Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Art and inquiry and moving Confederate memorials

(Other stuff, and being sick seems to get in the way of writing.)

-- "(Public) History/Historic Preservation Tuesday: Museums and Modern Historiography," 2014
-- "Battle Scars: The Fight Over Virginia's Confederate Monuments," New Yorker Magazine
-- "Mayor Stoney: Commission to consider removal of Confederate monuments," Richmond Times-Dispatch
-- Monument Avenue Commission, Richmond
-- "Charlottesville rally: Report faults police over planning, failure to protect public," CNN

WRT the issue of Confederate monuments, something I have been thinking about for awhile but am reminded by this article, "Confederate monument in Decatur can be moved but not hidden," from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, I can't help but think of how removing them for "art museums" brings up the opportunity to create a Chris Burden-like installation, comparable to the streetlights at LACMA in Los Angeles ("Chris Burden's roundabout route of bringing 'Urban Light' to L.A.," Los Angeles Times), called Urban Light.

From the AJC article:
A 30-foot Confederate monument in downtown Decatur could be relocated to another visible site or placed in historical context, but it can’t be destroyed or concealed, according to a DeKalb County legal opinion released Tuesday.

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners will now consider what to do about the monument after passing a resolution in October condemning the monument for glorifying the Confederacy.

The legal opinion by County Attorney O.V. Brantley concludes that the county government owns the monument and is prohibited by state law from removing it from public view. But the opinion says the monument could be moved to a cemetery, museum or other property.

Vintage lamps
Urban Light"
A street lamp installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) by Chris Burden. These are a collection of 202 restored cast-iron vintage street lamps that are fully operational. The lights are from the 1920's and 1930's.

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At 12:46 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

Great installation.

Best holiday wishes, I know there is a lot going on.

Two things;

1. The VA-66 tolls is a great example of why you don't do PPP -- here at least the state can fix the mistakes.

2. I keep going back to your point on retail and developers -- that the developer is the one that can do the form.

(of course, I forgot to say that at the most critical time)

Good luck, stay strong.

At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Charlie said...

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Thanks and back at you! Best wishes for the holidays. Because Suzanne's parents were here unexpectedly for two months because of a health emergency that transpired while they were here, we're not gonna go out there, but stay here. (They are probably somewhat sick of us anyway.) But I would have liked being in SoCal.

2. wrt PPP, they are contracts. Nothing more, nothing less. You are a lawyer, I am not, so you know how that works way better than I do. There is little leeway for flexibility. Everything has to be set out in advance.

When they are contracts, there is zero flexibility, zero ability for iteration, and applying learning -- unless there is marginal positive economic return for the concessionaire.

It's like with Obamacare and the exchanges and the websites. To me, it should have been piloted, prototyped in say five states for a two year period, before being rolled out, with fixes addressed, learning applied, changes made, etc.

But like with PPP contracts, when you set it out in legislation, it becomes really hard to improve with experience.

3. E.g., I was hoping to get a job with the Purple Line, but the team I was dealing with didn't win. I tried to get a job with the team picked, given the points I've made about ancillary development etc. (something picked up on independently by the losing team), but eventually talked with someone there who ended up leaving, and said the concessionaire is only committed to doing what is required by the pre-existing contract, nothing more. That in response to community requests, ideas, etc. not covered in the contract, the job is to say no.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

oops, the reason I mentioned the Obamacare thing is that they should have done a couple weeks "free" on the I-66 toll road, not collecting tolls, but functioning as if they were, testing the toll cost projections, etc., so people would have some idea of what were getting into.

Not adding capacity, but adding the potential for the number of vehicles, how could the tolls not go up astronomically.

Plus there is no alternative. It's not like 395/95/495 where you can jump into the non-tolled lanes and "pay" in terms of increased time in return for not paying a premium price.

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

article from the Guardian on new monuments


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