Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shepherd Alley Update - Razing Hope

A permit is being approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board to bulldoze a one level cinderblock building in Shepherd Ally: - a building that has no historic significance. The applicant is Marriott Corporation, which is an excellent sign for progress and raises hope for potentially humanizing changes in the core of this block. The building to be razed sits on what was once the site of the Woodward and Lathrop warehouse and stable.

There is still hope for Shepherd Alley since the alley is currently a blank canvas that awaits the Marriott Corporation to fill in the shapes and colors. A dialog needs to be opened with the community so that there is a synergistic evolution of thinking and use. To quote Jane Jacobs: - "The pseudoscience of city planning and its companion, the art of city design, have not yet broken with the specious comfort of wishes, familiar superstitions, oversimplifications, and symbols, and have not yet embarked upon the adventure of probing the real world." (from the Introduction [pg. 13] of the Death and Life of Great American Cities) 

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