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Old 06-09-2010, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Georgia
284 posts, read 859,499 times
Reputation: 234

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Wow-yes, a rather childish description of downtown Atlanta but was mostly correct. I work at Americasmart and when I first saw these buildings/surrounding buildings, all I could think was how they looked like prisons. Gerbil Chute!-lol
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,749 posts, read 10,036,591 times
Reputation: 3280
OMG...The "Horror of Dowtown Atlanta"

This says it all for me: "the notoriously outspoken critic of the urban condition in America, was in Atlanta for the recent Congress For The New Urbanism."

Sounds like a bunch of codewords for some kind for a radical liberal agenda. Grains of salt a-plenty. His comments confirm the bias.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:23 AM
JPD
 
7,969 posts, read 8,246,695 times
Reputation: 3665
His photo essay tells about 70% of the story, and is about 70% accurate.

In several of those photos, if he had simply turned around, he would have seen street level retail/dining and not blank walls. He was standing in front of restaurants and shops and looking away from them. I find that a little deceptive, and it most certainly was intentional.

In one of the photos he flat out lied about what was depicted. He claimed there was no street level shops, when, in fact, there is a sandwich shop (which I frequent) and a hair salon in the photo.

He's right that Atlanta has a LONG way to go towards creating inviting streetscapes. But his photo essay is clearly slanted.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:31 AM
 
248 posts, read 386,886 times
Reputation: 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPD View Post
In several of those photos, if he had simply turned around, he would have seen street level retail/dining and not blank walls. He was standing in front of restaurants and shops and looking away from them. I find that a little deceptive, and it most certainly was intentional.
That's true, that he could have turned around and seen something nicer. It's also the nature of downtown ATL in that there are pockets of really pretty streetscapes but often they're right beside or across from an ugly surface lot, a prison-like parking garage, a blank service entrance or some other unpleasantness.

To show that you can actually turn the camera towards nice scenes (which in fairness he did with the Broad Street pic), I posted some of my own faves from my downtown walks on the photo thread:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/14538988-post215.html
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,749 posts, read 10,036,591 times
Reputation: 3280
The thing is....I could go to any city in the US (and probably the world) and take photos with a similar perspective. The tone of his comments and the group to whom he presented speaks to me that he had no desire to be positive or unbiased.

EDIT...has anyone been to Boston? Seen the City Hall across from Quincy Market? Seen some of the concrete gov't buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s?

Last edited by neil0311; 06-09-2010 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Georgia
2,403 posts, read 1,373,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koko339 View Post
Untitled Document (click for link)
James Howard Kunstler, the notoriously outspoken critic of the urban condition in America, was in Atlanta for the recent Congress For The New Urbanism. When I heard he was going to be in town I was just waiting on a scathing review of downtown to appear on his blog...and here it is! For out of towners who don't know of all the great spots in Atlanta and have their first impressions created by all the John Portman bullcrap, I can't blame them for leaving with a bad taste in their mouths.
A fair critique, I think, but it would have been nice if he had just gone a mile north to see the contrast known as Midtown. I gotta give props to some of those comments--"gerbil chute"..."trying to keep socialists out??"...etc. BTW, was that one good photo taken about a block west of Woodruff Park?

I know that a lot of people have ideas to revitalize downtown. I'm not all that in-the-know on them, but perhaps it may come in the form of starting in one small area and slowly working out.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:52 AM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
6,558 posts, read 6,891,269 times
Reputation: 3717
Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
The thing is....I could go to any city in the US (and probably the world) and take photos with a similar perspective. The tone of his comments and the group to whom he presented speaks to me that he had no desire to be positive or unbiased.

EDIT...has anyone been to Boston? Seen the City Hall across from Quincy Market? Seen some of the concrete gov't buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s?
Or even Javits Center in Manhattan. It was built with same mentality that the places here that he criticized.
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,749 posts, read 10,036,591 times
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BTW...it's easier to slam buildings and infrastructure that was built 30 or 40 years ago. Discussing something that was architected many years ago doesn't seem relevant or necessary. Should we knock down that 60's concrete stuff and rebuild?

What would be more interesting is a look at anything new that has been built in Atlanta, and seeing whether similar negatives can be seen. Has newer development repeated the same mistakes?
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Old 06-09-2010, 08:58 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,128 posts, read 21,730,818 times
Reputation: 4746
While I agree with some of his observations and do agree that there are some extremely unattractive areas of downtown, his style of writing reminds me of a paper turned in by a 13 year old.

Speaking of things that are unattractive (like web site design), he might also want to be aware that they've updated site creation programs beyond Frontpage 2000, too.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:04 AM
JPD
 
7,969 posts, read 8,246,695 times
Reputation: 3665
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
BTW, was that one good photo taken about a block west of Woodruff Park?
.
Yes. That's Broad Street. It's a very lively area during the business/school week.
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