Friday, January 11, 2008

Pyramid Interlude

I want at least 2 things from any Pyramid development:
  1. that we preserve it.

  2. that we build no more surface parking lots around it.

    Better would be the restoration of the empty spaces with real buildings and businesses and residences.
Ericson's plan hasn't excited me, but I don't see anything destructive in it so it hasn't really bothered me either.

I do have a few concerns:
  1. they want to buy the Pyramid.

    What protection will we have that, if the money runs out halfway through construction, if the business fails 10 years from now, that they won't plead poverty and try to tear it down, or sell it to someone who will?

    We should give them a free easement with the proviso that should they fail, or tire of the business, the building returns to the City and County. If they're planning on making money from the businesses they've proposed rather than the underlying real estate, then I don't see why this would be a problem.

  2. They want to call (rename?) Mud Island "Harbor Island." Not a good sign. Boring.

    Mud sounds good, looks good. Harbor Island sounds like a condo development in Destin. Really boring.

    Embrace the River.

    On the other hand, the name's bland, but not destructive. I can still call it Mud Island if I want to.

    Or...we could call it Ile de Boue, and split the difference.

  3. Ericson wants to build an amphitheatre at the southern tip of Ile de Boue. That tip is also Skatepark Memphis' preferred location. The skatepark is the one major RDC project that has few detractors and many vocal supporters. And we already have an amphitheatre, a 100 yards away. So it risks pushing aside a great idea for an idea that already exists, a 100 yards away.

While it doesn't look optimal, Ericson's use could be a placeholder for a more visionary time.

For a glimpse of that time, check out Fearlessvk's Museo de Southern Gothic, or Carol Coletta's article on Smart City (very similar to my take, which came later) or Del Gill's Mausoleum for a King.

Or forget everything I've said and watch an early version of the riverfront I'm building (incomplete with unfinished Tennessee Brewery to the right).

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Blogger Harvey said...

We cannot have Ericsson mess with the Skatepark!!! We need the park and we need whatever happens with the Pyramid to be cohesive with the flow of Memphis life.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

That was the same line of thinking that I had about the project.

Went St. Louis this weekend for the first time. They have some amazing old buildings and houses there! What's even more mind numbing is how many of the houses ( 100+ years old) are literally crumblilng to the ground! St.Louis make me very grateful to be in Memphis. It's a sad testimony to what happens when most of culture exited the city and never looked backed. If you get a chance Old North St. Louis makes a great opportunity to do some "urban exploration" .

For a starting point check out. go to the right side bar "tours of the city" and check the tour out on "the north side" and visit the "old north St. Louis". I think with your eye for aesthetics that you would flip over the chance to see some of this stuff in it's current decaying state. Mind blowing!

11:58 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

One more thing..

check out they have bakery in the St. Louis Midtown are. This area would make a model layout for the cross-town
development proposed here.

Perhaps if you google "Central West End, st. louis" you will find a couple pics of the area and see the layout. I just found a good link... (it's the first one that pops up with the google search). the lamps they were esquisite!

12:04 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

Aaron those are great links, and put me to shame. Beautiful buildings are one of the few resources that communities in decline have. It's one thing for them to cave in from neglect -- bad enough -- but to intentionally destroy them!

I should start a roll for sites like those.

also, the announcement of the Pippin deal makes me more excited about Ericson's Pyramid, but not about the amphitheatre.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Put you to shame? No way!
His photo documentary though is quite spectacular.

You're in your own category. Although I don't know what the category is...

Thanks for the tip on the Pippin, somehow I missed that story.

8:26 AM  

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