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Friday, June 12, 2009

The Key to CityGarden's Success?

The Riverfront Times has reported that Jim Fiala, of Liluma/Acero fame, will manage the restaurant at the new CityGarden in the Gateway Mall between 8th and 10th Streets on the east and west, Market and Chestnut on the south and north. The restaurant will be called "Terrace View" and will offer indoor and outdoor seating, taking advantage of Garden views.

If I'm not mistaken, the restaurant will flank the northeast corner of the site (Chestnut and 8th). There are some pictures of the in-progress garden courtesy of Toby Weiss's B.E.L.T., but none specifically of the restaurant space.

Regardless, what I've seen I like. The restaurant, depending upon hours, will infuse a rather dead space with a good degree of life and activity. Short of reconstructing the north block face of Chestnut Street a couple blocks down where the parking garages face Kiener Plaza with high rise residential/offices--this is a great way to bring an active edge to the newly programmed CityGarden.

But it shouldn't stop there. The block where the Serra Sculpture (AKA the Twain) rests could fit some light construction as well. One could see a really small bar, a la the Log Cabin Inn at the City Museum, becoming a new entryway to the Serra Sculpture space.

Another bolder proposal would be to close the westbound lanes of Market Street and build a new streetwall of buildings on this newly acquired land, possibly all the way from Tucker to Broadway. The portion fronting the Gateway Mall/City Garden could provide that needed human scale street wall combined with pockets of activity that will keep the space alive throughout most of the day (and night?). I might try to render some of this in Google Sketchup. Don't hold me to it.

2 comments:

Brian said...

I agree that a small bar, with a sizeable outdoor patio with tables, firepits, etc. would be perfect for the western edge of the garden.

Ross said...

Outdoor Firepits are a great way to decorate your outdoor living area in modern style.

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