I’ve been writing Filling in Columns for over 2 years now (starting with this one on Exchange Street), and I’ve realized that it’s high time to have a discussion about my vision for the column, what I write, and why I write it…
As I see it, each column fulfills one of three primary goals:
- Present fantasy redevelopment ideas
- Discuss actual development projects I am constructing
- Review/critique proposed developments in and around Rochester
Conveniently, these three are almost mutually exclusive (except for when I get around to reviewing any of my own projects after completion or turn a fantasy development into a real one, I suppose, but neither of those things has happened yet!). So let’s take a look at each of the three topics in a little more depth.
1.) Present Fantasy Redevelopment Ideas
This is the bread and butter of this column right here. The original concept for it came from a great Bob Williams post on his blog a number of years ago (check it out here ). I take a site, sometimes occupied and productive like Tops and Wegmans, or a site begging for something to be there, like midtown, and present a fantasy redevelopment. Sometimes I give some detailed numbers for costs and size and programming. Sometimes I do not. These posts, interestingly, can turn out wildly controversial when I least expect them, but that’s good, because the primary purpose of these posts is to get people to think about their built environment in its current state and its potential future.
2.) Discuss Actual Development Projects I am Constructing
For projects I am working on building, I am attempting to be as open and honest about pitfalls, financial realities, etc. as I can be for what I write about here. Sometimes this means a little bit of a time delay between being able to do something and being able to write something. Currently there are only a few posts in this category. With any luck, I will have more to write about in the future.
3.) Review/critique proposed developments in and around Rochester
Posts of this nature are designed to look (at times) critically at proposed development in the city and in many cases, point out changes that would improve the development. Sometimes these changes will be small (add a bike rack), and other times, they might be rather large (the building should be one story taller but have a setback on the third floor). While there have not been too many of these posts, I expect to have more as development warms up somewhat this year.
In each of these cases I try to stay involved in the discussion about the ideas I put forward, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s participation as well. If there is anything outside of these three column types you would like to see written (or if there is ever a project you have thought about and might like help crafting a column) about, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com. Thank you again, everyone, for making this column and resulting discussions what they are.
Tags: 34 King Street, 37 Eagle Street, 759 Park Ave, 93 Marsh Street, 933 University, Exchange Street, Filling In, infill development, Matthew Denker, Meta blogging, Midtown, Rochester, Rochester NY, Tops, urban development, Wegman's
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