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Old Posted May 27, 2009, 2:33 PM
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miaht82 miaht82 is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: The Triangle
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Originally Posted by chadpcarey View Post
First - there are two agencies at work here. The Historic Preservation Office (HPO) is managed by the city and staffed with city employees. The Historic Design and Review Commission (HDRC) is a commission made up of citizen appointees, much like zoning commission and planning commission. HPO makes reccomendations, and HDRC takes formal action. And in SA, both groups are very influential (especially compared to the rest of TX).

This is, of course, a double-edged sword. The "conservation first" attitude of SA has preserved much of what gives SA it's rare "sense of place", and gives the city great prospects for the redevelopment of our urban neighborhoods.

Of course, HPO and HDRC almost always err on the side of preservation, and you guys have been right to point out when this occurs (believe me, there have been times when I thought my head was gonna explode). But you guys are too quick to judge/demonize them.

The problem is this: if you allow places like Audrey's to be demolished, it's virtually impossible to have certainty about what will take its place. And the area around Madison Park is filled with lots of horrific, single-use, one-story buildings surrounded by parking lots that violate just about every rule of good urbanism. And even though Audrey's (as a structure) is in poor shape, it's building form is superior to most of it's neighbors (and could be adapted to any number of uses).

Keep in mind that developers (borne mostly by the way capital is deployed to real estate projects) have very short horizons, and virtually no incentive to consider the long-term impacts of what they build. And HPO & HDRC are an important "check" on those short-term motivations.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for demolition, and many of the properties in and near our center city need to be demolished and upgraded - but only if the new building will be superior to what was destroyed. And a quick walk around this area will show that this has rarely been the case.


Isn't there a way the city could enforce a form based code to have some way to ensure the development of walkable urbanism istead of another Captial One parking lot? Isn't this area where Audrey's is part of River North overlay district? A code could say "Streets and sidewalks lined with buildings rather than parking lots," and if the new development doesn't meet that code, deny it.
Is that possible? Or could it really not be that easy?
The Raleigh Connoisseur
It is the city trying to escape the consequences of being a city
while still remaining a city. It is urban society trying to eat its
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- Harlan Douglass, The Suburban Trend, 1925
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