Archive for the ‘development’ Category

Music Row Resurrection?

November 14, 2019

Nashville’s reputation as the recording capital of Country Music took off in 1954, when Owen and Harold Bradley established Bradley Film and Recording Studios, later called the Quonset Hut Studio, on 16th Avenue, opening the first of many major label studios in the neighborhood in and around 16th and 17th Avenues South. 21st century commercial real estate pressures moved many studios out of Music Row, but cultural preservations and country music enthusiasts are fighting back. The National Trust declared the district a National Treasure in 2015, and the city’s planning department now envisions a culturally-sensitive development process to resurrect Music Row.

More:

“How Nashville plans to save Music Row, a endangered cultural treasure,” Patrick Sisson, Curbed.com

Video: “Murder on Music Row,” written by Larry Cordle and Larry Shell, recorded by Alan Jackson and George Strait, 2000. Originally recorded by Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, 1999.

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Short link: https://wp.me/p6sb6-tap

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

June 23, 2009

Eastern Market Building to Re-Open June 26

UPDATE: Free music at Eastern Market June 27-28.

Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market building will re-open Friday, June 26th, refurbished and re-interpreted, after it was gutted by fire on April 30, 2007. While the 1873 building is of questionable historical or aesthetic merit, it will certainly go down in history for its rehab pricetag: $22 million in public funds.

Great pains were taken to use historically accurate paint colors and streetlamp forms in the adaptive restoration, but astonishing anachronisms (lead-free paint, electric lights, air conditioning) abound. There is no word when historically-correct horse manure and flies will be installed in surrounding streets and alleys.

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DC OKs Demolition of Brutalist Church

May 13, 2009

DC OKs Demolition of Brutalist Church

Third Church of Christ, Scientist, Washington, D.C. Oh, wait ….

The DC Historic Preservation Review Board had designated the 37-year-old Third Church of Christ, Scientist a Historic Landmark and prevented its demolition, against the wishes of the congregation, the Mayor’s Office, and anyone with at least minimal eyesight who passes 900 16th St. NW. The structure is in the mercifully-extinct style of “Brutalism,” a term derived from the French béton brut, “raw concrete.” It is a huge concrete blockhouse.

Yesterday Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning, acting as Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation,  issued what appears to be a final ruling on the issue:  junk the joint.

The report observes that “design errors” and “defective workmanship” make the building unsuitable for human pursuits of any kind, even with huge operating expenditures for lighting, temperature and humidity control and ventilation. The DC Government will permit the structure’s demolition. The full document is here. Some excerpts:

— The building’s design and choice of materials, particularly the use of uninsulated concrete, were experimental and it could not have been predicted when the building opened in 1971 whether it would succeed as a place of worship.  …the experiment failed badly.

— Adaptive reuse of the church building is not a viable option.

— The use of uninsulated concrete also resulted in the inability to stabilize the wide range of temperature and humidity levels that exist within the building.

— …the Church could operate in the existing building for only three to five years before exhausting its cash reserves.

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Suburban Stalkers

April 27, 2009

Suburban Stalkers

The Washington Post has finally recognized a threat NotionsCapital pointed out two years ago: the sinister Suburban Deer Menace.  Hordes of hungry horned and hoofed ungulates stalk suburbs in silence, grazing on gardens, wrecking cars, even knocking celebrities off bicycles.

In the wild, deer density is about 20 per square mile. In suburban parks they may number 400 per square mile. Can nothing stop the ominous onslaught of Odocoileus virginianus, the White-Tailed Deer?

Fear not. Recipes for relief are at hand; none are hard to swallow. Chew on this:

Broiled Venison Steak

Hungarian Venison Stew 

Shoulder of Venison

Noisettes de Chevreuil Saint Hubert

Rack of Venison Stuffed with Pecans, Currants, Sausage, and Pears

Venison Stew

Wild Ohio CookbookVenison Recipes

 

Some might find this solution hard to digest, but suburban lawmakers are motivated.

 

Note: For a less flavorful strategy, look here. 

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Wrong End of the Telescope

April 14, 2009

Wrong End of the Telescope

Everyone loves to root for the home team, but while the sentiment is charming, it also makes bookies rich. Why should government make the same kind of dumb bet, but at higher stakes? That’s exactly what happens when the dynamics of real estate speculation are magnified by taxpayer-funded sports stadium projects.

Objective assessment of athletes is difficult; inflating the merits of a sports team with hometown loyalty and wishful thinking is a sucker’s game. Likewise, a publicly-funded sports facility is a sucker bet for citizens and a speculator’s dream.

Yesterday’s local news featured pathetic interviews with DC baseball fans. Folks in Nationals ballcaps, standing near lots laid waste by stadium-fueled development delusions, said it had taken a decade for the downtown arena neighborhood to develop, so they were willing to endure ten years of unproductive desolation caused by Nats Park construction. With all this “Wait Until Next Decade” talk it was hard to remember that Monday was Opening Day, not the end of a losing season. 

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Beauty and Barricades

April 10, 2009

Beauty and Barricades

From the National Building Museum:

Beauty vs. Barricades
Charles H. Atherton Memorial Lecture
April 14, 2009
6:30 – 8:00 pm

Robert Campbell, FAIA, architectural critic for the Boston Globe, examines how to balance the need for security with accessibility, transparency, and aesthetics in D.C.’s built environment.

Members: $12.00
Students: Free
Public: $20.00

Prepaid registration required. Walk-in registration based on availability. more information here.

National Building Museum
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
(Red Line Metro, Judiciary Square)

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

DC Buys Bronze Bobbleheads for Billionaires

March 26, 2009

DC Buys Bronze Bobbleheads for Billionaires

As part of its economic recovery effort, the DC Government commissioned $700,000 worth of sculpture for billionaire Theodore Lerner and his family. DC already built $611 million Nationals Park for the Lerners, who own the local Major League Baseball franchise, and the government wants to decorate it to suit the wealthy tenants. Who knows, this might even encourage the Lerners to actually pay rent on the stadium.

You can admire the artistic gifts your tax dollars bought for the Lerners at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, April 8th, when the sculptures will be dedicated. RSVP to Deirdre Ehlen at the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) by email or phone (202-724-5613). The event is free, so go see the art you paid for before you have to buy Nationals tickets to do it.

Forbes estimates the personal wealth of Theodore  N. Lerner at $2.5 billion, but why spend your own money on art when the taxpayers will commission it for you?  The DC Government dead- panned that the baseball art belongs to DC and is only on loan to the Lerners, an assertion worthy of a Larry Neal Award for fiction.  The sculpture  is site-specific, so saying the art is on loan is like saying you don’t own the fillings in your teeth, you only rent them.

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Zenith Gallery. Go Now.

March 2, 2009

Zenith Gallery. Go. Now.

Updates:

  • Regular gallery hours at Zenith ceased this weekend, but you can still visit by appointment until the end of March (202-783-2963 or email).
  • Read “Goldberg: The Woman Behind the Flame at Zenith Gallery” by Rosetta DeBerardinis in Daily Campello Art News.

If you are anywhere near Washington, DC this month go to Zenith Gallery. Margery Goldberg is closing her brick-and-mortar operation on 7th Street on March 29th. The gallery was founded in 1978 as part of Zenith Square, a complex of 50 studios at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW that offered DC artists a place to create art as well as show it.

The gallery moved to 413 7th Street NW twenty years ago, part of the city’s effort to create an Arts District. In another triumph of DC urban planning, the area is now characterized by chain restaurants, shopping mall retail, loitering teenagers, and bewildered tourists.

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Downtown Art Picture Fades

February 16, 2009

Downtown Art Picture Fades

Margery Goldberg is closing Washington’s Zenith Gallery on March 29th.  The gallery was founded in 1978 as part of Zenith Square, a complex of 50 studios at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW that offered DC artists a place to create art as well as show it.

The gallery moved to 413 7th Street NW twenty years ago as part of the city’s effort to create an Arts District. In another triumph of DC urban planning, the area is now characterized by chain restaurants, shopping mall retail, loitering teenagers, and bewildered tourists.

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Uh-Oh. Smithsonian 2.0

January 31, 2009

Uh-Oh-Smithsonian 2.0

Put the Smithsonian on the Web and everyone can help curate the collections. What could be wrong with that?

Plenty.

The Institution held a “gathering” recently, Smithsonian 2.0. It was an updated cabaret version of a bigger production staged eight years ago at the museum’s 150th birthday party. There seem to have been no Smithsonian 2.0 speakers who would not personally benefit if the Smithsonian bestowed its blessing on “Web 2.0” measures.

Sadly, most models proposed at the meeting were antithetical to the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,”  the Smithsonian’s mission. Unless, that is, the Smithsonian now interprets “diffuse”  in its adjectival sense, “being at once verbose and ill-organized” (Merriam-Webster).

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