|The city's best cherry tree? Could make an old-timey postcard for sure|
(The tree is also, I believe, part of a memorial to those Japanese-American students forced to leave Willamette in 1942 and sent to internment camps. Especially now with the blossoms, it is a fitting place for contemplation on the too-fleetingness of the good and beautiful.)
Walkable City for review, and it'll be great fun. Are any of you reading it? It would be fun to work through it chapter-by-chapter in an online salon! Speck's criteria for walkability call for a city's approach to be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. The question of interest was particularly on the mind in the city emptied of folks by spring break.
What are the surfaces, forms, actions, and vistas that create an interesting walk?
Alleys are an important part of this in a city! Over at Upright Cyclist, B+ has continued the series on the downtown alley between Liberty and Commercial. (B+ also has a note about a terrible bike rack and brutalist architecture at the SAIF building in the Pringle Creek Urban Renewal area.)
Over at Salemis, Sarah writes about the fly and grasshopper gargoyles mounted on the sides of buildings in the alley between Liberty and High.
|Salem downtown alley improvements from the mid-80s|
|1996 Downtown Plan|
Another friend of the blog found this great study from 1996! The 1996 Riverfront/Downtown Core Area Master Plan is fascinating - both for what was done and for what was left undone. It'll take a while to look through it, but it's especially interesting in light of the Downtown Mobility Study.
One of the things it featured was a proposal for "pedestrian streets," complete with a widened 30 foot sidewalk. Even more interesting, it proposed Court Street for this treatment!
|Court Street section with proposed 30 foot sidewalk|
Here's a plan view of the wider sidewalk on Court side-by-side with the current view. Compare the proposal - no surface parking lots! - to what is there today. And imagine the tables at Venti's with a 30 foot sidewalk.
|1996 vision v. current reality|
missed opportunity on sidewalks and plaza
|Camellias like icing on a cake|
Back to urban rambling over the weekend, the Erythronium festival is a little more than a week away, but the lilies are flowering at Deepwood right now! So are currants and other early flowering things. Camas is just around the corner in a month!
Since the city is so quiet - take a moment to stop and smell the flowers!