Interpreting “An Evening of Olmsted” — 4/5/2007

dear all,

i regret that the very clear thrust of monday’s “Evening of Olmsted” program seems to have eluded some who want a tif, any tif, and the sooner the better.

david bahlman spoke of riverside’s uniqueness and stature among all olmsted sites, which is at the top of residential, near the top of all sites, and seminal for the ensuing century of town design.

“first, do no harm,” he advised.

vicki added considerably to our knowledge of the historic context of olmsted’s illinois work, including riverside.

susan appealed for planning to avoid results such as the series of buffalo decisions which, imperceptibly at first, drained away an olmsted park’s character. she also said that conscientious and inclusive planning builds a constituency of support which is vital in the debates over subsequent proposals.

susan also advised building up a list of principles that would guide development. such a list not only may serve as a starting point for planning, but also would be a first framework against which any proposal would be measured.

i think that to have attended the NAOP / riverside preservation commission program monday night, and then cite it as support for moving enacting a tif on tuesday, is akin to attending a baseball game and declaring later the sport is all about hot dogs and peanuts.

well, yes, hot dogs and peanuts do show up with baseball. but they are not the point. the point is the players on the field.

here the point is, do no harm by building consensus principles and moving on to a real planning process, because even among olmsted sites, ours by its history and achievement, is unique.

thanks and best,


POSTED THURSDAY APR 5, 2007 15:29 #
Explore posts in the same categories: Riverside and Olmsted

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