A small square of green

Published August 17, 2012 by justicewg

If you have been following the Grandview Yard development from the start you knew that an acre of land was set aside by NRI for use by the city of Grandview. The land was called a park during the initial planning, but nothing was said about how this park would fit into the development or what would be on the land. The initial planning documents showed a small square of green off the main road that transects the Yard from north to south, with a small circle that suggests a fountain. Another triangle of green was wedged against Goodale Boulevard, but I think the present buildings have covered that bit of land.

Word from the city is that an open period for suggestions from residents will be used to decide the final plan for the land. Email suggestions are encouraged (send to Mr Bowman at pbowman@grandviewheights.org) , and a public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22, in the middle school commons. The city says on its website:

The first step is to generate ideas expressed as a vision of an activity or program that is needed or desired by the community i.e. a family gathering place, children’s recreation area, special event venue, community arts. The idea may be expressed in a more programmatic form such as a plaza, fountains, gathering areas, arts center, meeting center, a city government office.

That last suggestion – city office space – is undoubtedly high on the wish list of the mayor and the council. The city has been trying to replace the aging city building that holds most of its offices for years, the voters turned down a levy back in the 90’s.

Return of the Little Red Charette?

Back in 2007 the city was seeking input on long range plans for the city’s parks and recreation programs, and used a number of meetings that were based on the Charette system. It was an impressive method and seemed to be very good at bringing brainstorming ideas to the surface for discussion. The recession that followed those meetings brought a halt to all the plans, but the process was good. I hope the charette will return.

A statuesque suggestion

I know what will be the result of all the planning will be – a plaza with a fountain. Every city has one. It is safe and non-controversial, and it leaves the land open for use in festivals, concerts, or other mass gatherings.

The development at Grandview Yard is a copy of the European style building planning, with higher intensity, urban mixed use, multi-story buldings. Why doesn’t Grandview also copy the decoration styling from those countries?

How about a nice impressive statue! I looked around the net and found these statues.

Proposed statue for Grandview Yard

This kind of statue says “sophisticated!”. The guy is Carl something or other – doesn’t matter. Plunk this guy down in the plaza and we have instant class. How about two guys?

Two guys

It’s class ideas like this that will get Grandview noticed!

(later) The meeting was held and the ideas for the Yard land (at least the ones that were reported) were very familiar.

An indoor pool for use by the Grandview swimming team has been pushed by some parents forever. The last time it got voiced was when the board unilaterally decided to artificial turf the football field. I believe it was also promoted at the charette.

A community center with pool, basketball courts, a running track, etc., was another recycled suggestion from the city’s parks and recreation program meetings. The multi-million dollar cost of a building that would be large enough to hold all these facilities is well beyond what Grandview could come up with.

I don’t even know why a library facility was suggested, the city has trouble funding the present building and staff.

Keep thinking about those statues. They may be expensive to buy, but they need no staffing or maintenance!

(later)

Disappointing final results

The city had a dedication ceremony for the First Avenue Park in May of 2017. I don’t think any of the suggestions were used, it is mostly green space. There are a few stone flower beds, and the west end of the park has a stone enclosed area that contains – some electrical transformers. Even a small plaza and a fountain would have been better than the stark grass that barely qualifies it to be called a park.

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