Dr. Gabor Maté

Of course, saving the monastery, makes the project thematic.  That theme is either one of blending or clever contrast.  This looks like a competitive theme of old vs new; like the Benedictine Monastery surrounded by medical dorms.  The new forms are not clever, nevertheless, pleasant in and of themselves.  In any case, the shear mass that surrounds the monastery can’t help but steal the show.  Clever contrast or sensitive blending would be a bigger challenge.  The architect could start by touching the new and old at the ground plane with a friendly gesture.  By the way, when is the last time we celebrated our architectural heritage in new significant architecture?  Here is an opportunity to revere a Tucson treasure.

Plan unveiled for 7-story apartments beside Benedictine Monastery | Business News | tucson.com


Durham: Why I voted to OK new tower on Palm Shadows site | Guest opinion


What You Thought 10 Years Ago.

In January of 2010 I asked If Tucson needed a U of A / Downtown Planning Interface effort with Neighborhoods.  Since then we spent well in excess of  1.5 billion dollars.  It included a $200,000,000.00 street car, 7-10,000 luxury student beds, residential projects valued at $500,000,000.00 and hundreds of millions in commercial starts within a mile radius of Tucson’s core hotbed of development….and still counting. Unfortunately we also have seen losses in traditional family oriented home ownership in the core.  You may be interested in what you said about this ten years ago.  Do you like what you see today?  Are we creating enough opportunities for a robust home ownership bordering the university and within our great historic centers like downtown and the 4th Avenue District?   Here are some thoughts you shared in 2010; paraphrased from memory:

  • Chuck Albanese, Architect and former dean of the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, CALA – Embraces the idea. Would like to see the architectural community involved. It is a good time for discussion
  • Gal Witmer, Architect, Member of WUNA long term university area resident and representative. She supports supports embracing these sensitive issues
  • Robert Vint, Architect, Preservationist and president of Vint Associates – Thinks it is a great idea and a good time for it.
  • Jim Mazzocco, Senior City Planner. Something like this is needed. Nothing specific addresses this issue. The City would have to manage the creation of any new plan for it to functionally work and be administered.  The City of Tucson’s budgets are too impacted to embrace a major effort.

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Here are (3) links to current  critical documents in downloadable PDF.

1) Cook Study  2)  Caywood Analysis  3)  Historical Commission’s Response

Mayor and Council will likely vote to defer approval of the 74M  30% RTA plan for further study to correct serious problems on April 19, 5:30 @ M&C chambers.  Check for meeting location.  Under desperate inside pressure, they can also vote to move forward on the flawed plan.   Check out the above links.  The plan on the table  is a downtown killer.  The RTA is pushing an “effective” 8 lane plan that disguises itself as a 6 lane context sensitive plan. The 16  bus pullouts split over both sides of the short stretch invalidate  outside lanes 5 & 6 as “bus” lanes.  So, why does the RTA want 6 traffic lanes of in & out of downtown  at the end of Broadway?  This moves more traffic to a bottleneck @ 4th Avenue  & Congress.

What about the “downtown congestion stigma”?  The west end of the Broadway Corridor is an opportunity we need to jump on, hard.  An intentional urban corridor for both cars and pedestrians can be part of the destination; a collection promenade; a narrow continuous rubber tired shuttle system to all points with 3 minute leads.  It is an obvious extension of the downtown business explosion we see before us.  We can coat tail on to this economic phenomena; making a worthy urban destination more accessible to all.  Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 11.33.53 AM.pngThink about the 16th St. Denver Mall and then imagine an urban concept, even greater without  compromise to the vehicular access we currently enjoy; but vastly smarter than the blinded 75M 30% plan.


Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.56.13 PMIt has been said before, that in assuring the positive outcome of good deal. You have to be able to walk. The question here, is should we walk? We didn’t do it before and we suffer the consequences over and over. Here a $74M over-design makes no sense in the face of a crippling city budget deficit. Tucson needs to walk away from what’s on the table and figure out how to keep valuable staff employed and save tax revenue.  Here is some good reasoning for walking on the deal currently on the table.  Read this clickable excellent editorial by Bob Vint in the Daily Star.  Broadway renovation plan needs a redo   This a deal that many city leaders want to walk away from but has its argument as well.  Please view Tim Steller’s point of view which is not supported by this blog:  City’s New Broadway Widening….

Here is Bob’s full text if you want to view it on this page:  Something must be done with Broadway. The main entrance to our downtown from the east is shabby, neglected and ripe for redevelopment. It should be an inviting gateway to our revitalizing city center, an extension of that vitality into the city. How best to accomplish this? Continue Reading »

Please view:   City to decide which Broadway buildings will be razed for widening