Mr. Sun has noticed that the new Target in his area flunks the good urban design test -- it's set way back behind a big parking lot.
But I think he's lucky to live near something that's even that well-designed.
Office Depot is building a new store just a few blocks from me. Good news, I thought when I first heard it. Now I can walk to get all that junk I always buy at Office Depot.
I was hoping they'd build something like they did near the historic Dilworth neighborhood in Charlotte, pictured here:
This is a great corner building: it's built right up to the sidewalk, it has a corner entrance, with windows on all the street elevations; nice use of brick, steel, and glass. The parking is in the rear. It's David Sucher's dream store.
Since the one they're building in Greensboro is also on a corner -- Wendover and Church -- and is also contiguous to two historic neighborhoods -- Fisher Park and Aycock --, I figured they'd do the same thing.
Here's what they're building in Greensboro, as seen from Wendover Avenue:
Yes, you see that right. Office Depot is sticking its rear toward Wendover, in the architectural equivalent of a mooning.
The elevation on Church Street is equally bleak:
No openings of any kind (except for a fire door) on either of the main street elevations. Just blank walls of nasty concrete block. It's the New Brutalism sans social ideology: they're just building it that way because it's cheap.
Just a block away, my neighborhood installed an maintains a nice garden area around the Max Thompson Bridge, to help beautify Church street.
What a shame that Office Depot has deposited its architectural ordure so nearby.
And what a shame that Greensboro is not able to attract or compel good architectural design on its major thoroughfares.
Anyhow, I'm not shopping at Office Depot anymore.