Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Over-size for a small town

Alameda's civic leaders have been working for years to try to get the old Alameda Theater restored. They'd been holding to the wishes of the community for a long, long time, and in the last year they finally found someone who was willing to move the project forward.

For a very, very high cost.

This is a pic of the massing of the proposed parking garage and new cinema space, looking south on Oak Street. This is a view that no one who is involved in the project wants us to see: just how big this thing is. It's not so much about height; it's about volume. You know how you can fool toddlers by pouring a tall glass of milk into a wide, short glass? As long as the develpment and planning staff keeps telling us that the new structure is "Shorter than the historic theater" they are treating us like toddlers.

Our civic leaders are expressing surprise that we don't support this version of the project. My take on that is that for years, as they were working to keep it small and in scale with the needs of our town, our silence was due to the fact that they were accurately representing the will of the people. This plan now, does not, and so "suddenly" they get to listen to us tell them to re-apply themselves to the project's original intent and scope.

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