Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Back to the Center
I personally think that these buildings present a front. They are the buildings along the street corners at the center of downtown. They include the City Health Club, a bank, and the skyscraper that is being worked on. They present a front to each section of downtown, which could be divided into 4 quadrants: government, art/history, business, and retail. This front is like many of the other ones that we have seen: a strong presentation from the buildings along an "edge" of an area.
Each of the 4 quadrants could be considered an epitome district because they are sections of the campus that are a small representation of what the entire city is like. They are small groups of similar things (like stores or government buildings) that are close together.
This alleyway is a beat. It seems small and dark, but there are a few businesses down here and it is a connector from a parking lot to the main roads. As we were standing there, people were coming through, picking up some breakfast and heading off to work. Many of the beats that students take from off-campus housing to get to campus involve alleyways or back roads like this. It creates a much shorter trip than sticking to a main road.
This store is part of a strip along one of the main roads. It is on what is known as the retail street, where most of the stores are. Other buildings along this strip are Woolworth's, a theater, and Kress. It reminded me a lot of what we saw on Tate Street, but on a much larger scale.
This alley is a sink because it is where water is running off of a building and nothing else can be put there. It is in between 2 buildings that are probably 3 feet apart. I think they put in the iron gate and the cool run-off in order to beautify the area more and even draw the eye to it as someone walks past. This sink is a lot more attractive than the sinks in College Hill. There were many alleys between streets that were eyesores. This kind of artwork is a neat idea to help mask the potential ugliness of a drain.
This whole area of buildings is a stack. They are all government buildings, with the county building, the courthouse, and the jail. They aren't very attractive buildings, but what can you do? These buildings aren't very decorated, but plain and industrial-looking. It is a stack because they are "stacks" of government activity and are somewhat on the outskirts of downtown. A stack that we've previously seen was the smokestack beside the building on campus. It was also on the edge of campus like these buildings are on the edge of downtown.
What a great way to claim your turf: a No Trespassing sign. They want your business during the day, but want you to not loiter at night. I guess that this is a good idea because of all the valuables inside the store. Having a crowd in front of the store at night is just asking for trouble. This reminded me a lot of the No Parking signs in College Hill. They are very quick to claim their territory and state who can do what and where.
Good ole Nathaniel Greene.