Monday, July 07, 2008

The Pantheon Project: What If Charlotte...?

Scrolling the e-mail inbox, I found this invitation for free gelato on Tuesday, as well as an hour of imagining what could be ....

The Civic By Design forum -- a monthly discussion group about urban matters -- on Tuesday evening is offering free gelato, purchased from Dolce, with its July forum: " The Pantheon Project: What If Charlotte ... "

Consider the Pantheon in Rome, a 2,000-year-old building that remains an architectural marvel, and a transcendent place to experience:

When: The event will be Tuesday (July 8), 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. Seventh Street (Free parking at Seventh Street Station parking deck).
What: Imagine some of the world's best urban places were suddenly placed in today's uninspiring locations all around Charlotte. Local planner Blair Israel came up with a great location, and Tom Low's recent visit to Rome inspired an idea. What if the Pantheon -- including its surrounding piazza with fountain, teeming neighborhood of stores, gelato bars, churches, businesses, homes, etc. -- were to rise out of the pavement at Kings Drive and Morehead Street, where the Little Sugar Creek Greenway is being developed.

How would you transform that spot into a civic destination so compelling that people would flock there from all over and it would become a gathering spot for centuries?

Bonus: RSVP by today to
and you'll get gelato at the event. (Or maybe even if you don't RSVP).

For a map and 360-degree view of the site, go to
this link.


Anonymous said...

Well, the reality is that no such structure could ever exist in Charlotte, since the philosophy around here is to tear a building down the instant its shine has worn off. Only a megastructure like the Bank of America skyscraper has a chance of surviving any great length of time.

Anonymous said...

The problem is most of these structures are not appreciated until decades or centuries later. The Eiffel Tower was supposed to come down after its role as a World's fair centerpiece was over. Venice was not appreciated in its time, but we all now how appreciated it is now. What's to say we haven't built our pantheon already yet don't recognize it? perhaps the Ben Long fresco in the Transamerica Building? Maybe it's the new performance space at CPCC. Maybe it's the new Mint on South Tryon? heck, it may even be Calvary Church on 51. We may not know what it is in our lifetime, but someone down the road will. Again, Charlotte should concentrate on making history, not trying to live in it.

Cato said...

How would you transform that spot into a civic destination so compelling that people would flock there from all over and it would become a gathering spot for centuries?

That seems a bit superfluous. The ABC store across the street already serves that purpose.

Anonymous said...

You know Cato, you're right.

Mary Newsom said...

Y'all need to get out more. That ABC store is closed. Cheers.

Anonymous said...


Mary 1
Us 0

Skwisgaar Skwigelf said...

I think we'll get that when Ikea opens.

Jumper said...

Charlotte buildings, illustrated in a data base. Sortable by date or from larger to smaller.

Jackson said...

Speaking of that closed ABC store - Mary could you take a look at the replacement store on 3rd? Its the most horribly designed, ill-conceived store I've seen in years. Well, since that Bojangles went up down the street at 3rd and Independence.

If you aren't already uptown, you cannot get to that store by any convenient route other than taking Kings towards town, then right on 3rd. Going down Independence (Charlottetowne) you can't turn left on Cherry St. Can't make a U-Turn. If you take 3rd towards town, you can't turn left into the store. Its a very awkward spot.

Not to mention the decidedly anti-urban design. There is barely any signage visible from 3rd, especially at night. The usual large white sign with red-lettered "ABC" is absent. And facing the street is a blank freaking wall. No door, no windows, nothing. The door is at an angle facing an abandoned street. Who designed this crap?

Mary please take a look at this waste of space! Is this another example of braindead zoning (ala Bojangles)?

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