In an urban setting it is critical for buildings to “engage” the street. Â By street I mean the entire public right of way, not just the road. Â In other words, the public sidewalk on each side of the roadway. Â By engage I mean interact, have access points & windows.
Downtown’s Holiday Inn Select was built in 1980 next door to the three year old Cervantes Convention Center (now called America’s Center). It occupies the entire block bounded by 9th of the east, Convention Plaza (formerly Delmar) on the south, 10th on the west and Dr. Martin Luther King Dr (formerly Franklin Ave) on the north.
The building fronts onto four streets but only barely addresses ninth, behind a circle drive.
Sure, a relic of the period. But we have nothing on the books to prevent more of the same. The purpose of zoning is to dictate what the community desires from the built environment. From our zoning the above is still desired.
Our Board of Aldermen have no desire to change the zoning to articulate what is desired in 2011 rather than 1980. Why? So they get to negotiate for their approval, of course.
- Steve Patterson