Sunday, March 12, 2006

The DeMarcay Hotel, at the left, is a great remaining example of Palm Ave from the mid-1920's. The architecture and scale fit beautifully with the portion of the Miramar building that still exists on Palm.

There is a developer proposal to build a high rise condo on the DeMarcay site. Apparently the developer will retain the DeMarcay facade. Details are not clear at this time.

What is apparent is that just retaining the facade, without some attempt at retaining the scale, would be a loss to Sarasota.

As seen in the second photo, this block of of Palm retains its original character and scale - at least up to the high rise at 1350 Main, seen looming over Palm in the background.

Sarasota needs to make a determined effort to retain the character of this important reminder of our past.

(Thanks to Joe Moraca for the photos).


Anonymous said...

"Sarasota needs to make a determined effort to retain the character of this important reminder of our past."

I agree. But what is to be done when our city planners, planning board and commissioners encourage high density, high rise development?

The pictures shown in this post speak directly to the issue. The owner/developers of the DeMarcay Hotel simply want to maximize profits. A high rise building, covering every square inch of the lot will achieve that goal. For inspiration, they only need look across the alley at the building going up on 1350 Main St.

Sensible zoning laws, which promote low to medium density, lower rise structures of 5 to 7 stories height will help preserve older,historic buildings and neighbourhoods by making it less profitable to tear them down.

Anonymous said...

How did that piece of property get zoned Downtown-Bayfront in the new zoning code, thus allowing for an 18 story building? And a building that is asking for DROD density of 200 units per acre in those 18 stories.

Wonder what kind of views the windows in 1350 Main facing south are going to have.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the photo of Palm Avenue and the lack of sun made me mentally rethink the phrase...the sunny South. We are creating the shady South.

Hewie said...

I really wonder if all those complaining about the lack of sun are really the people that shop and walk our downtown during the summer months. I cannot understand anyone who in our heat could not want to be shaded by awnings, buildings, arcades or such in the heat of our seasons. Yes, we have had a great cool spring but usually we are in hot, hot heat for 9 months of the year. I know I will be one, should the lower main street building have tables, sitting in the cool shade of an arcade drinking a tea and watching the people go by.

Also our city has been dead for many years and finally we are starting to have life again. For those of you who really do not live or work downtown, stop killing the excitement for those that do. We like the growth and improvements to our quality of life, yes quality of like. We do not think of the improvements as a negative and we do not have the lower main street project with arcades, we like them and darn wish there were more of them to sit under and enjoy. Just wait until it is done, it will be great and until then keep you humbug opinions that are not yet justified in check.

Anonymous said...

I would like to suggest to the previous writer another aesthetically pleasing and enviromentally friendly source of shade: trees!

Also, I am sceptical of his wait and see, "trust us" approach to downtown development. Floridians have a long history of being sold a bill of goods, from swampland, to poorly constructed homes by those in the development business. Now that they have zeroed in on the downtown core, it would behoove us to demand excellence in the form good design, execution and compatibility. It is a fallacy to assume we need a bunch of overbuilt, high density, high rise buildings to support a vibrant downtown area.

Anonymous said...

Because our downtown has been so vibrant before?