Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Update to Misguided Citizens for Responsible Development

A group of people that want to show support for the Lindell Condos project have joined together to show our support to Opus and the city, as well as gather other supporters. We are meeting on Sunday at 1:00 pm at the Grind in Maryland Plaza in the CWE to plan out our counter petition and exactly what we want to do. There is more info over at

Misguided Citizens for Responsible Development

Patti Tepper and her crew of urban foes in the CWE have now formed a group called Citizens for Responsible Development, a name which I think is rather ironic for this group. Their main goal is to stop Opu's proposal of a 28 floor modern design condo building on the Northeast Corner of the intersection of Lindell and Euclid. Read the article in the West End Word. Their main reason for opposition to the project is the CWE historic district rules which state that buildings should be limited to 10-15 floors. Here's what Carolyn Toft of Landmarks had to say about the rules-

Carolyn Toft, president of Landmarks Association, said that the historic district standards are legislation, but that exceptions and variances can be made. A CWE resident, Toft helped draft the standards more than 25 years ago.

“The question is, is a variance in the best interest of the city and the neighborhood?” Toft said.

Yes, a variance is in the best interest of the neighborhood. Don't hold back a great project because of legislation that may not always be right.

Here's my quick rebuttal to the text on the front page of their site
We are in favor of responsible development that adds value to our CWE neighborhood, our city, and our region.
Than why are you not in favor of this project. Some minor things need to be reworked, but overall it is a high quality development. This 28 floor building will add more value to the neighborhood than a ten floor building on that corner. A two story building with no interaction to the street on a high profile corner will be replaced with 200 condos and retail.
The second Opus Development project, now proposed for the northeast corner of Lindell and Euclid, has been given special treatment by the City of St. Louis: its site has been blighted, it received a TIF, and it violates the Historic District ordinance previously established for all buildings within the neighborhood.

This special treatment sets a harmful precedent for the entire City.
I don't think this is any more special than any other large development project receives. Oh yeah, the historic district. What about all those other buildings over 15 floors on the same block. Talk about a slippery slope. Isn't this what variances are for. Nothing wrong with a 28 floor building with a modern design. 4545 Lindell has a very modern design, why weren't you against that building. That's right, It''s not right in your backyard. you weren't being selfish like you are with this project.

SIGN the Petition against the proposed project by request to:

With these Petitions we will TELL Alderwoman Lyda Krewson to support a building that conforms to the Historic District ordinance for the area.
Please don't sign it, and I don't think it's going to make a big difference anyway.
VISIT the first Opus Development project at Laclede and Euclid to
obseve problems similar to those of the now proposed project at Lindell and Euclid.
I can't quite figure out what they are referring too. Is it because the Park East took a surface parking lot, and gasp, is right up to the sidewalk.
I agree, but but don't be against a project because you are selfish. Like you said, think about the betterment of the neighborhood and the city and region as a whole. The current project is the best option, although I wouldn't be opposed to it being even taller.

I really felt like an alderman defending myself against Elliot Davis of "You Paid for It" on Channel 2. Except I din't make myself look like a completel fool.


*Class Post*

Plagiarism. It's a tough area to define. Stealing someones work word for word is obviously plagiarism, but there is so much more to it. Paraphrasing was always taught in grade school as a good way to avoid plagiarism, but I have now learned that even this is considered wrong. Unless there is quotes around the phrase, and it is properly cited, you are plagiarizing someone. Your personal original ideas do not nead quotes, but if you are taking your personal idea from a different published work, you are required to cite the source. While plagiarism is definately not something to do, because it is stealing, I think it can get a little overboard sometimes. It is possible to accidentally forget to cite a source once in a while. Putting someting into your own ideas can be difficult at times, and if four or five word of a bigger sentence is copied does not matter to me. I guess the individual interpretation is up to everyone, but you better cover your butt anyway.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Centre of Failure

Steve Patterson of Urban Review St. Louis reports that an announcement on the future of the failed St. Louis Centre Mall downtown will be made sometime this week. I'll make judgement when I see the announcement, but I'll say right now that I am not necessarilly optomistic. Hopefully it will at least include plans to immediately remove the bridge over Washington Ave. That can not happen soon enough. Done right, a redeveloped St. Louis Centre could be a great asset to downtown, but done poorly like it is now, the centre will continue to be a drag on the area. Not completely sure exactly what I want in St. Louis Centre's place, but I know it is definitely not going to succeed as an enclosed mall.

Searching Google

*This post is for my class*

Personally, I do not mind if the government sees what I search for. I have nothing to hide. I have not searched or how to make a backpack nuclear bomb or how the effectively take out a bridge. I don’t think many people would have anything to hide either. That brings up the point of how much good a subpoena will really do. What does the government actually need one million random web addresses for? If the government wants to have the addresses to protect children as they claim, why don’t the investigators look them up? Private businesses should not have to do the work for the government.

The whole situation with searching and wiretapping is ridiculous to me. In general I do not have a problem with either; I just don’t think devoting so many resources to domestic surveillance is a worthwhile use of what we have. How many people is the government really going to catch in America? Were the thousands of wiretaps actually successful? It just doesn't seem worth it to me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ballpark Village

After all the talk that it would never happen, it is finally official. Ballpark Village will be built. It was made official in a story on Fox 2 News tonight. I have had the renderings since November 10, but it is nice to see that Ballpark Village is now officially designed and will be under construction by the end of the baseball season. Cordish of baltimore is the lead developer.

Ballpark Village will be a $450 million project covering six city blocks adjacent to the new Busch Stadium. The new development will have 1,200 condos in four towers, 450,000 square feet of retail, and 400,000 square feet of office space.

In my mind, the best feature of Ballpark Village is that it restores the street grid. The old Busch and the parking lot where the new Busch is was a giant superblock. While the new park is a superblack, it is in a spot where I think the stadium works well for it's size, right up against the highway where no through streets are anyway. Ballpark Village will be able to tie together the south end of downtown with the north end of downtown much better than the old Busch did. The village will be urban.

I find the design of the buildings to be good for the most part. Good mix of styles. Brick for the mid-rise buildings on the west end of the site, and all glass for the east end of the site. These buildings will make a dramatic difference in the skyline, and they offer a different style than much of downtown. The new towers should add a nice modern contrast to the surrounding historic buildings in Cupple's Station and the Tum's factory, along with the retro designed ballpark. I did a rough count of floor heights and it looks like there is one at 15, two buildings in the 15-20 range, one at 25, One at 26-27, and one at about 34 floors. And these towers will be in camera views shipped all over the country.

1,200 residents in a six block area also brings badly needed residential density to the south end of downtown, an area lacking much besides offices and useless parks. There needs to be many year round residents, not just fans and office workers, for an area to really thrive. Look at the area around Washington Ave. for an example of what good density can do.

But I am glad to here that office space will be in the project. There are several firms looking for large Class A spaces downtown, so hopefully some will consider Ballpark Village.

Being next to the new ballpark and having so many residents and shops should make for some nice pedestrian traffic on the streets. Another great urban aspect of this development. The open section of Busch should make for large crowds on Clark catching some of the games for free.

Overall, Cordish does good urban developments.

Now if we could just get something done about the ugly and anti-urban stadium parking garages.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snow Angels In The Outfield

The snow falling today in St. Louis made for some neat scenes around town. Check out for more of my snow pics of the new Cardinal's Ballpark.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Note to Readers

As you may have noticed, this blog has come back to life. While I will be doing St. Louis and Urban based posts, I will also be doing a post once a week for my Tech Apps class. You can read them if you want, but they will probably have absolutely nothing to do with cities. Just think of it as my user fee.

Reflection on "The Net Gen Goes to College"

College professors are being told to use technology in the classroom. Video, powerpoint, and computer software are in demand by the new generation of students, often called the Millenials. But is the use of technology in the classroom really necessary? Some say yes, and some say absolutely not.

I agree with both sides in this case. Technology is great as a tool for learning, but so are traditional teaching methods. There is no doubt that todays students are different than past generations. We grew up with technology. We have been checking websites while doing a reading asignment and Instant Messaging at the same time for years. Students are bored when they go to class and get the same old lecture over and over again. Different technologies allow a professor to vary the class instruction. But technology should not be the only device used in teaching. The lecture is just as good of a tool now as it was fifty years ago. Traditional research papers are just as useful as a powerpoint presentation. I think it is more important to use all of the different teaching tools effectively instead of just one tool on either side of the spectrum.

This quote sums it up for me quite well. " We find that they like Multi-media -- they want text, video, and sound," according to Mike Turner of Case Western Reserve University. I agree, I don't want just one tool, I want them all.