to tours from local arts muckety mucks, somebody said something like, "Gee, it's great. But what a shame that there's all that garbage across the street."

I was privvy to similar conversations while working as a caddy at a suburban Minneapolis country club where some of the members often discussed how they might force certain neighbors of the club to clean up their backyards or change their behavior to better accomodate the playing of mediocre golf. Just as the low handicappers couldn't have cared less about the condition of someone's lawn outside the club's boundaries, it's my guess that people who head to the OC more for the art contained within than the social opportunities in the lobby don't spend much time thinking about the condition of Fairchild.


Same with the middle class. Growing up in a subdivision on the west side I saw plenty of this behavior. Neighborhood groups getting together to force a family in the neighborhood to change the color of their house cause the neighborhood association didnt like the color. And same neighborhood association trying to force certain families to move out cause they didnt use chemlawn to make their yard look pristine.

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Postby pulseCzar » Mon Dec 13, 2004 11:29 am

jjoyce wrote:I think the issues isn't necessarily views of the OC; it's views FROM the OC. If I know anything about rich whities, it's that they love to talk about the shortcomings of what they're looking at. I'm guessing that not long after the OC was open to tours from local arts muckety mucks, somebody said something like, "Gee, it's great. But what a shame that there's all that garbage across the street."


Yeah, I should have been more clear. The other argument (aside from the back end of the buildings) that I've heard used to justify a change to the 100 block is the view of the capitol from Overture. The back end of these buildings isn't an ideal view but, like I said in an earlier post, some ivy would suffice. And I'm sure some sort of deal could be worked out about the garbage.


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