above the fray

Filed under: Charlottesville — WmX @ 08:12

McCormick Observatory
UVA students and parents are swarming the main grounds of UVA. A mile west, on top of Observatory Hill (aka Mount Jefferson?), nothing going on.
This is a timeless spot, a little bit shabby. No one is delegated to paint roses here. Leander McCormick Observatory


Jefferson Lodge #20

Filed under: architecture,Charlottesville — WmX @ 14:39

1006 Forest Street. When I was growing up these masonry units were the height of style.



Filed under: Charlottesville,politics — WmX @ 11:14

the Chrysanthemum and the sword
I’ve been reading a book by Ruth Benedict. Wish we could raise her up from the dead
to write the story of class, race, politics and power in the little town of Charlottesville.


65th Annual Dogwood Festival Parade

Filed under: bipedal,Charlottesville,culture — WmX @ 12:09

Buster Ball of Putt Putt
The annual Rorschach test, the Dogwood Festival Parade, took to the streets yesterday. What makes a parade? Fine looking people in uniforms, dresses, martial music, hillbilly music.

chip harding
Many of my favorite law enforcement officials and politicians participated in the parade.

pepsi figures
Buster Ball, the spokesphere for Putt-Putt was followed by the Mountain Dew can with hands. While employing images
that have a national profile many of the companies participating in the parade have deep local roots.
The Jessups of our local Pepsi had a long interest in Riverview.

Charlottesville is the crazy salad without trying.

Little Miss Scottsville
Little Miss Scottsville
Last year’s parade


Mike and Jada

Filed under: Charlottesville,dogs — WmX @ 05:46



Charlottesville Livestock Market

Filed under: Charlottesville — WmX @ 09:22
livestock market

at the foot of Monticello, on the west side. Might be sitting on Charles Bankhead’s land



Filed under: Charlottesville,dogs — WmX @ 12:30

Otto and WmX
Walking on the mall yesterday I saw a dog in the distance that looked a little like Daido Moriyama’s famous canine,
a little like Robin’s sweet dog, Irene.
I was reluctant to approach, then recognized the human, John Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick is one of my favorite photographers. He took the picture above of me and Otto.



Filed under: architecture,Charlottesville,night,signs — WmX @ 03:12

freedom of speech wall
The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression installed a First Amendment Monument in our City, it is a monolith, 54 feet long, 7.5 feet high.
Faced with slate. It was a good idea. But the execution, the slate is very roughly finished,
not like a chalkboard at all, it is a difficult surface to write on. Try writing on toilet paper with a quill pen, it’s like that. The wrong surface. What was the architects’ intent?


City Standards and Design

Filed under: Charlottesville,government,Urban Planning — WmX @ 08:44

utility poles in sidewalk
In November I heard that Dominion Power (aka Dom.Com, VEPCO, Dominion) had indicated to a Charlottesville City Councilor that utility poles located in the middle of sidewalks could be addressed. Dominion was interested in a list, an inventory of such poles.
HEY Dominion! Are these two more sidewalk poles in the making? 1000 block of East Market Street.
Decrease the width of the street to 36 feet, keep the sidewalk, move the poles?
Put the lines in an underground utility bus?


Three Notched

Filed under: architecture,Charlottesville,Urban Planning — WmX @ 11:44

Charlottesville City staff join personnel from Rhodeside and Harwell for a walk up and down a portion of the Three Notch’d Road. At the west end of the 4,000 foot segment are the grounds of University of Virginia, at the east end of the segment, is the Charlottesville pedestrian mall.

Of the area in-between the West Main subcommittee of the PLACE Task Force comments:

The subcommittee’s preliminary discussions about the corridor suggested that there were several impediments to its success that related to: the design of many of its discrete elements; the codes and design guidelines that govern both the public right-of-way and the adjacent properties; and the review process for new development. Several of the design problems include, for example, the conflict between street trees and overhead utilities, sidewalks that are too narrow, poor lighting, excessive off-street parking along the street edge, and unsafe intersections (particularly the intersection of west Main Street and Ridge/McIntire).

The different character of West Main along its length was not reflected in the planning guidelines and codes governing the corridor, and the expectations for redevelopment were not clear, creating a difficult review process for those wishing to build along the corridor. Property owners and developers also indicated that many of the issues they face need to be addressed collectively, and would support efforts from the city to coordinate the actions of individual property owners. These issues include parking, stormwater management, maintenance and security.

Pictured above, Elliot Rhodeside. Behind him is the awesome pedestrian no-man’s land formed by the intersection of South Street, Water Street, Ridge-McIntire, Ridge and West Main. How about the Poynton approach?

A great deal of activity on W. Main these days. How will the commons fare? Commons is the space shared by cyclists, trees, fire-engines, pedestrians, parked cars, gas, water, stormwater and sewer lines, overhead utilities, street lights, street furniture, signage, student BMW’s, public transit, local freight, skateboarders….


To learn more about the history of W.Main download the PLACE Annual Report.
PLACE Report 2013

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Sean Tubbs reports

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