Thursday, March 22, 2007

Free Photos/$500k toilet

Occasionally I'll throw some pictures up on the side. I am an amateur photographer (who isn't nowadays) and I am told that some of my pictures can be cool. Who's to judge? I like them.

I'm going to throw my voice in on the $500k bathroom whilst I'm here.

What a waste.

There still is no coherent vision for the River/Downtown Davenport etc. All this stuff does is force upkeep costs on those least likely to afford it; The property owners staying in Davenport. Mostly homeowners. Davenport puts up all this infrastructure and the people who use it come from the other side of the river, or LeClaire, Bettendorf, and Blue Grass. The main commercial growth in Davenport is actually occurring on the other side of town. Kick out the Casino and what kind of job base are we going to get in Downtown Davenport?

Galena has a wonderful downtown with shopping integrated with the riverfront. Davenport has very little in the way of Downtown Attractions that would feed off of the Stadium (abandoned 75% of the year) or the Art Gallery (not a huge draw), or the Band Shell (abandoned 95% of the year). The skate park, apparently, is a draw, but how much money do skaters have? That's not a slam on skaters, it's just a bit of truth. Having no money is pretty cool in my book.

So we have skaters, a bridge accross the river a usually abandoned Stadium, a usually abandoned bandshell, an actually abandoned freight house, an Indoor skating rink with no windows, and no ties to the river. Then a lot of parking for the Casino and the bandshell and the stadium that sit empty most of the year. A bridge that my kids like and is kind of fun, especially for the cost (free), but that makes no money and looks like its going to be a constant headache to maintain. Especially when the boat leaves and it really leads nowhere. Oh...we've got a bike path.

Now, we're going to add a $500,000 bathroom with treats. We hope the skaters will buy some nice treats. They'd have to be nice especially to pay for the upkeep. And when it does flood? What happens to the skate park then? What happens to the treats?

Who pays? The people too poor to get out of dodge. The people who will no longer have money to go to the Art Museum, or the Stadium because their taxes are too high.


QuadCityImages said...

There is a coherent vision, called the RiverVision plan. While this pavilion isn't specifically on there, it fits with the third of the park that has been designated the "Active recreation" area.

mrc said...

whew, "because their taxes are too high?" is your "s" going to be replaced by an "r", schqc? ;-) anyway -- yes, look at the rivervision plan. in fact, i was looking closely at rivervision yesterday, and noticed that one of the guys involved in it -- alex krieger, of chan krieger & associates -- is one of my thesis advisors (kind of -- it's complicated. anyway, he is a great guy). i asked him about it, and he said that he was only tangentially involved -- but one thing he does recall from the process is the enormous animosity at the public meetings. which i would guess reflects more on the state of mind of the qc's than on the plan itself.

anyway -- back to the bathroom -- i would say that if d-port is making a strategic commitment to developing their riverfront in an architecturally interesting way over a long span of time, things could turn out very well for them. this is a strategy, though, not a tactic. it'll take a while.

mrc said...

p.s. -- love the matthew pic.

Socialist Christian Hippie said...

Well, what I mean by vision and what others mean by "vision" may vary.

One thing I've noticed even working at a church. One needs to have some idea as to what one wants to achieve. What does Davenport want to become? The riverfront should be a tool to enrich the city, grow the city, or simply serve the citizens.

Unfortunately, it seems that while we have a "vision" of what it should look like, we have no vision of what we want to get out of it.

This overall lack of vision is what I'm talking about. There is no focus, just a lot of different ideas about how to make it look nice. A $500k toilet will make a nice addition to an overall plan..if we know what the overall plan is.

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