July 19, 2004

What NOT To Build Downtown: A ‘Darth Vader’ Building

Critics call an office in downtown Pasadena the Darth Vader building, "because it has shown through some freak of architecture an uncanny ability to choke off pedestrian traffic along the sidewalks of Colorado," writes the Pasadena Star-News.

"Built in 1980, at a time when the city's redevelopment agency was trying to bring corporate America back into the struggling downtown, little thought was given to 'pedestrian-oriented' design . . . said Richard Bruckner, the city's director of planning and development."

It's fine when viewed as a stand-alone office, but many now see it as a liability for the business district as a whole, because it "kills the connectivity between destination areas," said Maggie Campbell, president of the Old Pasadena Management District.

This is a crucial issue to consider when downtown Framingham looks at major redevelopment plans like the Arcade mixed-use project. We can't simply look at it as a stand-alone project, but how it affects the neighborhood. Does it integrate into the fabric of the business district? Does it create an inviting streetscape? Is it pedestrian-friendly?

No comments:

Post a Comment