Saturday, August 7, 2010
Plaza done right..or is it?
Pretty spiffy urban plaza in front of the Old Post Office in downtown St Louis. Took this picture when I came through, on my way back from Chicago. The tower rising behind it on the left side is condos, and they are adding a restaurant to this plaza right now, apparently.
And let me just say, about those scrubby little trees adorning the edges, what a beautiful urban ecosystem! This plaza also maintains other resemblances to the SR Commons..it improves sight lines for the condo tower, it also requires that you STEP UP onto it because of the vertical separation between the plaza and the street level at the edge. Very anti-pedestrian, anti-urban.
I think you'll notice that there are a total of 2 people (plus myself, so I guess three) in existence on the entire plaza. This picture was taken at 4 pm on a Friday afternoon, when I'm sure even BOk Plaza in downtown OKC is more "bustling" than this.
I will say that you could make a stronger case for the need for a plaza in St Louis than in OKC, too--corporate towers in St Louis do not typically come surrounded by a moat and drawbridge like that they do in OKC (or in other words, a corporate plaza). Aside from the new elongated 3-block long "Citygarden" (green park) in downtown St Louis, there is very little open space.
And this, my friends, is the best-planned plaza I've seen in a LONG time.