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I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR EVERYONE ( with apologies to Onion columnist Edwin Wiersbicki) - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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I KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR EVERYONE ( with apologies to Onion columnist Edwin Wiersbicki) [May. 27th, 2008|12:37 am]
Just me.

Problem one: the controversy over the public art for the Capitol Hill Light rail station. Background:



Basically the arguments (not necessarily the arguments I would make) against this sculpture are:

1) fighter jets, even pink re-purposed ones, are not the kind of public art we like here.
2) this is a light rail station. let's make the public art more fitting with that site.
3) while I have no conceptual problem with the IDEA of fighter jets turned into pink birds, the design is ugly/half-assed/inappropriate for the site.

Problem two: Is the Ballard Denny's worthy of Landmark status? Background:



The controversy is thus:

1) Company buys old Denny's restaurant building for $12.5 Million, intending to tear it down and build condos on the site.
2) During historic preservation review, argument is made that building (that was not originally built as a Denny's) is a preservation-worthy example of Googie architecture. Landmark Board agrees; gives Denny's landmark status, meaning the building can't be torn down.
3) Argument is made that no one believes Denny's is noteworthy architectural landmark, but that people in the neighborhood just don't like condos and want to stick it to the developer.
4) Argument is made that Denny's has been altered enough since building originally erected that Googie argument is not reason enough to preserve building.
4) Marketplace economics suggest that after paying $12.5 million for the site, there is no way for developer to restore building and get fair return on investment. This seems to be part of the reason for eventual turnabout on landmark designation, meaning Ballard Denny's can now be torn down.

Solving Problem one and Problem two at the same time:

Get Mike Ross to re-do light rail station art design to mimic the Ballard Denny's Googie-style architecture.

The Anti-war people will be happy, the Googie preservationists will be happy, and light rail commuters will have pleasant thoughts of pancakes each day while waiting for their trains. EVERYONE WINS!

[User Picture]From: jtemperance
2008-05-27 04:45 pm (UTC)
That actually sounds like a good idea. They did something similar in Palm Springs when they tore down an antiquated shopping complex that had some historic architectural features - they incorporated the features in the new more useful complex.
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[User Picture]From: holyoutlaw
2008-05-27 04:51 pm (UTC)
Have you posted this to the Slog yet?

Does The Stranger allow people to start posts to the Slog who aren't staff writers?
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2008-05-27 09:26 pm (UTC)

I sent it as a slog tip:

but no action. only staff members can post to slog, which is prolly a good thing.
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[User Picture]From: holyoutlaw
2008-05-27 10:16 pm (UTC)

Re: I sent it as a slog tip:

I was thinking about how some active blogs like DailyKos or Making Light have posting permission granted to some contributors.
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[User Picture]From: labrujah
2008-05-27 05:38 pm (UTC)
mike is actually my neighbor and good friend. I have a lot of faith in his ability to create something beautiful and meaningful - I've worked on big projects with him over the years.

it's frustrating to me that people want to dictate artistic vision by committee. And that the cranks and naysayers are so much more vocal than the supporters. There is a lot of boring public art out there, I think risk-taking should be encouraged.

I also have no sympathy for developers who want to obliterate interesting architecture. There are plenty of empty lots out there to plop cheap condos on. I'm on the side of those cranks.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2008-05-27 09:34 pm (UTC)

I'm in the middle:

I liked Big Rig Jig, and I thought its size was suited to the site (ie the playa). From the sketches I've seen of this piece, so far, I don't like it, mostly because it seems like the scale is off. I'm trying to stay open minded, but my initial reaction was "that's too big for the station" rather than being upset by the theme.

But presumably the people that commissioned it understood that he might do something really large and should have placed restrictions on the site before accepting the piece if the scale was going to be a problem. It is unfortunate that the agency that commissioned it is being weasel-like if they thought the piece was okay before the residents started complaining.
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[User Picture]From: labrujah
2008-05-27 09:37 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm in the middle:

I'm all for community voices...but nobody would ever be able to agree on art, that's why public art is mostly not great.

Too big is a valid point and one that the transit folks would deal with, before actually implementing the piece, I think. It just bugs me that people don't seem to get it or be interested in its meaning at all.
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