Thursday, April 8, 2010

My leap into the Allcare discussion

After making several comments on other posts and speaking up at Tuesday's Neighborhood Meeting, I've decided to summarize my positions in a single, easily digestible post.

Generally speaking, I'm in favor of something going in that spot.

-To obscure the parking garage eyesore
-To build up our density and close the gap from the waterfront to Market St
-To bring more employees and visitors downtown

However, I am opposed to these specifics of Allcare VNA's current plans.

Setback and scale - too far
The proposed structure is too far removed from the streetscape, making the area seem more like a suburban office park and commuter-lot than an active downtown community.

Lack of retail
I have not been convinced the current state of the economy is reason enough to omit retail spaces, that can be filled as the economy improves. I also believe they will be filled faster, because they're visible from 1A, and contrary to the beliefs of those who are clearly out of touch with the new downtown, we're already pulling in people from Swampscott and Marblehead.

Architecture - lacks creativity and vision
At the Neighborhood Meeting we were told it was designed to blend in with Eastern Bank and NSCC. If they're going to try this one as a selling point, they clearly don't know their target audience as well as they think they do. These are some of the most reviled structures in our community, looks-wise. They would fit in with an office park along the 128 belt, but they're the antithesis of the style of development called for in reviving urban centers. A good architect can do better with the same budget, I'm sure. I'll ask my architect friends about this.

That darn fence - lose it already!
It's a feature in the proposal that seems to be universally hated and meagerly defended. Can we just knock this off the plan already? I don't even get the impression Allcare really wants it. It's to keep out trash, they say, but trash will blow up against it and over it. It's not an alternative solution to regular park maintenance. It's not a nice way to say "Welcome to Lynn."

I hate to be amongst those saying "Hold on a minute" when an organization wants to invest in Lynn. I want to move forward. I want more structures. I just don't want the sort of design that's going to scare away the other progress we're making downtown with new people and new businesses. I don't want people to pass by downtown and see nothing but an office park, fences and barrier shrubs on its outward face.

And what happened to the Market St. Vision Plan, anyway? Is it filed away never to be looked upon again?


Artist: Swell Maps
Song: Big Empty Field

1 comment:

  1. yes. they can do something architecturally better! The amount of money they are spending on the glass curtain wall, can be used else where to make the building look more contextual (not using NSCC or Eastern Bank... 2 buildings my friends and I never cared for even as children...we new the difference)

    And I wish to add the building doesn't hide the eye sore at all.

    btw.. thanks for covering the story and taping! You covered my thoughts at the meeting.

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