|Hotel tower, Convention Center, Parking Garage|
Court Street axis, Riverfront Park (detail)
We went for a park.
Salem Tomorrow 1984 went for concrete.
The Riverfront area would have been totally redeveloped as a Convention Center, hotel, and Performing Arts Center.
|Riverfront 2000 vision: Salem Tomorrow 1984|
(click to enlarge; comments in red added)
Not that this is all wrong.
I happen to wish that Riverfront Park had some riverside dining and shopping beyond what is offered by the Willamette Queen. I wish Riverfront Park did have a little more development in it. Not nearly as much in the picture here, but a bit more than we currently have. The Carousel by itself is not enough. There's too much ornamental emptiness in Riverfront Park as it is today, and we still haven't created adequate connections across the Front Street bypass.
But superblock and skybridge construction isn't the answer, either.
|Our alleys are great, but it is not the "big box" ones that are thriving|
The City did act formally on the alleys not long after this report came out.
|Salem downtown alley improvements from the mid-80s|
And it may be that the private investment by brewers and cider-makers, and more targeted urban renewal support for them, is more effective than landscape art applied to the surfaces and to the spandrels between buildings.
It is small business entries off the alley and not public art or parking garages that really enliven the alleys.
That is, in order to make them useful and attractive parts of circulation, the alleys don't merely need decoration, they also need commercial activity.
|Roth & McGilchrist has nearly a quarter-block footprint|
after renovation - via CD Redding
As we think about the State Hospital parcel, we will want to find that sweet spot between low-density dullness that it seems some of the neighbors want and over-built superblock uniformity that some developers might want. Even if individual developments there wouldn't be in quarter blocks, it may be that this is a good analytical unit and proportion for thinking about space and building in Salem.
* There's a tiny note on bikeways, but these are a small recreational path system. Maybe we'll return to that in another note. There's a few more things too in the plan that might be worth comment.