Sunday, August 24, 2008
Growth during recession?

This is Louisville's rather modest skyline. If city planners have their way, it will look like this around 2010/2011.

On the far right is Museum Plaza, which is described by hired shills as housing "a contemporary art museum, restaurants and retail stores, 85 luxury condominiums, 150 lofts, a 300-room hotel, office space and a 1,100-car underground parking garage." It also looks like a stiff breeze would bring the entire thing crashing down, but I only pretend to be an architect to impress chicks (it doesn't work).

On the far left is the as-yet-unnamed Downtown Arena. I hope they just call it Downtown Arena; either that or Duff Beer Krustyburger Buzz Cola Costington's Department Store Kwik-E-Mart Stupid Flanders Arena.

I'm all for hometown improvements. In fact, I look forward to not being able to live in the expensive lofts, not being able to buy anything at the expensive shops, not being able to eat at the expensive restaurants, and not being able to purchase tickets to expensive events at the expensive arena. But, hey, it's good to have things in town to keep the people with money from moving away, and I don't think Phineus Q. Moneybags is as impressed with the 4am last call for alcohol as I am.

Will either of these incredibly expensive projects come to fruition? They've been talking about building a new bridge across the Ohio River since Christ was in middle school, and it isn't even close to happening. I'm guessing the arena will be built first. If given the choice between watching college basketball or staring at some of the bodily-fluids-put-to-canvas that passes as modern art, we'll take the basketball, thank you.

Whatever this town does, it shouldn't take any cues from Lexington, KY. Lexington, the epicenter of the horse racing industry, is going to host the World Equestrian Games in 2010, so someone decided they needed more hotel rooms. Fine, but the geniuses who run that town recently tore down an entire city block of thriving downtown businesses, one of them the city's best live music venue, to build a luxury hotel. Yes, they demolished successful businesses, places that were attracting people downtown, to build a hotel that experts believe will never be at full capacity before or after a two-week event in 2010. Oh, and the developers of the hotel happen to be major contributors to the current mayor. Nice.

My pet project, an underground moving sidewalk that goes from where I live to my favorite bars and restaurants, is still in the development stage.


Blogger Übermilf said...

City planning is a really difficult proposition. I don't envy anyone that job.

But while some cities have been dying a slow death since the 70's, some cities have revitalized their urban cores and are doing great.

God speed, Louisville. I hope you make good choices.

Blogger Alison said...

I live in Lexington. It's awful. I mean, I look at the rubble left downtown and cry, and I've only lived here for two and a half years. It's really hard to put into words how I feel about the whole thing, but Joel Pett's cartoon in today's Herald-Leader sums it up nicely. I love the little details he put in there.

Blogger Allan said...

As a Lexington resident, I don't oppose development. Just ill-conceived development. And that is what the Centre Pointe is. Ill-conceived.

I'm also disappointed with our mayor, who I voted for. He campaigned as a reformer, but has turned out to be anything but.

Blogger tango jellybean said...

I can't wait until next year, when we leave Lexington for good and come back to the 'ville. There is not a single thing I will miss about this shitheap! Plus, Lexington doesn't have Todd or the Back Door.

Blogger yournamehere said...

Actually, the past shititude of Louisville's downtown forced people to develop neighborhoods. In the past few years they've finally started to pay attention to downtown.

it's a real shame. I wish the people who operated The Dame would open a place in Louisville. They seem to be adept at booking great acts and knew how to run a club.

yes, most of the recent development in downtown Louisville has been at the expense of old rail yards and unsightly salvage yards, not thriving businesses.

tango jellybean,
you guys are moving back? That's better news for this town than building an arena.

There are people in Lexington who want to support independent businesses, but it seems like the city planners want it to be a gigantic suburb.

Blogger Übermilf said...

what you guys need is a monorail.

That will fix everything.

Blogger jazzbonejoe said...

Yeah, they're building a big downtown arena here in scenic Wichita. They've got to tear up downtown, fuck up all the roads, spend all of the taxpayer money they can get their hands on, and sometime in the next 20 years, they'll build a great big arena that no one will come to do anything in.

But we can't have a casino. That will attract an undesirable element to town, and also, it might make more money than it loses.

Blogger John said...

I weep for my hometown if they do some of the things in this post.

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