In today's paper there's a different note about loss, about the Cooke-Patton House, demolished for the State Library and Capitol Mall expansion after the Capitol fire of 1935.
|Cooke-Patton House Demolition, 1939|
Current site of State Library
Salem Library Historic Photos
|Piety Hill Neighborhood from old Capitol|
Cooke-Patton is the right-most in the inset series
|Approximately Same View Today|
As a related matter, the pursuit of the low-cost is sometimes also the cheap. How do we make it good? is just as relevant as How do we make it cost less?
An inexpensive Police Station could yield a generic big box office building plopped on a large parking lot, out on the edges of the City. By making the lowest-cost solution the goal, we might externalize other costs. Some have pointed to Eugene's new facility, but it's on a frontage stroad across from a Country Club! It's not connected to downtown and it doesn't look like you can walk or bike there very easily. The $17M price tag looks attractive, but is it the Walmart approach to public safety and a good civic life?
Back in December 2011, in a public report to City Council, staff said
the subcommittee also discussed the additional annual operational costs that would arise from moving the Police Department to an offsite location. Operational cost increases would include considerable additional labor and fleet expenses for Police staff travelling back and forth to the Civic Center for court and meetings with other City departments. Other City staff would also require additional travel and fleet expenses to meet with Police at their new facility and there would be an incremental increase in facility maintenance costs for a new remote facility compared to a facility located close to other City buildings. In addition, acquisition of an alternative site would remove it from the property tax rolls and reduce annual property tax revenue. The subcommittee found that the increased operational costs and overall benefit of the central Civic Center site outweighed the increased initial capital cost of construction.Here are two clips with preliminary costing from the report:
By 1963, the four-block area that comprises today’s civic center contained 23 homes, four apartment buildings containing 38 apartments, the Scottish Rite Temple, a motel, a furniture warehouse, a parking lot, the city water department and pumping station, and two dentist’s offices.In addition to taking property off the tax rolls, the Civic Center also devastated a neighborhood.
It should be clear that the "suburban" bare land site is a bad idea. The other concepts are much less obviously good or bad, and it's worth having more debate and discussion about them. Two are perhaps more similar to the Eugene situation, although the City and architect consultants say they would cost significantly more than $17M.
- Urban Redevelopment Site ($57M)
- Existing Building Retrofit Site ($54M)
And as we consider the costs, we need make sure we consider costs not necessarily captured in the "initial capital cost of construction." The Kroc Center failed to consider a lot of these other costs, and we're seeing how that turned out.
* Virginia Green has a series of slides on the displacements and demolitions of Piety Hill here.