27 July 2009

218 W 14th Before and After



People seemed interested in the dramatic improvement shown in the before and after photos at 13th and Republic Street, so I thought I would show one that didn't go so well. The buildings on this block face the side of Music Hall. There are only 2 buildings missing in this block, and they were both demolished in the past 10 years. The other one is next to the Symphony Hotel and is used to park 2-3 guest cars during concerts.

This vacant, trash-strewn lot is very unlikely to ever see another residence built on it. The lot is small, and Building Codes make it difficult to build new on such lots. But even if someone had the resources to build here, the first question most homebuyers ask is "where can I park?". And that is why half of OTR is demolished, yet it is still not enough for people who need cars to go everywhere. It's a neighborhood built for walking in an age of driving.


tizzie said...

Depressing - but thank you for pointing it out.

CityKin said...

I forgot to mention this in the post:

Once I was going by this building with my grandmother. She looked at this building and said that many years ago, when she was a young girl she used to deliver clothes to and from a tailor who lived here. This would have been in the 1930s.

Jim Uber said...

In that case, building codes eventually need to change. We can not keep strangling ourselves.

But more to your main point, it seems logical that OTR is clearly in transition now. It is fundamentally designed for walking/transit and not cars, as you indicated, yet right now one still finds it useful or essential to have a car even if they live in OTR. That's because, you know, you still need to go to the Target off of I71, just like everyone else. It is interesting, at least, to watch the dynamics of revitalization and decay play out in this area. Obviously the streetcar, if built, would dramatically change the car equation for OTR residents and potential residents, because all of downtown and uptown become conveniently accessible, plus the increased new development will add that many more needed services that one can walk to.

Paul Wilham said...

I have often said that there should be "landscape and wrought iron fencing requirement" for vacant lots in OTR.

Essentially a 10 foot deep, maintained landscaped area at the street facade of any vacant lot. It might make people think twice about tear downs if they actually had to landscape the lot and maintain it.

I do think the city needs to be proactive on vacant lots from an Urban planning standpoint and perhaps establish gated residential Neighborhood parking lots with card key entry and of course landscaped entry area.

Some enterprising neighbors in similar cities have gotten together and created Co-op parking lots. Splitting the high cost of aquisition of urban lots in exchanege for dedicated off street parking.

The city owns many vacant lots and this co-op approach might work, leaving more metered parking for retail and providinga clear benefit to those coming into OTR and restoring.

Just my two cents

Todd McFarland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
double j said...

That blue house is mine!

The red home was unrepairable and needed to be torn down, but I agree that something NEEDS to be put back in its place. Unfortunately, the owner of the lot also owns most of Republic and is distracted with its development.

I think the #1 priority should be to clean the streets up. You can mandate all the architectural design rules you want, but until you can get capable people to move in nothing will happen!

CityKin said...

That red building was no worse
than 1235 Republic, which I linked to in the post. Gradual improvement of modest buildings like this are easier than people think.