I was reading the Duluth News Tribune coverage of the Duluth Armory flood damage and happened upon this comment:
I wonder if the Armory Arts Org has bitten off more than it can chew. This place is really a white elephant but that is the regretful truth. The scale of difficulties in dealing with a place of this size, age and state of disrepair – now with flood damage and other problems – It’s just not going anywhere!
An alternative would demolish the Armory and devise an arrangement that would masterplan the whole city block around a public square. Around the square, the Armory Arts Org could pursue the music and recording studio it wants in a purpose-built facility. The farmers market could relocate to the square, perhaps attracting a public food hall (bakery, butcher, fishmonger, flower market, eateries) of Northland food producers. There could be artist studios and galleries, artisans’ workshops, seasonal pop-up shops and lots of outdoor plaza space. Much needed student and artisan housing on site would make it 24/7 and give roots to the Creative Corridor.
The whole place could grow organically but adhering to design criteria and sustainability (environmentally and fiscally) with public:private financing from the city, charities, arts organizations, guilds, co-ops,developers and private benefactors.
It would really rejuvenate the east Downtown, East Hillside and anchor some really positive things there for everyone to enjoy – the young, the elderly, the craftsmen, the artists, the students, the families – Duluthians.
I just thought it was a very interesting thought. I live in the neighborhood and would enjoy walking the dog past this and perhaps even patronizing it.
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