Polishing an old heirloom.

It’s uncommon for me to devote a particular blog post exclusively to corrections–not because I don’t make mistakes, or because I’m unwilling to admit them, but because my tiny monthly output has much to do with how carefully I try to vet the articles the first time around.  I’m not big on mistakes, and I diligently (and often quietly) fix them when I can.  However, my three-part series in 2010 on the site selection for a new arena in downtown Evansville generated some real vitriol, largely because my maps depicted the wrong location for the original proposed (and ultimately defeated) arena site.  I goofed, apparently.  Here’s what my map from Part I of the Evansville series showed:

Evansville DT Map corrected

And here’s what it should have showed.

Evansville DT Map corrected 2

The blue box moved from one side of Walnut Street to the other.  Both sides belong to D. Patrick, a car dealership, but I incorrectly speculated that the south side of Walnut was the proposed development site, simply because it was already a car lot, with few or no real structures on it–compared to the north side, where the D. Patrick offices were.  But the north side of Walnut was the proposed site, and several feisty respondents (all retained on the original blog post) forced me to concede and make the correction.  I also had to correct a similar map on Part III of the Evansville series.  My original, incorrect map showed this:

arena master plan corrected

The correct map should be this:

arena master plan corrected 2

In both cases, the blue outline has migrated.  What remains critical, however, is that my argument doesn’t change, primarily because of the actual site of the new arena: in sync with  that red box in the first two maps.  Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter if the blue box was north of Walnut, south of it, or even across the river in Henderson, Kentucky.  The fact remains that the actual site used to build the now-complete arena sacrificed a block’s worth of vintage commercial buildings along Evansville’s Main Street…the exact sort of essential urban artifacts that are increasingly the most viable home for good retail and street activation, in an era when even the lifestyle centers are often starting to struggle.

Please revisit the three-part series “Rethinking the Behemoth; Preserving the Banal” to see if you agree.  Comments are welcome–even the snarky ones.

 

One thought on “Polishing an old heirloom.

  1. Anonymous

    Congratulations! A few years late, but at least your got your research right this time. Although I share your position about protecting vintage buildings (and actually preferred the car dealership site), the fact is that the dealership wanted to extort an exorbitant premium on their property plus have the city pay for relocation costs. It would never have happened. Now that the arena is built? The arena is doing exactly what was intended. A new hotel and medical school are being built adjacent to it, stimulating further development and restoration. The medical school development could actually afford to buy out the car dealership, which is another big win. The price of progress, and preservation, is not easy, but it’s one that needs an open mind.

    Reply

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