Boil the whole thing down and it's just...sad. And wasteful. A perfectly fine (and attractive) stadium will go abandoned. As much as I usually favor redevelopment and reuse, it seems the only option for Turner Field at this point is rubble. The worst possible scenario would be for the city to hold on to the stadium in the hope that someday...maybe...it would be utilized again. Thanks to poor planning, Turner Field (and Fulton County Stadium before that) has contributed nothing of value to its surrounding area, and the chances of a Marta rail line ever appearing there is pretty much gone now. May as well start over with Atlantic Station South, which seems inevitable at this point.
Perhaps next year the starting point could be at Dekalb Avenue under the new Edgewood bridge. Plenty of open space there that wouldn't interfere with traffic.
Framing this in the context of MLK is just a way to enhance the school's long history. I don't think anyone is suggesting the school should be preserved simply because MLK attended. The real issue is overcrowding. Inman is busting at the seams with more trailers being added and Springdale Park (of which my kids attend) was at capacity when it opened just a few years ago and now needs to build-on to the back of the school. Suzuki is opening a school at Ponce City Market next year, which should speak volumes about the demand for schooling and the influx of more families in the general area of OFW.
But just from a purely architectural discussion, this school is built like a tank -- just like the aforementioned PCM. It's all brick, and just because it may be crumbling and rusty in spots doesn't mean it's dilapidated or should be destroyed. I would bet it has better bones than the new high school that just opened in Buckhead (which received tens of millions of dollars).
Public art has always elicited strong opinions, for it's a medium that exists in the public realm. Unlike what you see tucked away in a museum, public art is invasive and impossible to ignore. That's part of what makes it so engaging and interesting. The absolute worst kind of public art is that which is designed by committee, for you typically end up with dull, watered down nothingness that nobody likes. Atlanta is lucky to have an event like Living Walls.
As for the unannounced participant, it wouldn't surprise me if Banksy slipped through. There were rumors a few weeks ago he was in town.
Lots of opportunity there along North Avenue, especially behind PCM. Road is underutilized compared to Ponce which seems to receive the bulk of the car traffic.
The fact of the matter is most people -- whether they're on foot, a fixed gear bike, roller blades, whatever -- don't think to check behind themselves when moving from one side of the path to the other. All it takes is a cyclist to be weaving around someone at the exact moment that person is passing someone else to cause a serious collision. As tempting as it must be to fly down that flat, smooth path, it simply wasn't designed for that.
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Creative Loafing Atlanta
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