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[Downtown Victoria] Crystal Garden Block announcement


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#1 Rob Randall

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 12:55 PM

There was a major surprise announcement at this morning's Committee of the Whole meeting: a vision for the entire Crystal Garden block, including the triangle car rental lot on Douglas, the lawn bowling green and Cridge park.

There is no definite plan but they showed various uses, scenarios and densities.

I will put up pictures soon.

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#2 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:16 PM

I am nervous and excited.

#3 amor de cosmos

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:09 PM

There was a major surprise announcement at this morning's Committee of the Whole meeting: a vision for the entire Crystal Garden block, including the triangle car rental lot on Douglas, the lawn bowling green and Cridge park.


Now THAT is good news. I can't wait to see what their options are! :)

#4 gumgum

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:17 PM

I feel like this kid the night before the release of the next Harry Potter book.


#5 Holden West

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:07 PM

^Ha! I predict quadruple decker lawn bowling.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#6 Rob Randall

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:14 PM

Warning: large image files loading. This will take a while. The pictures were taken directly off the projection screen so quality is low. I tried to clean them up somewhat.

Please read the captions to understand the individual renderings.


These do not represent actual proposals, just what could happen.

Council expressed support for this report. In particular, Geoff Young said we should stop thinking about it and start moving forward.















Four options, followed by a close up of each one:



























"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#7 Mike K.

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:25 PM

[Edit] Fixed.

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#8 Rob Randall

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:42 PM












"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#9 gumgum

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 03:44 PM

I see 'em.
Wow!
So instead of keeping Cridge Park and adding more public space at the bowling green they're thinking of loosing BOTH!
It's gonna be controversial, but I support the idea. There is too much public space in that area. More density the way to go!
I would support keeping the bowling green, but if economic realities dictate that it has to go then so be it I guess.

EDIT: I commented before all images were posted.
NO MORE SQUARES!!! NO MORE PUBLIC SPACES!

#10 Mike K.

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:00 PM

An art gallery? On Belleville? What a novel idea... ;)




Thanks for posting the photos, Rob.

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#11 Rob Randall

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:10 PM

Representatives from the Art Gallery Board and the Childrens' Museum were present for the presentation. Pam Madoff liked slide 32.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#12 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:45 PM

I am speechless!!!

#13 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:13 PM

Alright I have recovered. I am game for all the ones 24 and above. If Cridge park is going to go, which until now I did not realize was an option than I have no problem with two great buildings and a square where the lawn bowling green is. However there have to be draws such as an artgallery and children's museum or perfoming arts venue.


I am so shocked that the city would put foward so many options. The only thing I am really against is calling the square sesquicentennial square as is shown in one pic. That is the worst idea evar.

#14 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:20 PM

I am leaning towards 30-32 for my final choice.

#15 gumgum

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:34 PM

No square, no more public space. Don't make me post my public space map again, G-Man!

#16 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:40 PM

^ Hey man I am with you all the way there but I was thinking in the context of there being a square and cridge park still no square works for me too.

#17 amor de cosmos

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:42 PM

No square, no more public space.


Would you rather tourists take pics of themselves in front of the front door of the art gallery (or museum or concert hall etc) or take pics of the whole building? How could anyone stand back to see the whole building & take it all in? A plaza instead of the bowling green would be a waste of space if nothing else was changed, but in front of an impressive building it could be good. Imagine the legislature or Empress with no lawn in front.

edit: the name "sesquicentennial square" is already taken, so any other new "plaza" would have to find a different one. it's the unofficial name of centennial square after it's been revitalized for 2012! (everyone knows that, right?)

#18 gumgum

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:48 PM

^^Yeah well, for everyone else, I'm posting that map again anyway.
The blue is all the public spaces in the area and red is the bowling green.

I'm all for public space, but we don't need any more.

#19 gumgum

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:54 PM

Would you rather tourists take pics of themselves in front of the front door of the art gallery (or museum or concert hall etc) or take pics of the whole building? A new plaza instead of the bowling green would be a waste of space if nothing else was changed, but in front of an impressive building would be good. Imagine the legislature with no lawn in front.

edit: the name "sequicentennial square" is already taken, so any other new "plaza" would have to find a different one. it's the name of cntennial square after it's been revitalized for 2012. (everyone knows that, right?)

If they want to take a picture they can cross the road and take one. A photo-op is hardly a reason to waste space. The Legislature lawn is nice but it doesn't take anything away the impressiveness of the architecture. And I'm not saying we should lose the Legislature lawn btw.

#20 aastra

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 06:58 PM

My first reaction to this is negative for some reason. I don't know if it's just because I'm in a bad mood or what. I guess I'm a bit baffled by the 180-degree turn from obsessing about open spaces to waging total war on them. It also bugs me that the innovative (dare I say "big city") Art Gallery/condo tower concept was rejected so absolutely, and yet here's the city actively seeking a development precedent in -- of all places -- Nanaimo. It just seems weird and it rubs me the wrong way.

What was the inspiration behind some of these drawings? Were they trying to devise the most effective scheme for blocking the maximum number of views? I know, I'm a jerk. But some of them really had me wondering.

I think eliminating 100% of the green space down there would be a big mistake. It just boggles my mind that people want to introduce lame new green spaces all over the place (example: the new Songhees park) and yet here's this existing (and unusual) green space right in the heart of the city and we're all set to rip out for good.

I'd much rather see them clean up that park beside the church and turn it into something special.

I'm sure I'll refine my position after I've cooled off a bit.

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