Friday, July 27, 2007

Carolina Bank Site Plan -- Update II

Greensboro Architect Ken Mayer has emailed me a revised version of the new Carolina Bank building site plan, along with this message:

Over the past two weeks, the City’s Planning and Transportation Departments have worked intensively with Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates and Carolina Bank to modify the Bank Headquarters’ site plan to be more accommodating to the future downtown design guidelines. The resulting final site plan is attached. Readers of this blog should know the collaborative effort put into this by both Planning and Transportation staff was significant and I believe the end result accomplishes everyone’s objectives.
Here's the new site plan:

From a pedestrian's point of view, this plan is a big improvement over the previous one, which I last wrote about here. The Spring Street side has a main entrance that isn't divided from the sidewalk by parking, and the parking lot is broken up by what looks like a significant amount of landscaping.

Here is the earlier plan:

I can't tell from the PDF exactly what kind of trees are planned, but the addition of significant tree canopy in this area of downtown will also be a very welcome development.

Kudos to MMPA, Carolina Bank, and city planning and transportation staff for their efforts. I know they will be very much appreciated by future generations.

Let me also add that Ken Mayer is a man of grace and civility, who treated me politely when I criticized his work.


Anonymous said...

This is a big improvement over past designs. Especially appreciated is the proximity of the building to Spring Street, in an urban manner.

If nothing else, the bank now has ample room in which to expand as it grows, an option it did not really have by placing the building in the center of the site. Glad an alternative has been devised.

Hopefully the elevations will reflect contemporary architecture in a way that will make this a landmark building for future generations to appreciate.

Rob Ainbinder said...

Certainly the new plan is a vast improvement. Kudos to the powers that be to be open to public commentary via this blog.

One detail I can not distinguish from the revised drawing provided here: What is the dark brown area directly adjacent to the sidewalk on the Spring Street side labeled? Will it be asphalt, concrete or brick/paver?

David Wharton said...

Don't know yet.

Veronica Grossi said...

IT SEEMS TO BE CONCRETE PAVER!! I do not see that the construction is walker friendly. They are building a big wall (concrete paver) next to the sidewalk. How come the city-dwellers, concerned about the esthetic and sustainable growth of downtown, do not complain? More ugliness to downtown (in addition to the monstrous YMCA and the big eye-sore of the ARBOR HOUSE.

Anonymous said...


David Wharton said...

I contacted the architect about the wall, and he pointed out that it replaces a wall that was in poor condition, and that the leveling of the parking lot was necessary to meet ADA requirements. The wall will eventually be covered with some kind of creeping plant. Still, I agree that it's not pretty.

I gave Carolina Bank kudos because they were under no obligation to change their original design in any way, but improved design after receiving input from me and others. I'm also informed that the design changes increased the price tag of the project by about a quarter of a million dollars.

So, yes, kudos.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying the matter with regards to the wall. I would like to ask why they "were under no obligation to change their original design in any way", that is, why there is no supervision/regulation on the way these buildings are developed downtown. What is the role of Action Greensboro in this? I think green, sustainable building should be not an option but the law...

David Wharton said...

The central business district has few restrictions regarding setbacks, wall heights, parking, etc. in order to encourage maximum intensity of buildings and uses.

The way to get green/sustainable building in Greensboro is to persuade city council to adopt a green building code.