Author Topic: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks  (Read 25706 times)

Charles Hunter

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2014, 08:50:25 AM »
I kept seeing references to Bryant Park being larger than Hemming Park, but no numbers, I asked my friend Google.
Bryant Park is 9.6 acres.
Hemming Park is 1.5 acres
A factor of 6.

Creating some more flexible space in the middle could be good.  But removing to many trees is not a good idea.

thelakelander

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #31 on: October 19, 2014, 12:07:26 PM »
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.

Just for further clarification, I wasn't advocating for the removal of Hemming's trees.  I was just showing examples of a smaller space (Campus Martius Park = 1.2 acres) that is vibrant and designed to attract a diverse amount of residents and tourist.  If Detroit can pull of something like that, I'm sure Jacksonville can as well.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 12:09:27 PM by thelakelander »
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KenFSU

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2014, 12:32:49 PM »
I kept seeing references to Bryant Park being larger than Hemming Park, but no numbers, I asked my friend Google.
Bryant Park is 9.6 acres.
Hemming Park is 1.5 acres
A factor of 6.

Creating some more flexible space in the middle could be good.  But removing to many trees is not a good idea.

Charles, if you take a closer look, those acreage numbers are very misleading. The massive New York Public Library, one of the largest city libraries in the world, is technically considered part of Bryant Park, as is the front and rear library entrance and surrounding sidewalk. Looking at the aerial, you can easily cut at least 40% or so off that acreage.



For a more accurate comparison, Bryant Park's central lawn is 1.1 acres, compared to Hemming Plaza's overall size of 1.54 acres. The yellow box below gives you a rough idea of how big Hemming Plaza is relative Bryant Park. Sure, Hemming is smaller, but so is Jacksonville. We don't need something as big as Bryant Park, and a smaller, more densely populated park would be more beneficial than an larger, sparsely populated space anyway.



1.54 acres, plus anything you can add to the periphery, is more than enough space to create something truly special.

Charles Hunter

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #33 on: October 19, 2014, 12:58:01 PM »
Their library is considered part of the park?
Thanks for the clarification, and the aerial, gives a better feel for the comparative sizes.  But, as someone else said, I don't favor permanently closing the perimeter streets to increase the Park's footprint.  Runs counter to the efforts to replace one-way streets with two-way.

Redbaron616

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #34 on: October 19, 2014, 07:08:57 PM »
There was nothing wrong with the design of Bryant Park when it was originally built. Back then, the population was generally God-fearing and law-abiding. Can't say the same today, which is sadly why this design would never work now. We have lost much from our descent from a moral (overall) society.

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2014, 11:49:03 PM »
But, as someone else said, I don't favor permanently closing the perimeter streets to increase the Park's footprint.  Runs counter to the efforts to replace one-way streets with two-way.

Not sure how often you frequent the area, but I think if you're around there and you pay specific attention, you might re-consider that. 

For the record I'd only be for closing 2 streets:  Monroe and Duval.  There is minimal thru-traffic on either, mostly just parking for JSO (Monroe) and news vans (Duval).  I would like to see a large, accented pedestrian crosswalk in the middle of the block to allow for easier access to and from the MOCA, library and park, though. 

On the other side, Hogan gets some thru-traffic, but the Skyway is more of a natural barrier and doesn't really allow for any reasoning to open up that side of the park. 

But by removing both streets, you would increase the park by another 20ish feet on either side.
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thelakelander

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2014, 12:09:18 AM »
I'm not sure much is gained by closing any streets.  The major problem I see is that most of the uses surrounding Hemming (the Outer Square) don't really interact with it.  Better interaction can be achieved with or without street closure.  Instead, something similar to what the City of Orlando does with Church Street might by more appropriate. 


Church Street is open to vehicular traffic most of the time.



However, it has movable bollards that allow it to become an outdoor extension of arena activities and special events when needed.
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CityLife

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2014, 11:09:09 AM »
Using COJ's GIS system, it appears that there is 70' of ROW on both Monroe and Duval. The length of both blocks is about 315'. Closing off each street and expanding the park's boundaries to the adjacent buildings adds approximately 22,050 square feet. Add those two up and you get 44,100 square feet, or just over an acre. Incorporating both those blocks increases the park space from 1.54 acres to 2.55 acres.

If you close off Laura, you add an approximately 14,400 square feet (60' by 240') or . 33 acres. With that addition, you nearly double the park's size from 1.54 acres to 2.88 acres. If you further the road closing on Laura between Adams and Monroe (the holy grail of road closings), that number jumps to 3.27 acres. Closing Laura between Adams and Monroe opens up fantastic outdoor dining and block party possibilities, and would also serve as  a great entryway into the park.

Now of course some of that park space "added" is already a functional part of the park, and some of it would have to remain bike/ped space, but it still would open up significantly more design options IF there is going to be a major overhaul of the park's design. Not to mention, it would make the park and surrounding uses significantly more pedestrian/park user friendly.

I'm going to pick the brain of an engineer and see what possible impacts there are for closing all those roads.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 11:11:54 AM by CityLife »

Non-RedNeck Westsider

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2014, 11:25:59 AM »
Maybe a combination of both of your suggestions, Lake & City:

I still don't see any benefit to keeping Duval and Monroe open, but I think it would be unproductive to close Laura, but if we were to take a page from many other cities and install removable bollards at both the intersections of Duval and Monroe on either side of the MOCA/Library and an additional set at Laura/Adams, you now have the potential for one helluva block party.

I guess the key to all of this would be to have enough of the right kinds of businesses surrounding the park that would interact with the street during the types of events that I'm picturing in my head.  I'm thinking art gallery, bar, restaurant, niche retail, salon type places that would enjoy the benefit of random crowds congregating outside of their doors in the evening.
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finehoe

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #39 on: October 20, 2014, 11:55:29 AM »
Runs counter to the efforts to replace one-way streets with two-way.

For what it's worth, three of the four streets that border Bryant Park are one-way.

KenFSU

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2014, 05:44:14 PM »
There was nothing wrong with the design of Bryant Park when it was originally built. Back then, the population was generally God-fearing and law-abiding. Can't say the same today, which is sadly why this design would never work now. We have lost much from our descent from a moral (overall) society.

I would argue that the decline of Bryant Park resulted from factors far more socioeconomic than moral. The 1950s, 60s, and 70s were very tough for New York. The city lost much of its shipping to Jersey. Industry abandoned NYC for the cheaper suburbs as facilities reached end of life. White flight saw the city lose over a million people. Even the Dodgers and Giants packed up and moved to California. The tax base contracted significantly, neighborhoods rapidly deteriorated, and the NYPD and Parks Department didn't have the manpower or funding to properly patrol and maintain city parks like Bryant. At the time, New York City came very, very close to defaulting on its obligations and declaring bankruptcy.

Would also have a hard time thinking of 1930s and 40s New York City as some golden age of morality. Unless that definition of morality involves harsh segregation laws, arrest and forced lobotomy of homosexuals, hundreds of brothels, widespread domestic abuse, seven New York crime families all at the peak of their power, widespread police and government corruption, bootlegging, a burgeoning heroin epidemic, etc. Modern Manhattan is downright antiseptic today relative to when Bryant Park debuted its redesign.

KenFSU

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2014, 05:10:40 PM »
This should be awesome.

Great work by DVI and FHP setting this up:

Quote
Full symphony playing two concerts at 'Musical Masquerade' Art Walk
Tuesday, November 4, 11:06 AM EST

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer
Art, culture and music will be celebrated in historic style Wednesday in Hemming Park when Downtown Vision presents “Musical Masquerade,” the 11th anniversary edition of Art Walk.

Wednesday evening will be highlighted by two performances by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the first time the full 53-member orchestra has performed in the park.

The orchestra will perform at 6:30 p.m. and at 8:15 p.m., conducted by Michelle Merrill, who is assistant conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Having Jacksonville’s symphony orchestra perform in Hemming Park has long been a goal for Downtown Vision Inc.

Marking Art Walk’s 11th anniversary with the historic concerts will expose the orchestra to a new audience and also allow people to see some of the changes in store for the park, which was taken over Sept. 30 by the Friends of Hemming Park, a private nonprofit funded with $1 million from the city.

Katherine Hardwick, DVI marketing director, said Art Walk is likely to set a new record for attendance Wednesday, breaking the mark of nearly 20,000 people who attended last month’s Oktoberfest.

“It’s going to be something else,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase what Hemming Park is going to become.”

Full story: http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=544237

benfranklinbof

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2014, 06:15:12 PM »
I have my coat and mask ready for tomorrow night
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KenFSU

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2014, 12:44:19 PM »
^ Sounds like it was a pretty special evening last night at Hemming Park.

Badly wanted to go, but fighting off a nasty cold.

FHP and DVI are off to a pretty incredible start with Hemming.

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/video/2014/11/jacksonville-symphony-makes-history-with-hemming.html

IrvAdams

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Re: Hemming Plaza vs NYC's Bryant Park: A Tale of Two Parks
« Reply #44 on: November 06, 2014, 05:47:35 PM »
Amazing just how many people that park will accommodate. It seems to get larger the more people who show up. I'm still a big believer that going back to a mostly-grass park, as opposed to bricks and concrete, would be even more accommodating.

Good job Jax Symphony!

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