Monday, January 12, 2009

Arena talk: Wichita

I was browsing competing urban chat boards; one that I frequently browse and have about 500 posts at is, which specializes mostly in the proper method to get away with smoking a joint in public in Vancouver. Which is funny because I would never have imagined it to be that hard! But for those of you that are normal (the rest of us), you'd probably find some of the details of Wichita's slowly progressing arena project to be the most interesting thing. The reason you'd be interested in this is because if you've read Steve Lackmeyer's blog you saw how Wichita is a model of downtown accessability that OKC can follow. Although to be fair, Steve did mention the crime problem in Wichita's Old Town. What's recently surfaced is this:

The above are perfectly decent historic buildings. They're beautiful in my opinion, and could be anything. "OKC logic" tells us that these 2 buildings would make perfect lofts, offices, or a night club with a coffee shop on the street (or not). And I checked in the Wichita Eagle archives, the buildings are not structurally defficient. However, "Wichita logic" is telling them that the land would be best used for the right mix of grass that is absolutely necessary to complete this beauty of public works:

Perhaps the ugliest arena project I've seen about to break ground ever. Anyway, if you'll notice in the back they've saved a historic building and incorporated it into the site plan. Those are lofts that are already restored. On that street corner right next door to the lofts are where these two buildings are that are being bulldozed for the arena project. They are indeed bulldozing these beautiful historic buildings to replace them with grass, and nothing to do with an actual arena. I just thought it was interesting how another city is about to commit a travesty that they'll probably regret in the future, especially in light of both Oklahoma's cities putting a lot of focus on their downtown arenas.


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Big Irn said...

Hi guys. Don't know where this drawing came from but I'm thinking it was just a conceptual. The one building on the corner you've pictured is in the process of being restored and looks really nice from the exterior. The one next to it is still a grocery store called "Ray's". Check out the actual construction here.

Mark said...

This is the link to the actual picture:
I am so glad to see they didn't tear those 2 buildings down. I no longer live there but grew up in Wichita and was sad when I heard about the demolition.