in the bunker

For a hundred years the Woolen Mills had greenspace at its northwestern entrance. The greenspace was agricultural land, then a golf course, and finally (for 70 years) a ball field and open green.
Two years ago the commons was fenced and turned into a “regional aquatic facility”, it was at capacity yesterday.

I wish we’d invested a bit more time “in the bunker” designing this local amenity.
The part I don’t remember, in the run-up to the construction of water-world was the part where Parks and Rec officials said “it’s going to be a hummock of ugly and we are going to plant our flag on the top.”

Author: WmX

I stumbled off the track to success in 1968, started chasing shadows that summer. Since then, In addition to farm-laborer and newspaper photographer my occupational incarnations include dishwasher, janitor, retail photo clerk, plumber, HVAC repairman, auto mechanic, CAT scan technologist, computer worker and politico (whatever it takes to buy a camera.) I am on the road to understanding black and white photography.

3 thoughts on “in the bunker”

  1. ugly? Are you referring to the discordant visual elements embodied in the pool architects whirring, dumping stupid crapola scheme?

  2. Did you mean “parks & wreck?”

    It’s absolutely hideous, most particularly during the 8 months of the year when it forlornly sits empty and unused. Although Parks & Rec promised us that their design would be sensitive to the surrounding neighborhood, and would use natural colors and materials, they intentionally crammed as many disparate elements as possible into a very small space. The promised buffering and landscaping never materialized. They squandered an opportunity to create something that could successfully work in that space, which everyone– including P&R– agrees was far too small for a “regional aquatic facility.”

    We learned a lot of painful lessons with this one. For instance, if you can’t trust a relatively benign outfit like P&R, then who can you trust? We learned that a promise is useless unless it’s in writing, and you have a City Council that’s willing to protect you if the governmental agency reneges. We also learned that sometimes people from outside your neighborhood will develop a “vision” for it, but fail to involve the impacted citizens in the process. Or worse, pretend that what the citizens think counts for something, but then ignore everything they’ve said after countless time-wasting meetings. It’s several years down the road now, and I’m still stunned by the lies that we were told. It’s not about this particular project, but more about our local government adopting a code of conduct that’s fair, open, and respectful towards its impacted citizens. To this day, the aquatic center remains a glaring example of what can go wrong.

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