Friday, October 23, 2009

Downtown Institutions

Center City Park was not originally planned for Greensboro, but instead was built two years ago and is a private park that is leased by the city to have public access. This area is easy to get to for city residents and allows for a bit of a break from the downtown hustle and bustle. It is a nice place to go for people who live in apartment complexes and do not have a yard of their own.

The Cultural Center provides an "avenue" connecting two parts of the city and is very easily accessible to both sides, and is also easy to walk through to get a quick view of the artistic areas inside. Aside from the smaller spaces along the sides of the center aisle which provide different creative outlets, there is also a lot of artwork hanging from the ceiling to be seen.

The dome in the central library is at the center and is where the main activity. The shelves of books all branch off from around the center area beneath the dome, which also allows a lot of light into the working space in the library.

When the Presbyterian Church was converted into the historical museum, a civic auditorium and library were both displaced. These were both important to the city, but by taking over the space to showcase the history of Greensboro, these spaces had to find a more suitable place to relocate, which hopefully allowed for renovation and a more specifically designed space than when they were part of the church. It also allowed for a new space that can show visitors so much of the important history of the city and encourage tourism.

The old library, now Elon law School, has a mcuh different layout than the new one. While there is again a dome, it is not central to the building, and the space seems much more restrictive instead of open. There is not as much light or room to flow. The staircase that still remains is small, while the stairs in the new library are quite large and make the building seem much easier to navigate. The museum also seems as if it would be hard to hold a library in, and that navifation would be difficult and confusing since the building is long and thin instead of one large, open space. The current location for the library seems to be the most suitable space.

Most of the buildings visited meet the street in the front. There is only a small sidewalk between them and the pavement, and they are parallel instead of caddy-corner. The public spaces are located on the interiors of the buildings, while the fronts are meant to draw people inside. They are mainly cultural interiors that help strengthen the definitions of Greensboro's values and the kind of people who live here.

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