Author Topic: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks  (Read 25704 times)

wojo2112

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 02:36:13 PM »
Memorial Park in Riverside is essentially a large, uncovered, lawn bordered by trees, but that does not seem to deter folks from enjoying it. I like the design.

I-10east

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 03:01:41 PM »
All of these 'mixed use' parks that I've saw before are large (Memorial Park, Bryant Park etc) and still they have a decent amount of trees. Hemming Plaza is just 1.54 arce, far from a large flexible use park like Bryant. Show me the Hemming Plaza equivalent (near it's size, smaller than 2 acres) that's a small flexible park? I don't understand suddenly why trees are supposedly 'unwanted' at a city park, when most think that shade is synonymous with an urban park. Because everybody prefer to bake in the sweltering sun...

That rendering reminds me of a Hemming Plaza version of those Landing proposals, far from ideal IMO. It looks like a retro-futuristic soccer field, very out of place in the center of historic Jax. The more and more I look at the rendering, the more and more I don't like it.   

KenFSU

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2014, 04:09:22 PM »
Thanks guys, I appreciate the kind words!

Try not to get too wrapped up in the renderings. They are merely there to provide a bare-bones visualization of the best practices suggested in the article. Totally agree that Hemming needs to maintain some of that old southern park charm, and I'd hope that when it does come time for a redesign, we'd spare no expense in finding an architect that would do the project justice.

Supposedly HDR put together 60% plans for a similar redesign a couple of years ago, but I don't think they were ever made publicly available.

Disagree that the sun would be an issue. If over 60,000 locals are willing to pay $60 a pop to bake in an open concrete bowl in August to watch the Jags get beat by 40 points, I don't see why they'd be averse to hanging out in the park for an hour or two (or a lunch break) in the summer and enjoying free programming or recreation. This isn't Tunisia. October through May are beautiful in Jacksonville, and it's raining half the time during the summer months anyway.

I-10, several of the parks noted in the article are actually smaller than Hemming. Campus Martius Park in Detroit is only 1.2 acres, Post Office Square in Boston is 1.7 acres, etc. Yes, Bryant is dramatically bigger, but don't forget that a) the acreage for Bryant Park also includes the enormous New York Public Library, and b) Bryant is meant to serve a much larger population. Hemming Plaza isn't a miniscule space, and if you really wanted to get creative, there's no reason that you couldn't slightly expand it by removing the perimeter parking or closing the adjacent portions of Monroe and Duval to vehicular traffic.

Not advocating getting rid of trees entirely, but without flexibility, you are severely handicapping Hemming's ability to provide destination programming and activities, and you are also severely handicapping the park's ability to generate the revenue necessary to keep it staffed and programmed.

CityLife

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2014, 05:00:48 PM »
Hemming Plaza isn't a miniscule space, and if you really wanted to get creative, there's no reason that you couldn't slightly expand it by removing the perimeter parking or closing the adjacent portions of Monroe and Duval to vehicular traffic.

^This is something I really hope the Hemming Park group pushes for an analysis of in any park redesigns. I don't know that closing Hogan would add much due to the Skyway station and lack of street interaction from the courthouse, but I do think closing portions of Laura (from Duval to Adams), Monroe, and Duval around the park would be huge and something worth exploring. Expanding the park to City Hall, MOCA, Library, and Snyder not only opens up valuable space, but would open up so many design possibilities. Think of all of the outdoor seating options at Café Nola, and along Monroe and Laura (between Monroe and Adams).

From what I can see on Google street view, there is only one spot in the areas listed above that needs access for deliveries (west of Dalton Building), but I'm sure there is a solution.

The beauty of the grid is that there are a million different ways to maneuver through it. Closing down a small portion of it, may take some getting used to, but would be FAR more beneficial to the pedestrian environment than it would erode the automotive one.

thelakelander

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2014, 08:10:26 PM »
All of these 'mixed use' parks that I've saw before are large (Memorial Park, Bryant Park etc) and still they have a decent amount of trees. Hemming Plaza is just 1.54 arce, far from a large flexible use park like Bryant. Show me the Hemming Plaza equivalent (near it's size, smaller than 2 acres) that's a small flexible park?

If you ever visit Detroit, check out Campus Martius Park.  It really is a great space.











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thelakelander

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2014, 08:13:16 PM »
Some random pictures of Hemming during the 1950s and 1960s.







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InnerCityPressure

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2014, 12:18:28 AM »
Great stuff.  So good that my imagination kept making me think it is a real proposal.  I was getting so excited about the ice skating :/

AuditoreEnterprise

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2014, 11:40:14 AM »
Ahhh the Robert Myer. That was such a giant building it is a shame that is gone. It would have made a good condo/apartment building. The Seminole hotel was my favorite though.
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Tacachale

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2014, 01:42:29 PM »
Very impressive article. I hope we see some of this stuff come to fruition.
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Keith-N-Jax

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2014, 02:57:09 PM »
Awesome article!! I was forced to read the whole article lol. I really hope something like this really happens, that's exactly what we need DT. I would love to be able to ice skate during the holiday season.

ProjectMaximus

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2014, 03:04:20 PM »
Cool stuff. I actually thought it was a professional proposal as well.

I wonder how this plays out as Unity Plaza is hoping to create essentially the same thing, but in a less prime spot (potentially, not currently).

tpot

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2014, 06:34:32 PM »
 I am sure the homeless will enjoy their new 1 million dollar Hemming Park, this should give them a break from their $700,000 pocket park across the street from the library on Main Street.......downtown Jax will not change until the city takes serious steps to relocate the homeless population & services from its urban core........history repeating itself............over and over again....

thelakelander

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2014, 07:51:25 PM »
San Diego suggests otherwise. It appears to have a much larger homeless problem in its downtown than we do in ours. It's just harder to focus on them because the downtown is vibrant. Nevertheless, it's not uncommon to step over people sleeping on the sidewalks of the Gaslamp District. Here's a few photographs. In each, if you look hard enough, you'll see examples of the problem some claim DT Jax must resolve before anything else successful can happen:







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Awlloyd7

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2014, 08:02:58 PM »
Best proposal I've seen so far. I really love the idea of adding things like MShack and Black Sheep to the park. Here's to this being read by FHP and having a serious impact on their ideas for the park.

I-10east

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #29 on: October 19, 2014, 04:15:17 AM »
Ken and Lake, I appreciate the feedback. I understand that nothing is written in stone and this is just a proposal (albeit a very popular one). I really strongly believe that tearing down ALL of Hemming's majestic trees (like the proposal) and it would be a huge mistake in subtropical high humidity Jacksonville, in contrast the temperate temperatures of NYC, Boston, Detroit etc, as they can get away without having any shade; Not to mention that they add beauty and character to the park. I wouldn't call current day Hemming Plaza the Gangsta's Paradise that circa 80's Bryant Park was (no hiding places, major terrain contrasts, high crime etc). Even many MJers already attested to that (like with the removal of the benches thread).

Like I said before, I understand that a flexible Hemming would make it more viable. I would keep as many of the perimeter area trees as I can, and remove the trees in the middle and the old fountains. There would still be plenty of space for green flexibility without making Hemming Plaza into a barren soccer field. Also I prefer smaller-sized parks to be somewhat asymmetrical (landscaping etc) to give it some character (like Campus Martius). I understand that Bryant Park is basically symmetrical, but it's also larger than Hemming. I don't believe that closing any streets to make the park larger is the answer, especially Laura (which of course we all know is the keyhole to the river); In speaking of something else that I disagree with, but that's for another time...
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 04:31:04 AM by I-10east »