Tuesday, December 06, 2005

At the Market

At Saturday's Farmers Market, Save Our Sarasota set up a small table and presented our case for removing arcades from the downtown code. We believe arcades have too many negatives to allow their use in our downtown.

Allowing arcades over the sidewalks and giving the space above them to developers as an "inducement" removes any possibility for trees; they give millions of dollars of sellable area to the developer with no return to the public; they make the street width narrower and produce a canyon like effect, they dramatically reduce the amount of time sunlight shines between the buildings.

We delivered this message to any and all that stopped by our table. The response was overwhelming in support of our position. In addition, nearly everyone commented unfavorably on the development that is currently underway in downtown Sarasota. There is a very great degree of dissatisfaction with our current state of affairs.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps a petition to present to the City would be effective?

Anonymous said...

Do you realize that the greatest streets and squares all have arcades? Do you also know that we are in Florida and that the shade of the arcade and the protection from rain is critical when you want to enjoy walking up and dwn the streets?

The buildings are ugly on your rendering, not the arcade. Do you believe someone would ever build such a straight, container looking building? Does this look like what is being planned for Sarasota?

Anonymous said...

I would agree that there are some very beautiful streets in the world with arcades. But what you need to understand is that these streets without exception are of a different scale (i.e. width of the street, distance between the street and the buildings, etc.) than Sarasota- in particular Main Street. Members of the Florida American Institute of Architects held a Charette a couple of years ago to see how the design codes being approved by the City would work. All of the Architects from all over the State of Florida said the same thing and that was arcades along Main Street could create a canyon like effect if they were allowed to be constructed. Retailers, given a choice do not like arcades as they obstruct the view of their shops from various areas on the street. I realize that pedestrians prefer to walk in the shade, or be protected from inclimate weather, but their are other solutions to those problems without building massive structures over public airspace. The rendering the SOS people have prepared is meant to convey mass and scale relative to Main Street. It is not intended as an architectural commentary on style or aesthetics. If the City Commissioners approve the use of arcades, there are more than enough untalented and questionable developers in the country with the ability and motivation to build the fastsest, cheapest, and ugliest monstrosities to scare you more than a computer generated model. I think it is better to see the potential impact in advance when things can be altered prior to committing to such a damaging decision.

Anonymous said...

Save Our Sarasota is not opposed to arcades as a design element.The arcades on Palm Avenue have been appreciated for years where they exist in a totally different setting with ten feet or so of sidewalk and greenery to the curb.Cement does not dominate the street on Palm Avenue.That is exactly why people like to walk down Palm...the freedom of open space with landscaping invites people to enjoy what the street has to offer.Also, the people who flock to Sarasota in the cooler months are here mainly for the SUN. They revel in dining outside, strolling in the sunshine and shopping in our stores.Most of us can attest to this initial attraction to the sun.The sun shines more than the rain pours.