And on the note about the McGilchrist building, Walker proposes a fee on vacant buildings as a way to incentivize improvements, leases, and ultimately occupancy.
The lack of ground floor windows is a problem. It's got that dark marble band instead of windows. The building really does turn its back, more than a little frostily, to the sidewalk. It's not inviting and it's not connected to the wider life of the City as it passes on the street.
The building clearly anticipates most visits by car - through the drive-in in back and through the rear entry off the parking lot. It's a mid-century autoist construct.
The light inside could be a problem, too. There are four 3x3 clerestory windows on the north side. That's it. It may be a little dark inside. Everything about the building makes me want to poke holes and to open it up.
Except for the reliefs!
And here's where Jim's idea really takes off.
|Logging and Timber|
|Are these hops? Agriculture, anyway.|
Talk about a brilliant match for the Social Security Administration! You could hardly commission something like this anymore.
So having the SSA here is an idea that really should be explored more. It almost seems like destiny. The building, as Jim noted, is a block from the transit mall, and for a facility that will serve a large number of folks who are dependent on transit, this seems ideal.
The building site had been part of a proposed mixed use development, and the building was slated to be demolished. That development is on hiatus or gone, as it was a casualty very early in the Great Recession, and its owners may still want to build something.
But it sure seems like the SSA office would be a great way to fill the building with a long-term, stable lessee.
The other questions would revolve around light, utilities, and how much the facade might need to be altered and how much alteration the historic district and codes would permit. These may be more complicated than we think.
So what do you think?
(Many others have asked about the building before, most recently perhaps over at On the Way.)