Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Couple of things

- The Mike Gundy meltdown was awesome ... he was a few seconds away from shouting 'I hope you have beautiful, articulate sons!'

- This is awful. Please keep the Reeves family in your thoughts and prayers.

- Perhaps I'm a little naive on this, but I honestly don't share the same concerns that Amy Kissane has. That isn't to say they're not valid, but I think the potential of a handful of Greek organizations moving isn't enough to sound the alarm bells about the destruction of the historic beauty of Milledge Avenue, and comparisons to Prince Avenue are off-base for a variety of reasons (ranging from the proximity to UGA to existing zoning around the street).

- I'm going to talk about this a little more, but Flack is spot on. While the state party has been considerably more open to reach out to the progressive bloggers in Georgia, the rest of the elected officials - statewide, not locally - haven't tapped into the resources of the blogosphere and are way behind the curve of the Republicans in this state.

- Nothing like playing up your strengths, but whatever. The weirder thing is that this is a 'non-denominational' party ... huh?

- Wallace Gilberry? Never heard of him? Only thing I know is he didn't sack Matthew Stafford, let alone kill him.

- Bruce, you're killing me. Two tours in the past four years, and none come to Atlanta or Greenville or something?

12 Comments:

Blogger Mike-El said...

Bruce and the band will be here sometime in Jan/Feb/March. Bank on it. The Sessions tour hit mostly niche markets but he's never skipped Atlanta on an E Street tour.

Personally, I'm hoping he plays Gwinnett Arena again. Great sound, relatively intimate...and no Atlanta traffic.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Nicki said...

re: Amy Kissane...I think you lack vision. Prince Avenue looked a lot like Milledge before the vast majority of the houses were dismantled, and it'll look a lot like Milledge if the historic houses on Milledge aren't protected.

Reasons it might not go that way: currently we have plenty of money, the house that was moved wasn't adhering to the plantation aesthetic that seems desirable to the frat/sorority population, and the houses on Milledge are reasonably capable of serving their membership -- but the huge and inappropriate additions attached to the backs of most of them and this summer's demolition down to the facade of one of them ought to give one an indication of where their institutional needs might lead.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Jmac said...

I disagree Nicki, though I take your latter points.

Of course, I'm not of the mindset that Prince Avenue looks awful anyway ... quite the opposite actually. I think Prince Avenue has emerged as a very nice mix of new developments and business, coupled with appropriate historic preservation and redevelopment along the narrowing corridor approaching downtown.

But that's neither here nor there, I suppose.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Stop!!!theBS said...

Of course, I'm not of the mindset that Prince Avenue looks awful anyway ... quite the opposite actually.

PLEASE.

The destruction of the historical aspects of Prince Avenue in the 60's and 70's will eventually be documented as one of the greatest missed opportunities (and there are a lot to chose from) of Athens.

Prince Avenue put Madison to shame in the ante-bellum department.

I suppose the abandoned gas stations and oriental grocery stores do add a certain dimension the old mansions lacked.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Nicki said...

I disagree with that, JMac. Prince Avenue has some nice areas -- it has, however, a lot of terrible areas, and most of them were developed unsustainably and without regard to either historic preservation or general function. So, in a lot of places there are endless vistas of parking lots, poor traffic flow, and crime which is abetted greatly by design. Too, almost nothing on Prince is protected -- expect to see the New Way cleaners building demolished as soon as the family that owns it can find someone willing to deal with its environmental challenges, and there's very little historic property at all remaining on most of the avenue, commercial or residential.

ex-post to stop the bs...yes, well, I can see that most of the regional citizens are exceedingly fond of the hookers and drug dealers that hang out between the car wash and the Huddle House. Or, um, the giant swath of parking lot stretching from Lyndon Avenue to Prince Avenue behind the Kangaroo. And the giant concrete wall where people drive, like, double the speed limit? That's hot. Way hotter than some old mouldery mansion would be. Who needs 'em?

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Stop!!!theBS said...

FWIW, the glory that could have been Prince Ave. is probably best documented in this book:

Athens: A Pictorial History, James R. Reap, (Virginia Beach, Va.: Donning Communications, 1982).

1:09 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

It seems that we're arguing about two different things, and that's my fault for getting us off task ...

Regarding Prince Avenue, I think a lot of the development you see that cropped up along there, as noted, stems from poor decisions in earlier decades. However, I would also argue a lot of it is adapted to the growing medical industry along that corridor, and this includes the expansion and/or construction of parking lots in certain areas. These things aren't pretty but very necessary (and, more often than not, temporary placeholders).

I still contend that Prince Avenue, on the whole, is a pleasing experience that mixes old and new quite nicely. Granted, some areas need work and some better choices have been made in recent years, but it's grown up as a nice commercial/office/medical area.

Regarding Milledge Avenue, on the surface, I don't believe that we're going to see rampant demolition and redevelopment of that area for many reasons. The Greek organizations, as well as the businesses there, locate or remain on Milledge for the reasons we're discussing here. I know of several folks who keep their eyes on that area for properties solely because of those reasons.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

However, I would also argue a lot of it is adapted to the growing medical industry along that corridor, and this includes the expansion and/or construction of parking lots in certain areas. These things aren't pretty but very necessary (and, more often than not, temporary placeholders).

I disagree with this 100%. One of our sitting Planning Commissioners once told me "you know, if it were up to me I'd just draw a bubble around the hospital and let it do whatever it wants within the bubble." The bubble would, of course, include most of Boulevard. Such a plan makes some sense from the perspective of trying to grow and sustain a regional hospital. It makes no sense in terms of growing and sustaining a vibrant and functional multi-use area which includes traditional neighborhoods.

Furthermore, this reminds me of the occasional "well, where are ya gonna put growth?" discussion when individuals want to have their property made more valuable through rezoning. And also the unending receiving/sending zones discussion. We need to grow and sustain certain uses -- that doesn't mean we need to allow those uses to situate wherever they wish and do whatever they wish. The alternative, and what we should do, is assess and designate logical places for those uses to go.

Finally, how temporary are those complexes of brick eyesores next to the UGA President's House?

I still contend that Prince Avenue, on the whole, is a pleasing experience that mixes old and new quite nicely.

Well, it's neither Hawthorne nor Baxter. But that doesn't mean it's optimal, either.

Regarding Milledge Avenue, on the surface, I don't believe that we're going to see rampant demolition and redevelopment of that area for many reasons.

We're an economic downturn away from it, actually. Or a paradigm shift. The current paradigm supports use of historic property on Milledge -- when it suits people's needs. But what happens when DZ (for example) decides their property would function better for them with a modern building in place of their house? It happened on Prince -- and it'll happen on Milledge in the right conditions.

P.S. Fine, don't say hi to me in the parking lot.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Finally, how temporary are those complexes of brick eyesores next to the UGA President's House?"

Nicki, what are you talking about? The Water Business Office, etc., or the medical complex (740 Prince) farther down, in the next block, just past Taylor-Grady?

I don't think either of those is particularly unattractive. Most of that stuff is well-kept, and is to scale on the street (unlike that proposed monstrosity @ the McDonald's property a couple years back).

I may just be not thinking of what you're referring to, but I just can't think of a true eyesore along that stretch. If brick and low to the ground is an eyesore, aren't we going a little far into just a matter of taste? Does everything have to be cute, craftsman-y or antebellum-y? I would argue that a good mix of architectural styles makes a street more interesting.

All of this with the caveat that I may just be forgetting something truly bad along that stretch.

Darren

4:45 PM  
Blogger Jmac said...

Did I walk by you? My bad!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Nicki said...

Darren, those sites are fine if a) you don't compare them to the stately homes that were there previously, b) if you don't deal with the implications of those businesses -- namely, parking lots, light pollution, and for me as someone who lives there empty, dangerous space outside of business hours.

Furthermore, bad development or bad demolition is forever. We can't and won't reconstitute Prince, and we can't and won't reconstitute Milledge once its historic stock is depleted.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicki,
True enough that bad development lives with us forever. Fully agreed.

I simply don't think that complaining that there used to be "stately" homes on the same spot gets us anywhere.
Fruther, in the grand scheme of good development and liveability of the Prince corridor (I live there, too, in the shadow of ARMC, and my wife works at the exact stretch of Prince we're discussing), I don't think those buildings are anywhere near our biggest issues. I think they demonstrate the mix of uses that we need for liveable - walkable and bikeable - neighborhoods, and are to a scale appropriate for a mixed-use neighborhood. My concern is moving toward an approach where residential is all over here, and all of that ugly, stinky commercial property is over there. That approach encourages, even forces, car culture. And I don't thin that's what you're saying.

I think we agree more than we disagree, Nicki. I was just piqued by you pointing to those particular structures as problems/eyesores, when we have bigger issues along Prince.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Darren

9:21 AM  

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