Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Architects, and the GREEN Line

UNCC's planned uptown building (above)


Good news for N.C. architect Phil Freelon. His firm, the Freelon Group, has been named to a team that will design the Smithsonian's new Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall. David Adjaye, an up-and-coming young architect from London, will be lead designer. The Freelon Group is also designing Charlotte's now-under-construction Afro-American Cultural Center, to be named for architect and former Mayor Harvey Gantt.

Speaking of Gantt, he was one of the many glitterati (such as we have in Charlotte) at the UNC Charlotte groundbreaking on Monday for the 12-story building at 9th and Brevard streets uptown. Among the folks who spoke or whom I spotted in the crowd: UNC system president Erskine Bowles, UNCC trustees chair Ruth Shaw, Mayor Pat McCrory, City Council members Patsy Kinsey, Anthony Foxx and Andy Dulin, county commissioners' chair Jennifer Roberts, ex-BofA exec Dennis Rash, former First Union CEO Cliff Cameron, retailers Al and Leon Levine, and a string of city staffers including City Manager Curt Walton.

And if the firepower assembled at that party tent makes any difference, you should put money on the northeast transit corridor -- an extension of the existing Blue Line -- being renamed the Green Line, after UNCC's colors. References to the "green line" drew enthusiastic applause.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really really hope that the green line extension gets built! I cannot wait until it does. I don't care how any of the naysayers feel, it will do wonders for this city and UNCC.

J said...

The line going to UNC Charlotte should be green, without a doubt. UNCC is Charlotte's University.

Anonymous said...

Green, Blue, who cares? Just get the line built.

Cato said...

In the great dystopian comedy Idiocracy, several skyscrapers have begun crumbling and breaking, and are held together with twine wrapped around them.

The drawingsof the new UNCC annex reminds me of one of those.

And, I don't have a problem with the Green Line, or any other proposed rail, but how do we pay for it? Even if you double the current half-cent, you can't do it without further gutting bus services and dipping into general revenues. If so, please explain how. Hugh McColl and Tim Newman gonna have lunch with Obama?

We don't have the luxury of partying like it's 2006 anymore. Actually, we never did. For the past 10 years, we've been congratulating ourselves on realizing our world-class aspirations when so much of the wealth that flowed here from the rest of the country was generated by fraud and stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Mary wonders if "the uptown mafia" still rules the roost, then name-drops half of them when chronicling some tax'n'spend tent revival.

Cut down on the weed, Ms. Newsom - it's obviously affected your short-term memory.

Anonymous said...

Ashe County Cheese headquarters? A relic from Terry Gilliam's Brazil? CMS mobile classrooms stacked for a night out? The 49er football dormitory? Works perfectly with the Bell Tower. Tinkertoy U.

Anonymous said...

Don't build this line with tax payer money! Enough is enough!!!!

Anonymous said...

This so called 'postmodern architecture' truly gets more and more sickening by the year.

What is wrong with Neoclassical architecture for schools, government buildings, banks, etc? Neoclassicism denotes stability and solidity...while all this postmodern junk is just unnerving and foreboding like it might topple over any minute.

William said...

Once the building has other buildings around it the context will be much more appropriate and won't look as "bad" as many may think.

The Green Line is common sense, if the City's University was truly the City's University than it would have been the Green Line from the start...

It is time for the City to embrace its University.

Anonymous said...

Common sense is not building the green line. How are we going to pay for this? The federal gov't is broke and so is the state.

Anonymous said...

This "postmodern junk" looks really sweet! Color me excited to see some real architecture being erected in this city. These are the types of signature buildings that make a city look distinct and interesting.

Since we've torn down any sort of history involved with this city, why not get bold and test the limits of architecture here? At this point, we've got nothing left to lose. Literally.

As for the "green line", I admit that right now it might be difficult to line up the funding for the next leg of the light rail, but it is critical to provide a city that seems to be at a crossroads with alternative means of transportation. Linking the University, NoDa, Uptown, South End and the eventual developed South Blvd districts is a giant step forward.

I understand that 485 is a giant headache for the outer ring residents, and we need to find a way to get this completed as well. Hopefully the economy turns around soon and we can get these projects done.

Rick said...

So Mary, the MTC meeting coming up next week....should we expect to hear an update on how much extra green the Green Line is going to cost? What's the over-under on it being over $1B?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mary, the best way to deal with teenagers is to emulate them. Once they see that adults are doing the same things as they, or believing in the same things as they, they can’t move fast enough to head in the opposite direction.

With that in mind, I suggest you write your next few blog topics from the standpoint of the ultra-conservative, don’t-you-dare-change-anything, don’t-tax-me-but-yet-give-me-what-I-want, I-don’t-care-about-anything but-me, and don’t-get-me-involved-in solving-problems faux citizenry who like to take out their frustrations on you.

They just can’t seem to grasp the concept of team playing. They’ll either reverse their criticism and come at you from the opposite direction, or else see how foolish they appear to others. You’ll win in either case.

Rick said...

Mary, how about the new LYNX numbers? They've been available for a couple of days now. Why aren't you reporting them? I'd think you'd want to bring us the good news.

Anonymous said...

The light rail is getting built and people are going to like it, just like they have embraced the first 9 miles. Just like they embrace the modern architecture that UNCC is bringing uptown. I see the old south whiners are still not over it, but change has come to Charlotte and it will continue to snowball. If you don't like it here, Bessimer City is merely 30 miles away.

Anonymous said...

Mary, Why don't you put up the money to fund this public works project?

Anonymous said...

"Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State lives at the expense of everyone" Frederic Bastiat

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Mary, Why did you delete the comment about the UPTOWN MAFIA? Are you AFRAID that if you allow it they'll leave a horsehead on your typewriter?

Anonymous said...

"Hey kids, what time is it?" - Buffalo Bob Smith on the Howdy Doody Show.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:39 Mary is very sensitive. Could you imagine living with her? It would be like walking on egg shells.

Anonymous said...

The university rail line DOES NOT MEET MINIMAL FEDERAL RIDERSHIP STANDARDS.

Anonymous said...

McIntosh's restaurant _on the light rail line_ just CLOSED.

How many more restaurants will the billion-buck choo-choo kill?

Chris said...

Hey conservatives, I thought you guys were all about personal independence and choice? I want to be able to CHOOSE to use alternate transportation in my neighborhood. Your impotent braying is both depressing and tiresome.

For the record I effing love that uptown campus building. Neoclassical architecture, once a vibrant and refined form of architecture (in the 19th century) has been done to death. Get with the times, people.

Anonymous said...

Chris calm down. You take yourself way to seriously.