Friday, December 07, 2007

What Has Happened at 100 S. Main?

When the Center City Commission announced the winning development team at 100 S. Main, this was the projected vision.

Now, this is on the Commission's 100 S. Main page:

It's like one those heartbreaking before and after shots of historic Memphis.

(The building at top could be the first Memphis building torn down before it was even built. The building below should have a historic marker out front honoring its predecessor.)

Since the CCC's Jeff Sanford "cited architectural context as one of the reasons they chose the five-story concept," and the context is late 19th and early 20th century, you have to wonder, how did the retro-70s design get there? And will it stand?

Dearth of people and foot traffic, and a related homeless concentration, has been a major problem on that stretch of Main. I don't think that a cold, passionless design will help solve those problems.

Via the Urban Planet Memphis forum, where there's rare agreement that the the project has taken a downgrade.

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Blogger jccvi said...

I repeat my assertion from the urban planet post: this is nasty brutalist architecture.

It's too bad that Cafe Samovar closed down. The bread lines could have wrapped around the corner there and the babushkas could have had some borscht while they waited.

I was disappointed with the design of the workspace condos across the street too, which are similarly stanlinesque. Maybe we could develop the block as a sort of socialist utopia?

10:44 AM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

we can rebrand the homeless as hooligans! Perfect.

10:57 AM  
Blogger fearlessvk said...

this is depressing. but let's not get carried away with the stalinist architecture theme - i live on that block :P

5:29 PM  
Blogger fearlessvk said...

we can rebrand the homeless as hooligans! Perfect.

Already accomplished.

< /snark >

5:31 PM  
Blogger jccvi said...

I thought you were a leftist? What's not to like? ;)

Seriously though, it would all be forgivable if Cafe Samovar were still around. The best soups in Memphis ever!

11:57 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

now that I think about it, this is more Brezhnevist architecture than Stalinist. This housing block doesn't even get a world-class dictator.

Has there ever been a neo-Stalinist, or Stalinist Revival, movement?

11:36 AM  
Blogger jccvi said...

You should see some of the new cult of personality props they're putting up in Pyongyang.

12:58 PM  

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