Architecture and Design

CityScape and Patriots Park in This Week's Surreal Estate

This week's Surreal Estate column by Robrt Pela is all about CityScape -- the two-phase, million-dollar, downtown "urban shopping and dining" experience -- that's holding its grand opening on November 4.

We've applauded the new bowling alley as a place that's actually open post 10 p.m. on a weeknight, and it's hard to argue with a few new lunch spots close to work, but as supporters of the home team, it's difficult to get behind a project and a new addition to our skyline that doesn't exactly blend with local business or local culture.

Pela writes:

The thinking seems to be that people will be more willing to interact with a downtown core if it looks more like home. It's an interesting -- and also sort of desperate -- approach to getting people to linger downtown after work. And it's one that (surprise!) doesn't do much to acknowledge or incorporate the urban landscape of our existing downtown, a fact that has a lot of dyed-in-the-wool downtowners like Beatrice Moore really pissed off.

In addition to the lack of blending, Beatrice Moore -- owner of Kooky Crafts and superwoman of the Grand Avenue arts scene -- is angry about the promised Patriots Park, which many claim has been swallowed by CityScape development.

Local film guru, Steve Weiss posted a video this morning, asking where the promised park went.

Check out Weiss' video after the jump ...

The replacement of the original park -- covered during CityScape development -- was a part of a trade in the CityScape deal.

What stands in the space now is a paved forum with fountains and trees -- a divisive reminder of what's today considered "urban landscape."

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton