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Friday, April 28, 2006

What Happens When Nobody's Watching

IMG_2024
See where they've started demolition in the far left corner? (old photo, Richard's is newer).
Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space has a few shots of some of the demolition going on in the Florida Market area/wholesale food district (Richard has written about it too). I've also noticed this demolition (I spoke with someone who insisted that it would be only a renovation, but I don't think that usually involves leveling the building) & it is bad news (this particular demolition is Choi's work, but it is pursuant to an old request for proposals. I'm concerned about a trend developing). The buildings aren't in the greatest condition on the inside, but the bones are typically fine. I think this area has great development potential an historic market area that could appeal to residents, and tourists (note the dreamy location right across from a red line metro station). Taking down these buildings is a step in the wrong direction (and it could be the first sign of the dissolution of the market altogether).
Read more about the market through the links above, or here:
1. Meat Deals (from Rebuilding Place)
2. Another Point About the Florida Market Area (from Rebuilding Place)
3. AAGH on the Florida Market Area (RP)
4. Bib Bim Bap at Young's Deli --Tour of Florida Market Area as a Blog Meetup? (RP)
5. Developer Peddles a New Vision for an Old Market (Washington Post)
6. My reponse to the Post article (Frozen Tropics)
7. Flea Markets, Layering, and Placemaking (RP)
8. Buying Wholesale in Northeast (DCist)
9. Litteri's -the place for all things Italian (including the best subs in town)
10. Washington Post Review of Litteri's
11. Sausage Fest (Daily Candy)
12. Market Time (A Capitol Life)
*By the way, if you (like me) have a Manhattan Special habit, you can get your fix at Litteri's

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a nearby neighbor of the area, I'm glad to see some new development going on. The area is changing dramatically and some buildings and businesses will reflect that.

inked said...

I recognize that we'll see some new buildings & I welcome new businesses. I just think that the existing market presents us with a unique opportunity & that redeveloping the market sensitively (I'm NOT suggesting that we just leave it as it is) would maximize the potential. Once these particular buildings are gone, you can't bring them back.

Anonymous said...

What is going to be built in the space where the building has been torn down?

Anonymous said...

A lot of Capitol Hill talk in Express, including about Abdo lofts, etc. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/express/pdfs/EXPRESS_04282006.pdf

Richard Layman said...

Every time you destroy the factors that make the District of Columbia unique, you diminish the competitive advantage of the District of Columbia.

Those factors are architecture, particularly historic architecture constructed before 1930, urban design, and history.

New development doesn't have to be "new" construction that involves leveling the old. What it must be is "investment" as opposed to "disinvestment."

If you think some undistinguished junky building that looks like the building at 727 H Street NE is going to add character and interest to the Florida Market, I suspect you are mistaken.

I didn't know about the demolition, but I had a historic preservation hearing on Thursday, and I went up to Brookland beforehand, to meet my compatriots, and I saw the demolition from the subway. BTW, I have more photos on my flickr account under demolition, although they don't vary that much...

I would have missed the "Stop" sign shot entirely, had I not chosen to go eat more Yook Ji Gae and so I walked over to Young's Deli.

Think long and hard about change and competitive advantage. I am all for change and improvement, but I don't see how that necessarily equals the destruction of what has distinguished Washington from 80 to 150 years.

P.S. I too like Manhattan Special espresso soda.

P.P.S. E -- for the first time, yesterday I went to "Mexican Fruit" next to the cinder block building. It was packed mostly with Hispanics. I got to flirt a bit with one of the clerks, speaking Spanish... Cilantro e.g. was 1/2 the price of Giant (50 cents/bunch), etc..... It was cool.

P.P.P.S. Meetup is essential...

Anonymous said...

Uniqueness does not equal comparative or competitive advantage. Efficiency, preference and other economic factors create this.

Richard Layman said...

I suggest you read _Competing for the Future_ by Prahalad and Hamel. I admit I am not an economist, but no good economist working in the tourism-visitor field would likely agree with you (e.g., people at Michigan State University or GWU). Neither would experts in urban revitalization.

Anonymous said...

Then I suggest you learn more about comparative or competitive advantage before using it as the basis for an argument.

Anonymous said...

That's just plain bitchy.

The man's entitled to his opinion without you trying to shut him up.

You could share information without squashing someones else's ideas