The City looks to be heading towards a big FAIL on that one, so let's start of with what so far looks to be an unqualified success.
Council will receive an information report on possible pod locations for food carts.
|Detail from downtown map of possible pod locations|
A group of downtowners will hold a temporary pod on First Wednesday, August 6th. Organizers say,
the first Salem food pod pulls into the alley behind Taproot (Pete’s Place) during First Wednesday Pop Up. Fusion, Sample This BBQ and Uncle Chuck’s Wagon join Vagabond Brewing, Santiam Brewing, 2 Towns Cider House and Hard Times Distillery.As for some of the squawking by restaurant owners, the downtown restaurant scene still doesn't seem like a "mature" or "saturated" market. In an immature market, we should see a "rising tide floats all boats," and it is likely that food carts will not primarily cannibalize existing restaurant activity, but will draw more and different people downtown. Maybe not, but the bet here is that food carts will strengthen, not diffuse, total activity downtown and enlarge the pool of customers for restauranteurs in brick-and-mortar locations.
Salem's fond of touting its historic preservation efforts.
Just a half a block from Howard Hall is Gaiety Hollow, the home and garden created and shared by Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver.
|Preservation Work at Gaiety Hollow|
|"Heritage All Star" sign at Bush Park|
|Submission from Hospital|
So inquiring minds want to know! Exactly what kinds of distinguishing features should we expect on a structure that housed and educated blind students? Should we look for extra large braille dots of architectural terra cotta raised in relief on corners and windows and labeling other architectural or spatial features?
This looks like it's heading towards the idea that there is some "architecture of the blind" that the proverbial "anthropologist from Mars" would discern as something specific for housing and educating blind students.
Maybe I'm misreading this, but it looks a little funny.
Each building, whether at the Blind School, Deaf School, Fairview, or State Hospital took on the architectural style of the day. That's the dominant note.
Our anthropologist from Mars wouldn't even see the Kirkbride building over at the State Hospital and know for sure it was for an Asylum! It looks like any number of other winged institutional buildings with a central tower circa 1880.
The idea for the blind school was not to build some nirvana apart from sighted society, but to develop the skills necessary or useful in navigating the sighted world. In this regard it would be unusual for the architecture at the blind school to have a suite of "distinguishing features." Instead we would expect it to be like architecture in the sighted world.
I might be wrong, but I'm inclined to see this as a significant misunderstanding of what it might mean for a building to be valuable in the history of the school.
Our medical corps doesn't acquit themselves very well, either. It is a little ironic they display more concern for parking lot expansion than they do for the fact that car crashes are a leading cause of death for kids, and that the lack of walking and biking to school a significant obesogenic factor and ingredient in adult public health problems. Bike and Walk Salem or Safe Routes to School have not roused "Pediatric Healthcare Providers" to this extent. I know some of them contribute to local bike safety education efforts, but there's a disconnect here between macro urban strategies for healthy kids and the micro scale of a single adaptive playground.
The Hospital's development at the Blind School ought to be able to address both. Again, there's plenty of room for both Howard Hall, an adaptive playground, and a modest amount of surface parking.
|Plenty of room|
(inserted to post on 7/29)
It might not be surprising that the same boilerplate appears in this letter and several others. Clearly it was furnished by the Hospital as a template or petition.
|Two Lost Buildings:|
Old City Hall and Derby Building in Distance
(Looking SE-ish from north side of Chemeketa and High)
Salem Library Historic Photos
|SE Corner of Chemeketa and Commercial, then and now|
Then: Eldridge Block circa 1940, Salem Library
Inset, today: Chemeketa Parkade
(Click to enlarge)
I work in the mainenance department [of the Hospital]. I have personally been in and walked through Howard Hall. There is NO way you could consider this building as anything historic. In my opinion, this building is an eye sore....Howard Hall is a piece of rotting JUNK!!!A useful exercise might be to substitute "Old City Hall" for "Howard Hall" or to play madlibs with other buildings we have demolished and lost. Many of them were not in great shape and could be talked about in exactly the same terms as supporters of demolition talk about Howard Hall. Old City Hall wasn't in very good shape - and a lot of people miss it badly. But once we remove ourselves from the insistent pressures of the NOW, one in which the building is more than a little shabby, and project ourselves or our children and grandchildren 10, 25, 50 years into the future, it seems very likely that the loss of Howard Hall will be regarded much more with regret than with satisfaction.
(For all notes on the project and demolition hearing, see here.)
Zoning and Code Work Session
Before Council, a reader pointed out a couple weeks ago there's also a work session on the Unified Development Code "clean-up" project. The first part of it was supposed to be "policy-neutral," to represent no changes in policy. I'm not sure they succeeded 100% with that, but code is complicated and that's not something we follow closely here. The next step, items on the so-called "bucket list" represent policy change. One of them, for example, should be changes in bike parking requirements and standards that arose out of Bike and Walk Salem. There is a lot on street connectivity and street standards, residential infill standards and other good stuff.
But then you get to zoning and permitted uses. Talk about Ptolemaic epicycles! We really should transition to something more like a form-based code - something with less on "what you do" and more on "what it looks like." Our modern successor to exclusionary zoning just looks like a charlie foxtrot, and the more we try to salvage it, the more complicated it gets.
Anyway, the formal topic for the work session at 5:30 in the Library Anderson Rooms is "Planning Salem: Discussing a Long-Range Planning Work Program for UDC follow-up items" and though it's complicated, even Byzantine, it's an opportunity for Salemites to change the way we develop and redevelop.