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“Ok” versus “Excellent” – an illustration

May 27, 2011

In our last post, Tampasphere noted that Tampa Bay should not settle for “ok” when “very good” or “excellent” is just as easy.  We thought it may be useful to illustrate what we meant using a building as an example, but the principle applies across the board (it is just easy to illustrate with actual pictures).  We look at Vintage Lofts, north of Kennedy on Rome.

This project was a great idea, building urban housing near downtown in what is basically a light industrial/warehouse district.  To reiterate, Tampasphere really likes the basic idea behind the project (and they have a mostly hidden parking in a garage.)  It is unfortunate that the economic downtown did not allow the whole project to be built.  What was built is generally good, except . . . .

The meters. . .

right in the middle of the façade facing Rome Avenue (at least they are landscaped) – one of the main streets in that area and, if we are not mistaken, not too far from where one of the proposed light rail stops would have been.

Is that really necessary, especially when, around the corner hidden away on a side street, there is the entrance to the garage and everything else you want to put where no one sees it?  Isn’t it just as easy to put the meters there?

We understand that this area is not generally residential and could use some redevelopment, but buildings are supposed to last a while (think of all the old strip stores around the area).  Imagine in a few years in that area Rome gets fully redeveloped along the urban lines represented by the project concept.  We do not think those meters are what people want to look at from a café across the street.  And if every project does the same thing, how is the street going to look?

Once again, Tampasphere does not want to be overly critical, and, if this (or things like it) wasn’t something we have seen repeatedly in other relatively new construction around the area (which makes us wonder if it is something governmental), we wouldn’t point it out.  However, we cannot understand this little (well, not so little) feature of the project, unless it was meant as an architectural tribute to the light industrial/warehouse nature of the neighborhood. (If you know the explanation, let us know)

Details matter.

Tampa Bay can do better.

Have a happy Memorial Day, and please take time to remember its meaning.

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