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Helenmarie Corcoran (user 405) - Comments by Date

I applaud the City of Alexandria for enlisting such world-class professionals to assist us in the design of our waterfront. The two public meetings to date have introduced the team, showed their work process and asked us to comment on what we want in terms of programming and the inclusion of art and history on the waterfront.

Some commenters have assumed that this presentation is what is recommended for Alexandria. On the contrary, it was made clear that these were examples to stimulate thought, solutions reached by other communities. We were encouraged to enter the process of reaching the solutions for our community.

Also posted on this Waterfront page is a detailed report on art and history implementation, which was submitted by an appointed citizen committee. The Olin Studio team was very appreciative of the background this provided for its work.

An important concept presented was that “Public art is the art of making places public.” We have a resource in the river that is the envy of many cities. We have the ability to recognize its contribution not only to the past, but also to the future of this City, to a quality of life that will attract residents, visitors and businesses.

I want to see a continuous public pathway along the waterfront. I would prefer to see art and history incorporated into the infrastructure and the parks planned with a variety of purposes, recreational and cultural. The proposed zones are a fascinating solution, each with a primary function but planned in a way that will allow periodic quality programming.

One element that has not been included is a year-round performance venue that could accommodate dance performance, theater, and symphony concerts, both local and touring groups. The arts are considered to be one of the strengths of this city, but available venues for performance, rehearsal, storage and administrative needs are lacking, which limits the financial success of performing arts groups and the access of our citizens to these transformational experiences.

For my part, the summary slide of the presentation is the most important: We need
a clear plan with opportunities for growth, excellent design, appropriate infrastructure, adequate funding, a well-conceived management structure and citizen input. All these elements are necessary.

Helenmarie Corcoran (405) | User | November 11, 2013 - 9:35 PM | Programming, Art and History Waterfront Implementation Ideas