Library Green Presentation to the Ann Arbor PAC, April 23, 2013


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William Hathaway's presentation to the Ann Arbor Park Advisory Commission on behalf of the Library Green Conservancy. This took place on April 23, 2013.

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Library Green Presentation to the Ann Arbor PAC, April 23, 2013

  1. 1. 1Monday, April 29, 2013
  2. 2. Ann Arbor’s 2009 Downtown Planshows the near complete absence ofpublic parks in the city’s center.2Monday, April 29, 2013
  3. 3. Many years ago, the lawn of theCounty Courthouse served asAnn Arbor’s town square.3Monday, April 29, 2013
  4. 4. The University of Michigan has its Diag,but Ann Arbor lacks adequate, publicopen-space for the people who live,work and shop in the downtown.4Monday, April 29, 2013
  5. 5. In the middle of the city is a place that could becomeAnn Arbor’s “central” park.The Library Block is bounded by Fifth Avenue,William, Division and Liberty Streets.5Monday, April 29, 2013
  6. 6. The Library Block is anchored by the DowntownLibrary. It is home to the Center for Education ofWomen, the Christian Science Reading Room, theUM Credit Union and the Inter Cooperative Council.6Monday, April 29, 2013
  7. 7. The Library Block is also home to small businessesincluding Jerusalem Garden, Earthen Jar, Seva, andthe former Herb David’s Guitar Studio.7Monday, April 29, 2013
  8. 8. On the northeast corner is Liberty Plaza -the only public park in downtown Ann Arbor.Liberty Plaza is a modest open space, connectedby a ramp and foot path across private property tothe Library Lot.8Monday, April 29, 2013
  9. 9. The Library Lot is a publicly owned siteat the center of the block - recentlytransformed by a new, undergroundparking structure and street.9Monday, April 29, 2013
  10. 10. How should the City use the surface space on top of thenew, 770 space Library Lot parking structure?The Ann Arbor community recommended a city plazaduring the 2006 Calthorpe process.“Pursue and design a Town Square or central civic area that incorporates an outdoor meetingplace, an art center, underground parking, an indoor facility, and mixed-use buildings.” (Calthorpe Downtown Development Report, 2006)10Monday, April 29, 2013
  11. 11. This idea is not new. Fifteen yearsearlier, a City study imagined a publicpark on the Library Lot.** LUKENBACH STUDY 199111Monday, April 29, 2013
  12. 12. A hotel/conference center was proposed forthe Library Lot, but this idea was rejected asunfeasible in spring 2011.12Monday, April 29, 2013
  13. 13. Proposals for a park on the Library Lot were alsodismissed because, it was claimed,a park couldn’t create economic benefits for the City.13Monday, April 29, 2013
  14. 14. But other cities have created livelyurban parks that serve as engines foreconomic development - bringing morepeople downtown and boosting thevalue and life of their neighborhoodsCampus Martius and RiverWalk in DetroitPost Office Square in BostonRosa Parks Circle in Grand RapidsMillennium Park in ChicagoDiscovery Green in Houston14Monday, April 29, 2013
  15. 15. Ann Arbor isn’t the same as Detroit,Boston, Grand Rapids, Chicago orHouston… but we can learn fromthe successful parks in these cities.We can create our own downtowncenterpiece on an Ann Arbor scale!What elements of these parksshould we incorporate in our vision?15Monday, April 29, 2013
  16. 16. Campus Martius hosts frequentoutdoor performances in Detroit16Monday, April 29, 2013
  17. 17. Ice skating is another popular feature atDetroit’s Campus Martius17Monday, April 29, 2013
  18. 18. RiverWalk is a family-friendly walkwayconnecting public spaces in Detroit18Monday, April 29, 2013
  19. 19. Post Office Square is located aboveunderground parking in Boston19Monday, April 29, 2013
  20. 20. The Rosa Parks Circle is a lively,versatile space in Grand Rapids20Monday, April 29, 2013
  21. 21. Millennium Park in Chicago has popularwater features and “must see” art21Monday, April 29, 2013
  22. 22. Discovery Green offers a variety ofyear-round activities in Houston22Monday, April 29, 2013
  23. 23. All these parks generateeconomic benefits throughPlacemaking.“Placemaking is the creation of a dynamic,attractive public space to revitalize and bringnew investment to a downtownneighborhood.” (Project for Public Places, Placemaking Pays Off)23Monday, April 29, 2013
  24. 24. Economic Benefits fromPlacemaking occur in severalways:Existing BuildingsNew ConstructionMore CustomersIncreased Tax Revenue24Monday, April 29, 2013
  25. 25. Existing Buildings near the Library Lotcould be “reborn” with new, expandeduses - reoriented toward the new publicspace, adding to the vitality and energy.25Monday, April 29, 2013
  26. 26. The Proximity Principle says land near a publicpark goes up in value. Successful placemakingrejuvenates neighboring buildings. This can occuron the Library Block despite, or perhaps becauseof, nearby historic structures.26Monday, April 29, 2013
  27. 27. New Construction wouldoccur to take advantage ofthe green views.27Monday, April 29, 2013
  28. 28. More Customers would bedrawn to nearby businesses.28Monday, April 29, 2013
  29. 29. Quality of Place“The more attached an area’s residents are, thebetter the region’s growth... the three quality ofplace characteristics that matter most are...” (Michigan Future Inc. 7/7/11)social offerings - places for people to meet and the feelingthat people in the community care about each other.openness - a sense that the community is welcoming andopen to all.aesthetics - physical beauty including parks and greenspaces.29Monday, April 29, 2013
  30. 30. Liberty Plaza is the City’s only significant downtowngreen space.* A pedestrian link from Liberty Plazato a Library Green would enhance both parks. Itwould be Ann Arbor’s downtown Diag.* According to the City’s own 2009 Downtown Plan, page 1030Monday, April 29, 2013
  31. 31. The Ann Arbor District Library draws thousandsof people downtown. Like libraries in other cities, theAnn Arbor public library could extend itself in relationto an adjacent park.31Monday, April 29, 2013
  32. 32. Ann Arbor doesn’t need to rely on big cities for goodideas. We can find attractive public features for aLibrary Green in our own backyard. For example…Outdoor Ice Skating at Ann Arbor’s Buhr Park...32Monday, April 29, 2013
  33. 33. Interactive, playful sculptures like theWave Field on U-M’s North Campus and theCube on Central Campus33Monday, April 29, 2013
  34. 34. Play structures would be welcomed byfamilies with young children.34Monday, April 29, 2013
  35. 35. Ann Arbor’s sculpture plaza is atransitional open space that relates tonearby businesses35Monday, April 29, 2013
  36. 36. Town Square gazebo concerts arepopular in Dexter and Manchester36Monday, April 29, 2013
  37. 37. In the Downtown Development Authority’s 2012survey, respondents said that parks - or openpublic space - is “an extremely important goal.”37Monday, April 29, 2013
  38. 38. Ann Arbor spent over $50 million toput 770 parking spaces underground inthe new Library Lot structure.38Monday, April 29, 2013
  39. 39. Despite the investment in underground parking, theCity put about 40 surface parking spaces back on topof the Library Lot temporarily. Ann Arbor can do better!39Monday, April 29, 2013
  40. 40. The Library Green Conservancycommissioned conceptual drawings tohelp people imagine the possibilities.!"##"$%&()**(+","-"./&()**(0"1*)(2&()**(3"4(5&6,*/7*6//&6)1.)&&+"-()"8(&0"1)$)29:&;)*<"(&9/"./=*)1&+$,"<>#<&?@&/.A&-7)4$8*&&B$)C"/D&#.(66E6&F#$C*&;*/(*)&7/<*)&8./-()78("./G>!"#$%$&($))*!"#$%&()*+,+40Monday, April 29, 2013
  41. 41. In July 2012, the Library Green organized a daylongcelebration of the potential for a Library Lot park.41Monday, April 29, 2013
  42. 42. We don’t agree with the DDA’s vision for openspace. We shouldn’t wait to see what a privatedeveloper will offer as a public plaza. Ann Arborshould decide for itself about its downtown parks.!"!"#$%#&()&*(+,%-&%#).(/0-&(10)2-#$%&%()*+,-(*.,/0-12-(%/3*+,-(*.,/0-12-(%/3*4%5673208*92((-0%2(:;;<-*=<--(>/?@%33%/AB&C3-?4/%(:2;<C:%DC=</,C%0*E?*.A%C=<2;,FFG42Monday, April 29, 2013
  43. 43. The choice now is aPark or a Parking Lot?FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: A2CENTRALPARK.ORG43Monday, April 29, 2013