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Old 07-31-2014, 09:11 AM
JJG JJG started this thread
 
Location: Fort Worth
13,247 posts, read 19,171,479 times
Reputation: 7005

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I made a thread earlier about the best and smartest decisions that were made for a city's core, so I figured I'd make the opposite.

What was the WORST decision ever made for your city's downtown area?

For Fort Worth, there are plenty of things I could say.

- Getting rid of "Hell's Half Acre", which could have been our own version of Austin's 6th St. or Nashville's Broadway
- Demolishing our classic Medical Arts Building and replacing it with our current tallest (and most hated) skyscraper
- Shutting down the study of streetcars in 2010, setting light rail opportunities back at least another 8 years.
(Fort Worth city leadership has a history of short-sighted decisions, and I guess lately, they're trying to make up for it.)

But the absolute worst thing to happen for this city was getting rid of the Leonard's (Tandy Center) Subway. Believe it or not, Fort Worth was the first city in Texas with a subway line of any kind.





It ran a little less than a mile, since it was a privately owned subway that was only used for a department store.






Now you're probably thinking, "why is this a big deal since it was just some short line only used for a department store?"

Well... there were plans to expand it. In the 70's, there were plans to turn this one small only used for a department store into a full fledged subway system for the city. Fort Worth would have been the ONLY city in Texas with one, giving this state a different kind of rail system.

Sadly, those plans were shut down by politics and the tunnels under Taylor Street that there for possible expansion were closed off, blocking any chance of it happening. The Leonard's/Tandy Center Subway ran from 1963-2002.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,850 posts, read 7,795,643 times
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For my old hometown Houston, it was the building of the downtown tunnel system. The tunnels are a mixed blessing. During Houston's long and humid summers as well as on rainy days, it is great for downtown workers to be able to go underground for lunch and shopping errands. The downside, however, is that the tunnels are not open after hours and on weekends and virtually every entry point is through one of the office towers rather than direct street access. I think the CBD would have been more vibrant without the tunnel system, as retail would have been located at street level rather than hidden underground, and such visibility and accessibility might have resulted in many business owners experimenting with remaining open on nights and weekends. As it is now, so many of Houston office towers only feature elegant but dark and empty lobbies at street level: https://maps.gstatic.com/m/streetvie...765124471,,0,0? I see this relative paucity of accessible retail and entertainment at street level as a big contributor to DT Houston's 9 - 5 culture.

For my current hometown Philly, it was the building of the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) connecting the Schuylkill Expressway with I-95, the Ben Franklin Bridge abound the Jersey suburbs. It's not that the connector was unnecessary - it's how it was built. Rather than tunneling, blocks of healthy and occupied residential stock was razed. Not only were those folks displaced, Center City's neighborhoods are now separated from those further north by a concrete barrier: https://maps.gstatic.com/m/streetvie...552730826,,0,0 The only good news is that a planned viaduct down South Street similar to the Vine Street Expressway was scuttled. Instead of being boxed in to the south as well, Center City spills seamlessly into Queen Village, Bella Vista, a Graduate Hospital on on further into South Philly. A dodge bullet indeed.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
1,085 posts, read 1,345,850 times
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Putting up a bunch of tall utility poles to link both of my town's industrial areas in 2001 but never actually wiring them.
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Old 07-31-2014, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
1,423 posts, read 1,986,282 times
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Quote:
Believe it or not, Fort Worth was the first city in Texas with a subway line of any kind.
Very interesting fact!

For Baltimore, I feel that the skyline looks to bland, boring, and boxy from Interstate 95, thus giving the impression of an unimportant city filled with the same back-office type of office work that could be found in say Scranton or Toledo. In retrospect, I wish we had taller and sleeker skyscrapers that would command a more imposing presence for much of the region.

Interstate 70 should have been completed to hook up with Interstate 95, just east of the downtown area, as much of west Baltimore is pretty much a large dead zone with few cross traffic from the surrounding counties.

Last, but certainly not least. Our subway system should have flawlessly interconnected with the light-rail line to resemble some sort of legit and cohesive transportation network.
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,958 posts, read 3,816,840 times
Reputation: 3281
Seattle: I-5 freeway running right through the middle of Seattle's urban core, with the Central Business District/South Lake Union on one side, and Capitol Hill/First Hill on the other. The urban core would feel more connected if the city one day buries I-5.
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,420 posts, read 16,950,133 times
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I think for most every city, it will be the destruction of some grand old buildings in the name of urban renewal. Here in Savannah, it's shocking how many fantastic old buildings were torn down for stupid reasons before leaders got smart and realized what a treasure trove of architecture we had. Here are some of the buildings that Savannah lost:

UNION STATION:
http://www.oldstratforduponavon.com/...12-620x413.jpg

FIRST NATIONAL BANK:
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/s...?itok=H3Eo1tOJ

DESOTO HOTEL:
http://ourancestors.info/Ancestors/I...eSotoFront.jpg

CITY MARKET:
http://imagecache01a.allposters.com/...ia-Posters.jpg

Here's what replaced all those things:

UNION STATION:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.0734...mRHkZz7Uzg!2e0

FIRST NATIONAL BANK:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.0789...gbY7f9z4mQ!2e0

DESOTO HOTEL:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.0743...BPHa9oLhFA!2e0

CITY MARKET:
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.0801...yqxcf8ROKg!2e0
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,874,211 times
Reputation: 7732
San Francisco tearing down the beautiful old Southern Pacific Depot in the 1970s, to replace it with an RV park.

Then & Now: The Southern Pacific Depot - Then & Now - Curbed SF
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:17 AM
 
281 posts, read 587,867 times
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Mall "Eugene had sustained more damage from the mall than it would have from a natural disaster."
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,874,211 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
Seattle: I-5 freeway running right through the middle of Seattle's urban core, with the Central Business District/South Lake Union on one side, and Capitol Hill/First Hill on the other. The urban core would feel more connected if the city one day buries I-5.
I don't know about that, but I would say the Alaska Way Viaduct is a bigger disaster. Get that thing torn down already. I'm seriously not going to visit Seattle again until that monstrosity is gone and the Water Front Streetcar is back. It just ruins the entire experience of the water front IMHO.
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:22 AM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
9,829 posts, read 21,132,956 times
Reputation: 9418
If you add together all the pre 1900 houses, churches, and high rises Louisville tore down you'd have Charleston SC

Louisville after the Bombings? (The Thumbnails)

In the short term I think it's a mistake to be planning new high rises when the downtown needs all those stinking surface level parking lots build over with shorter buildings
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