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Cleveland: Lakefront Development and News

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Great Lakes Science Center Gets $1M To Build Walkway

Walkway To Connect Center To William H. Mather Museum

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/18011001/detail.html

 

POSTED: 7:19 pm EST November 18, 2008

UPDATED: 7:41 pm EST November 18, 2008

 

 

CLEVELAND -- The Great Lakes Science Center was granted $1 million to build a pedestrian walkway connecting the center to the William G. Mather Maritime Museum.

 

The $3.4 million project will construct a glass and steel 400-foot enclosed connector to the steamship museum, encouraging crossover visitors year-round.

 

The funding was approved by the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission.

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I'm not excited at all.  This is just a barrier to the public's access of the lakefront. :mrgreen:

 

edit: random emoticon added as per Musky's request.

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Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority chairman envisions vital waterfront development

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga/plaindealer/index.ssf?/base/cuyahoga/122769183367090.xml&coll=2&thispage=2

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tom Breckenridge/Plain Dealer Reporter

 

The catalyst for a Cleveland comeback lies where the city was born - at the gritty confluence of a river and a Great Lake, a port leader says.

 

State and local leaders must push for a multibillion-dollar injection of federal money to help move the port from east of the Cuyahoga River's mouth and make way for an "iconic" waterfront district, says lawyer Michael Wager, chairman of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

 

With the national and local economies mired in bad news, Wager floated an uplifting vision for lake- and riverfront development to a crowd of 100 at a City Club speech Tuesday...

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He also talked of fast-tracking the project and vacating some port land by moving bulk shipping up the river.

 

Port President Adam Wasserman, who attended the City Club luncheon, said he could foresee public access to the lake on port land, and possibly a park, in five years. The port is working with the city to hire top-flight urban planners to begin detailing redevelopment of port land.

 

:clap:

 

The length of time this project is expected to take has always been the biggest source of pessimism for me.... so this is the best part of the article to me.

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The length of time this project is expected to take has always been the biggest source of pessimism for me.... so this is the best part of the article to me.

 

That's understandable. I feel the same way .. but at the same time, I realize that this is something that is planning for Cleveland's future, and it will take years to establish something solid. This will establish something new and foundational, and I see this as being primarily something for future generations of Clevelanders, which, in my opinion, is what any real visionary plan should be for.

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Cleveland port seeks experts to craft grand vision

Posted by Tom Breckenridge/Plain Dealer Reporter

December 02, 2008 15:25PM

 

CLEVELAND -- By next fall, port leaders want a master plan showing how the port's gritty expanse can transform into an attractive maritime neighborhood.

 

Port staffers told members of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority board on Tuesday that they are ready to solicit a planning consultant and financial adviser to chart the long-term redevelopment of the land west of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

 

That redevelopment is expected to unfold over the next five to 20 years. The plan calls for moving docks and warehouses from 100 acres near the stadium to a new home -- a 200-acre peninsula at East 55th Street in Lake Erie...

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2008/12/clevelands_port_seeks_experts.html

 

 

 

 

 

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very good. hopefully planners and architects from far and wide will respond. this prime site definately needs some outside the box creative inspiration. although welcome, the feb scheme was disappointingly bland.

 

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very good. hopefully planners and architects from far and wide will respond. this prime site definately needs some outside the box creative inspiration. although welcome, the feb scheme was disappointingly bland.

 

 

I agree. I would really love to see some Cleveland firms involved in this, but I think they're too stuck in their own boxes to really come up with something fantastic and revolutionary for this area.

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^I take it you've done extensive research and have concrete evidence that Cleveland firms aren't up to the job in order to make that kind of generalization? Sorry - you've earned yourself a callout with that one. :-)

 

I think I understand what you're saying - that most of what has been actually built doesn't demonstrate "outside the box" design, but is that because Cleveland firms haven't been given a chance, or because they aren't capable of anything groundbreaking? And as far as Flats East Bank - I don't believe that any of the renderings the public has seen were anything resembling final designs.

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^I take it you've done extensive research and have concrete evidence that Cleveland firms aren't up to the job in order to make that kind of generalization? Sorry - you've earned yourself a callout with that one. :-)

 

Call me out anytime. If it wasn't you, it was going to be someone. And you're right, that was a generalization. But in my opinion, by and large, I haven't been impressed with Cleveland design/architecture firms. I think they're too stuck inside their Cleveland box, and they need to start looking at what is happening on a global scale.

 

I think I understand what you're saying - that most of what has been actually built doesn't demonstrate "outside the box" design, but is that because Cleveland firms haven't been given a chance, or because they aren't capable of anything groundbreaking? And as far as Flats East Bank - I don't believe that any of the renderings the public has seen were anything resembling final designs.

 

Given a chance? Cleveland firms are given a chance every time they're called upon to design something. EVERY TIME a firm is called upon it's generally representative of who they are and what their ideas are, if they have any. Same goes with every firm, anywhere. For example, I looked at Yazdani's site after mrnyc posted it on the Cedar Hill thread. You know how many designs I loved? Every one. And how many of them were fresh and innovative? Every one, in my opinion. You know why? Because they aren't necessarily looking to cookie-cutter, already-been-there-done-that designs that other people have done for their inspiration. They're thinking for themselves. What?! How DARE they?!!

 

If a firm chooses not to think outside the box and present something fresh and different, that's up to them. But then their laziness will be representative in their work, and it won't just suddenly go away when a larger project is presented to them. It'll just be laziness in larger form.

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Interesting bit on the firms they are looking at to plan the existing port land.

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/02/dike_for_new_port_home_could_c.html

 

Dike for new port home could cost $300 million, says Army Corps of Engineers

Posted by Tom Breckenridge/Plain Dealer Reporter

February 10, 2009 18:13PM

 

 

The Army Corps of Engineers estimates it will cost $250 million to $300 million to dike 157 acres of the lake north of East 55th Street, to serve as the port's new home.

 

Leaders of the Cleveland port authority think the estimate is too high. The port could bear up to 35 percent of the cost with the federal government paying the rest...

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Finalists culled from a pool of 27 firms are Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of New York City, which designed Baltimore Inner Harbor East; Hellmuth, Obata + Kassalbaum (HOK), of Chicago, which crafted the Dubai marina master plan in the United Arab Emirates; and Sasaki Associates Inc. of Watertown, Mass., which produced the master plan for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

 

Holy cow.

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Finalists culled from a pool of 27 firms are Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of New York City, which designed Baltimore Inner Harbor East; Hellmuth, Obata + Kassalbaum (HOK), of Chicago, which crafted the Dubai marina master plan in the United Arab Emirates; and Sasaki Associates Inc. of Watertown, Mass., which produced the master plan for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

 

Holy cow.

 

Ehh.  It's good that thing has a goal and firms are lined up to organize it, but these firms don't really peak much interest in my opinion.

However, it is a port development and not a mixed use type of project so I'll wait and see.

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Finalists culled from a pool of 27 firms are Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of New York City, which designed Baltimore Inner Harbor East; Hellmuth, Obata + Kassalbaum (HOK), of Chicago, which crafted the Dubai marina master plan in the United Arab Emirates; and Sasaki Associates Inc. of Watertown, Mass., which produced the master plan for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

 

Holy cow.

 

Ehh. It's good that thing has a goal and firms are lined up to organize it, but these firms don't really peak much interest in my opinion.

However, it is a port development and not a mixed use type of project so I'll wait and see.

 

For a project of this scale, what types of firms would you like to see?

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I can't believe more people aren't commenting on this... I think it's pretty big news.

 

I guess I don't understand what the big news is. Is it the cost figure? To me, I think $300 million is cheap for a project of this scale and the article sounded like the PD expressing small-town sticker shock at a big-city endeavor. Or do you mean the firms being considered are a big deal? If so, I don't pay attention to the names of architectural firms. They're only as good as their next project and you never know how the next one will turn out. So I don't get too excited over who has designed what and where.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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I don't pay attention to the names of architectural firms. They're only as good as their next project and you never know how the next one will turn out. So I don't get too excited over who has designed what and where.

 

I think that's true to an extent. I think that what they've done showcases what they're capable of doing. A firm's body of work speaks to what a firm is capable of. The prospects, based on this, are exciting. I'm glad they're aligning themselves with firms that are more forward-thinking, design-wise. We shall see what they come up with, and it's not a guarantee their plans will be great. But the chances of greatness are higher, in my opinion, with strong firms.

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Well, this may well be the most important project in the history of Cleveland... so what does everyone think of the selection?

 

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/architecture/2009/04/ehrenkrantz_eckstut_kuhn_archi.html

 

Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects to be recommended to design Cleveland's new downtown waterfront

Posted by Steven Litt/Plain Dealer Architecture Critic

April 07, 2009 05:00AM

 

Staff members of the Port of Cleveland today are to recommend to the port's Real Estate Committee that Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of New York should design a new plan for more than 100 acres of downtown waterfront controlled by the port.

 

The assignment, for which the Ehrenkrantz firm will be paid up to $400,000, calls for completing a 20-year vision for the downtown docks west of Cleveland Browns Stadium and east of the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, an area now occupied by scattered warehouses, gravel piles and a pair of cement silos...

 

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"Eckstut said the Cleveland project will likely include an analysis of shipping and boating, so that activities on the affected property can be closely tied to the water."

 

Yes!  If I had a boat, I'd want to be able to pull up to a restaurant or store.  I know you can do that at Shooters, but it'd be great to have more options.

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I hope the "we don't want iconic buildings" bit applied to NYC and not here.  We could use a few more iconic buildings.  And our downtown has enough "spaces" already.

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Sigh.  Another off the shelf design firm that throws up neo traditional structures that have little reinvention from project to project.  I suppose anything is better than what is there currently.

Creating iconic structures doesn't mean they have to be "monumental" like the mistakes of the RRHOF and CBS.  Who says that iconic couldn't be an exciting composition within the the urban fabric of a densely built neighborhood?  Europeans have been doing it for centuries.

I hate to start off complaining about this but I am somewhat familiar with their work, and while the actual plan of the space may be successful, the architecture will probably be far from contextual or move the city's perception of what contemporary architecture can acheive.

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I think he was talking about the hokey "iconic" crap like the rock hall and science center.  I read that more to mean he doesn't want a bunch of silly buildings just to try and "stand out".

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I also have a problem with basing everything off of the word "experience." 

An "iconic experience?"

This is the buzz word of retail developers and their architects.

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That makes sense.  I'm cool with the buildings down there being nondescript compared to the rock hall.  I just hope they don't overcompensate and give us generic.  They do seem to understand the wind conditions, which one must give them credit for.

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I'm going to be really interested to see what they come up with.  I kind of hate inner harbor, but love battery park.  I think at first I am most concerned with the overall layout/grid they come up with and what sort of feel that can create in a neighborhood, and secondly how they actually connect the lakefront to this neighborhood.  This should be a spectacular public space that people just want to hang out at.  Currently the only real ways to interact with the lake in this town is edgewater park/whiskey island, voinovich park (which feels incredibly isolated and detached from the city), or someone's back yard.  I think making use of a true waterfront park could be the best thing that ever happens to this city.  The buildings I'm not as concerned with yet.  They can evolve throughout the process, particuarly if they stick to the public involvement that they claim they'll have.  Though I do agree with W.28th... I shudder at the phrase "iconic experience".  That reminds of Innner Harbor.  And like I said. I hate it.  It doesn't remotely relate to Baltimore.  Where as Battery Park City seems almost perfectly integrated to me.  I guess we'll find out.

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I kind of hate inner harbor, but love battery park.

 

I 100% agree with this, with the exception that I may take out "kind of".  I don't know what it is about Battery Park, because I think that there are some things that could have been done a little better architecturally, but overall the layout does a great job of creating a space people just want to go hang out and can go multiple different types of activities on the waterfront (sit around talking, eat, walk, jog, ride a bike, rollerblade, etc.).

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Architects are only as good as their next project. I will wait and see what they come up with for Cleveland.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Also, it could be that they are just being used for the general plan for the space with the actual architecture of buildings coming later (from another architect (*like city architecture) or multiple architects).

 

*I added that just for w28th

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^^ Agreed.  Though I find it interesting that the same firm created one area I abhor (trying to clarify this for you jamjeff :)), and one that I love being in.  I wonder what the timeline is unitl we get the first peek at their ideas.  I mean, I know we've got 10 or so years before we can even possibly begin construction, but a kid likes to know what's going on.

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Sigh.  Another off the shelf design firm that throws up neo traditional structures that have little reinvention from project to project.  I suppose anything is better than what is there currently.

Creating iconic structures doesn't mean they have to be "monumental" like the mistakes of the RRHOF and CBS.  Who says that iconic couldn't be an exciting composition within the the urban fabric of a densely built neighborhood?  Europeans have been doing it for centuries.

I hate to start off complaining about this but I am somewhat familiar with their work, and while the actual plan of the space may be successful, the architecture will probably be far from contextual or move the city's perception of what contemporary architecture can acheive.

 

Lies!  W28th, we know you better than that.  ;) ;)

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Since this is a port project rather than a city or county project, can someone provide a map of what land area they're going to be working with? 

 

Am I correct to assume that the project will be limited to port-controlled properties?  With the port not going anywhere for twenty years or so, it would seem that this plan will remain a concept for later changes after the port moves.  If so, I would expect this design process to lead to little actual change in the near term, unless the port owns a lot of property that it isn't currently using. 

 

Although we'd all like to see improvements along a significant part of the lakefront, current realities (port's ongoing operations and the economy) seem to suggest that we won't be seeing any concrete changes for some time to come.

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Foraker it is the 100 acres west of Cleveland Browns stadium (there is an excellent photo a couple posts up in a related article it is the parcel that sits between CBS and the FEB site).  The port does control all of that land, and this is a very long term project, but that doesn't diminish it's importance, in making sure that the plan set in place is sound.  And don't forget this isn't something that is affected by administration change overs.  The port owns this land and they want to spur this development.  So having the plan in place is crucial.

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As a boater I hoper that they dont make the entire area that abutts to the lake a public park or the like (McCleveland I may be misunderstanding what you were refering to).  I think there are many boaters in the area that would love something that you could take your boat to.  Currently there is Shooters, and nothing else.  having some restaurants and shopping that is easy to access would make the lake that much more fun for the numerous marinas that are in the area. 

 

We, the wife's parents actually own the boat, looked at moving the boat to cleveland from sandusky and the major drawback of cleveland is there is nowhere to take the boat.  I think if there was an urban shopping/entertainment district that people had the abaility to tie up to it would be a huge success.

 

But this is a boater talking so I am a bit biased.

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I don't disagree at all.  But with a fairly large amount of lakefront land to play with here... I am really looking for a great lakefront park space... I don't think it should take up the entire lakefront.  I absolutely think they should have pull up boating areas. 

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I think that is what seems so daunting, it is a big space of land and we all have this need for it not to be royally screwed up in any way.

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One silver lining about FEB being postponed is that modifications can be made to better incorporate this into the port area.

 

If, for instance, the grander vision of the Pesht development happened with the street grid being extended up to the lakefront, then you could have a more cohesive downtown.

 

 

I know, lots of ifs.

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It doesn't seem that hard not to blow it.  Just build city.  It's really quite simple.  Where we get lost is all this "I can do more than just build city" nonsense.  That part about the iconic experience scares me and I don't know why.  The city and its landscape should take care of your iconic experience... it shouldn't have much to do with what's built on the port site. 

 

I kind of hope that whatever gets done involves very little greenspace.  I may be in the minority on this, but I think we have plenty of lakefront greenspace.  We need buildings, lots of buildings, built close together.  The waterfront should still be accessible, i.e. not a gated community, but I don't think it needs to be lined with grassland to allow for that.

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And that... is why this is all so important.  :)  We get one chance to develop 100 acres on the lake AND riverfront in a major city that will reshape this place for generations.  One.  It is our absolute best chance at reinventing ourselves and bringing mass private investment to downtown and the city.  If we mess this up we'll never have an opportunity like this again.  That's why I'm so glad that it will take the port so long to move, it gives us plenty of time to work and rework this plan until we are convinced we have it right.  That's why I said at this point I am more concerned with the layout and use of space.  There will come a time to unleash criticism if we think these guys are giving us bland uninspiring buildings... I just want to make sure the overall plan is sound first.  And I really think this city desparately needs a kick ass park and a way for the general public to connect with it's lake.  Done correctly this is exactly the type of place young people want to live and businesses want to locate.  Very few cities anywhere in the world have this sort of property to work with.  We also have to understand that this is and should be a maritime city and boating access should be fairly high on the priority list.

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Pesht is pretty much what I'd want to see there.  And it might be cool to take boating access one step further and do some kind of canal system, with lots of happy little bridges.

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I kind of hope that whatever gets done involves very little greenspace. I may be in the minority on this, but I think we have plenty of lakefront greenspace.

 

Sorry, this confounds me quite a bit that anyone would think this.  We have one decent parkspace in all of downtown (Eastman Reading Garden), I guess two if you count the garden by trinity but that's a little too far away for most downtowners.  The malls are nice but are more of a civic gathering space than a park and are too far removed from residences and the lake.  Voinovich park is the biggest waste of space i've ever been to.  it's essentially a grass island that takes you 15 minutes to walk to from the nearest anything. Every other "greenspace" we have is a complete and totally joke.  Normally it's just a space a building should be that they left grass on.

 

Great public parks surrounded by densley packed residences create dynamic spaces.  This is exactly the reason YOU support a quad in the new CSU residnential area as opposed to the baseball park.  Because you said, they become great gathering spaces that are packed with people... Same rules apply here, particuarly on the waterfront.  Do we need lots of buildings densley packed with residents and business in this area?  Yup.  Do we need them surrounding a public park that is interesting, the whole city can use, dynamic (mainly due to its being surrounded by buildings and people) and draws people down just to spend time there? Absolutely.

 

See New York City for what great parks do to become the amenity most cherished by residents.  They are your escape from the concrete.  A great Park, and the waterfront will draw immense amounts of people to it.

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I just wonder why the port chose this firm.  There is not a single thing that they have done in the past that is close to what Cleveland needs in terms of producing a transformative masterplan.  I know some here would be apprehensive to have a Zaha Hadid, MVRDV, or West 8 type of firm oversee this development, but you cannot argue the fact that it would be something that would create an energy and freshness that this city needs.  It would be a pronouncement that we are once again moving towards the ideals of our city, "Progress and Prosperity."

 

Ha ha about the City Arch comment by the way...

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I kind of hope that whatever gets done involves very little greenspace.  I may be in the minority on this, but I think we have plenty of lakefront greenspace.

 

Sorry, this confounds me quite a bit that anyone would think this. 

 

I'm confounded as to what confounds you, because I can't find one item in your post that I disagree with.  I think we're on the same page.  I wasn't commenting so much on the quality as on the quantity of greenspace downtown and along the lake.  As for lakefront greenspace there's Wendy Park, Edgewater, and the park at the end of MLK.  If Burke is ever developed I'm sure there will be some there too. 

 

I agree that downtown itself doesn't have many good parks, but it has several, including the large mall right in the middle.  I know it doesn't work as a park, but it's still there taking up space.  The idea of having a small quad at CSU (note that I specifically don't want that to be open grass) is because that's what college campuses typically have, and because it's on the fringe of downtown.  Contrary to Stark's belief, I don't consider the flats or port area to be fringe at all.  And I never said don't put a park there.  I just don't want them to go overboard with the park and have it dominate what I'd like to see as a dense urban area.  I want something like the Pesht picture, where there's greenspace but no more than is needed.

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