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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mid Century Madness!

Get over to Toby Weiss's B.E.L.T. now if you already haven't.

My head was spinning in bedazzlement at the MCM wonders of Lindell Boulevard.

While B.E.L.T. ignores the buildings that detract from Lindell's space age streetscape, my mind drifted to the Lindell Marketplace. It's nice that the shopping center seems to have little trouble leasing space. But think of all of that activity brought closer to the Lindell block face. It could really add a lot. Instead, the front expanse of parking dominates and projects the image of a rundown suburb. Walgreens...I'm looking at you too! Check out the site plan of Lindell Marketplace.

At least there are now some "outparcels" that front Lindell! That's about the best you can hope for with THF, known for the dismally anti-urban Maplewood Commons, among others.

The new Jack in the Box will be popular, I'm sure, but would you want the fast food chain as your neighbor? The soon-to-be residents of the Villas of St. Louis development have little choice in the matter. If they're not satisfied with a Sourdough Jack, there are Big Macs and Bacon Beef and Cheddars nearby as well.

I digress far too much.

Lindell is a gem of an urban street. It has an impressive array of buildings old and new. It would be a shame to see the San Luis Apartments be senselessly removed from that more than functional equation.

Surely there's something negative to say about Lindell besides the Marketplace, right? Of course! It cries out for a central median (recall my plea for New Orleans style-neutral grounds). These medians offer greenery and serve as islands for pedestrians all at once. They slow down traffic and can even serve as jogging paths.

Toby's post shows (exhaustively) how Lindell has the elements to be a great street. The role of the city and the public should be to demand it see its potential.


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