Monday, August 30, 2010

Following Up Some News

Some follow ups on news items we have featured here at The Observer.

Murder solved! Last week, a man whose fingerprint was found in the Ford belonging to Nick Dutcher confessed to murdering the TV producer. Antonio Grandison, 20, confessed to breaking into Mr. Dutcher's home to steal things. When Mr. Dutcher came home unexpectedly, the suspect fought with and eventually strangled the homeowner. Grandison made a court appearance today. His capture was a great relief to the family and to the community. Here's the story on KSHB. The suspect needs to spend a nice long time in jail, don't you think?

Building plan altered--not everyone completely happy. The Polsinelli Shugart law firm altered the plans for the new headquarters building so that the "Balcony Building" would not be demolished. Essentially, they kept the same design, but changed the set back from the street so that the Balcony Building would be preserved. The apartment building would still need to be torn down, and the building was still pictured as an eight story structure. It does improve from the last plan, as it preserves the street level view and feel, but the building makes no nod towards the Spanish influenced architecture of the Plaza and still remains rather large and out of scale. I'm going to state this plainly, for those who think that everyone who opposes this building is against change and growth and for governing the private use of private property: Polsinelli Shugart can build any building they like on their lot, as long as it follows zoning and covenant rules. Just because they can build any building does not relieve them of the hope and expectation that they will do right by the community that they and their building are a part of. Respect the design and historical nature of the Plaza in your plans and you will reap a bounty of good will that will pay off in the future. The story, with comments galore and links to other stories and opinions in the Star.

Hickman Mills C-1 consolidation appears to be smoothing out. I was at the football game last Friday, and talked to the people there, trying to get a feel for how things were going with the consolidated school. From what folks said, and from the general tenor of the place, it seems the kids took a great deal of the lead, deciding that they were not going to have trouble be a part of the consolidation. I am sure that there are still troubles during the course of the day, as there are in many public schools these days, alas, but no one related any big events or difficulties. Friday night also passed without incident, despite the large numbers and high energy of both students and non-student young people. All I can say is, keep it up kids, and keep learning and looking to the future.

And that is your follow-up round-up with a little opinion thrown in.

Images from the Kansas City Star.

Oh, yeah. I joined Facebook. No, really, I did. See the little thingy there? I don't know what possessed me!


Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,

If anything, the building looks worse in contrast to the period architecture now. Instead of a big damn box, couldn't they build a series of pavilions, et cetera? It may cut down on square feet but those square feet will be twice as desirable to rent or own.

Sheesh. The lawyerly opposition mode. Somebody needs to flirt them out of their legally-obtained testosterone/adrenaline/bigbux cocktail.

Ann T.

Bob G. said...

Have to go w/ Ann on this one (as an architectural student a LONG time ago).
GOOD that they preserve the OLD building.
BAD for this "new" design incorporation...(argh).
Don't see ANY Spanish influence on the 5-story structure. Very incongruous.

Good followup.

the observer said...

Ann T:
There is almost universal dissatisfaction with the new design (which BTW people are wondering was the "real" one--they were just softening us up with the first one) but now the "you never let the city progress" "Tis is why we never get anywhere." crowd is starting up so it will be interesting to see if there is any back down in the opposition.

I like your flirty suggestion--are lawyers still "human" enough to respond? ;-/

Thanks for reading
The Observer

the observer said...

Bob G:
You are correct, this one is only 5 stories. I think it will fulfill the zoning and covenant restrictions.

It is still awful, and would be more at home downtown or in an office park in suburbia, not this spot.

Show a little imagination, people, and draw up something that really relates to the environment around it.

One thing that did occur to me, and this is for both Bob and Ann--with all the glass, they could be trying for a LEEDS certification. LEEDS buildings seem to feature a lot of openings to the outside. Hmm.

Thanks for reading T.O.

Ann T. said...

Dear The Observer,
yes, LEEDs is Hot--but what decent architect can't get some freaking design into a LEEDs project?

The law firm also missed a big P.R. moment. Couldn't they have held a juried competition or similar, stating what cost parameters/square feet they needed, and send it out to the interested?

Actually they can still do that, hire notable KCian artists/critics to look the designs over, and diffuse/defuse the controversy entirely.

This is entirely interesting--!
Ann T.

the observer said...

Ann T:
Yes, what a good idea. We do have some good architects around here as well as a lively artists group.

This city struggles with the balance between preservation and progress all the time. A down town building that has historical value and is salvageable is in very large danger of being torn down because the owner won't work with the city and potential investors/buyers.

Then there is the tear it down in the name of progress bunch...

Thanks for the second fine comment!
the Observer