Surprise from the streets: Art!

Shards of glass arranged randomly on a wooden utility pole. A jaunty human body carved out of a dead tree, wearing a tire as a hat. Ceramic benches in a vacant lot. The face of an elf painted on the base of a streetlight. Elaborate graffiti in countless places across the city.

Art is one of the last things outsiders associate with Detroit. But drive the streets and you quickly realize the city possesses an energetic, grassroots creative class that not only spreads color, whimsy and provocation across the landscape, but also serves as an engine of redevelopment.

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True, not everyone considers all of it art, especially when it comes to graffiti.

DRIVING DETROIT | PART 3 OF 5: Surprise from the streets: Art!.

Madrona Woods creek again flows free

For decades, the cool, clear water from springs in the city-owned Madrona Woods flowed through stormwater pipes into Lake Washington.

But no more. Madrona residents are taking back their creeks.

Seattle landscape architect Peggy Gaynor, who has worked on rerouting creeks from pipes at Thornton Creek, Meadowbrook and Ravenna, said the Madrona project “is the most ambitious and complex project I’ve been involved with.”

Madrona Woods creek again flows free.Seattle PI – Debera Carlton Harrell

Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny

couple of weeks ago, the Congress Centre team met with NCC design advisers, including an architect and landscape architect who raised concerns about the design of the project. But the centre has received generally positive reviews from community leaders and has won commitments of $50 million each from the federal and Ontario governments, and $40 million from the city.

NCC approval is essential because the commission has authority over development changes in the core of the capital. As well, the building plan includes reducing the NCC’s scenic Colonel By Drive from four lanes to two at this location, to accommodate a bigger development footprint.

Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny – Ottawa Citizen – Patrick Dare

Force of nature weighs in on Presidio plan

If you don’t like Gap founder Donald Fisher’s proposal to erect a modern-looking modern art museum in San Francisco’s Presidio, Lawrence Halprin is on your side.

Colorful and commanding, the 91-year-old landscape architect is no stranger to the Presidio: He designed the romantic terrain that enfolds the Letterman Digital Arts Center at Lombard Gate. And when he saw the conceptual design for Fisher’s Contemporary Arts Museum of the Presidio – a glassy stack of white cubes by New York’s Gluckman Mayner Architects – he didn’t mince words.

“The proposed design … is absurdly inappropriate,” Halprin wrote to the Presidio Trust

PLACE / Force of nature weighs in on Presidio plan.

‘Disneyfication’ of NY city Parks?

GREENWICH VILLAGE. Last week’s dispute over the cost of relocating Washington Square’s fountain is just the latest wrinkle in a longer debate that’s sure to continue.

A request to interview Parks Dept. designer George Vellonakis was denied, but the National Park Service’s former head of preservation called Metro to scold Vellonakis for the “Disneyfication” of historic parks.

“You don’t create revisionist history,” complained landscape architect Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation.

metro new york – paul arden

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