|At the installation of "The Cube"|
via the Chamber of Commerce
|Art proposed for several corner locations|
"The Cube" would be the first, at location A,
adorning the renovated McGilchrist-Roth block
The first thing that struck me about the sites, is that they cluster too much on Liberty/Commercial and try to decorate the autocentric near-highways. It has seemed that we have to be willing to tame the rivers of cars before we will really be able to do much to make walking downtown really pleasant.
|The Avenging Angel of Autoism|
watches over concrete and asphalt
At the same time, the best historic buildings and density of small merchants are on the other streets.
And who could possibly begrudge a migration of art from the
So - Question: Overall, is this a meaningful way to improve downtown, or is it an ad hoc and insufficiently considered proposal that suffers from a lack of overall vision on substantially improving the walking environment?
Myself, I lean towards the latter, but it's a weak, not strong, opinion. What do you think?
* Even an out-of-town visitor says "I don't know who landscaped the Salem Convention Center but it is pathetic. I...could have done a whole post about how awful it was."
Update, February 19th, 2015
It was actually a couple of days ago...
Autoism rules. So now we are going to have drive-by sculpture in downtown Salem. I think the location of the new drive-by WWII memorial on Court Street is shameful. I was on the site selection committee and was the sole dissenting vote. I said put it in the middle of Willson Park (replacing the embarrassing Goldschmidt children's sculpture) as a place for quiet contemplation, but committee opted for the drive-by location. We are making the same mistake here. Idiotic.
To place these sculptures in a car centric downtown is an insult to the artist who made them.
First we need a streetscape plan to beautify downtown sidewalks, reduce car traffic, increase bicycle traffic and make downtown pedestrian friendly and desirable. Make a place worthy of the art, and honor the artist who made it.
Salem deserves better than these small-vision one-off attempts at quality of life in Salem.
updated with note on cube installation
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