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Thread: 400 N. Walnut

  1. #101

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    I really like the design. And the reuse of a very forgettable building

  2. #102

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    This project seems to fall completely within the established guidelines.

    The only real departure was with some of the materials, which is what they changed.

    I don't think the committee has any grounds to deny this application.
    I'm confused. You mean that a design review committee doesn't have any grounds to deny an application based on design? BZA maybe not, but the design review committee is a legislative function and not judicial, which is supposed to give deference to legislative action.

  3. #103

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    I'm confused. You mean that a design review committee doesn't have any grounds to deny an application based on design? BZA maybe not, but the design review committee is a legislative function and not judicial, which is supposed to give deference to legislative action.
    They are there to apply the established guidelines, not make arbitrary judgments about what they like and don't like.

  4. Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    They are there to apply the established guidelines, not make arbitrary judgments about what they like and don't like.
    Like. Actually immensely like.

  5. #105

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    What specifically is so terrible about this project? I'm not saying it isn't...and I'm easily swayed by the people of OKCTalk...but I actually think it looks kind of neat and fits in with the rest of the neighborhood just fine.

  6. #106

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    I don't like the additions. It looks like an Air Force Base hospital from the '80s or early '90s. I do like the historic structure and I think something more appealing could have been done.

  7. #107

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    They are there to apply the established guidelines, not make arbitrary judgments about what they like and don't like.
    Are you saying that anyone who has a problem with this project is being arbitrary?

    You shouldn't be allowed to cover up Georgian columns and pediment with some kind of stucco annex. This has been done before:



    You can add 400 N. Walnut to OKC's architectural graveyard. Nothing is safe, not even state capital buildings.

  8. #108

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Are you saying that anyone who has a problem with this project is being arbitrary?
    No, I'm saying any judgment that does not follow the established guidelines is arbitrary.

    With the proposed changes, the City Planning Department reviewed against those guidelines -- and explained in great detail -- and then recommended the committee approve the application.

  9. #109

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    I really like the design. And the reuse of a very forgettable building
    I like the fact that the design pegs the needle on the fugly meter.

    To each their own.

  10. #110

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Does this project involve any public money?

  11. #111

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Dubya61 View Post
    Does this project involve any public money?
    No.

  12. #112

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    No, I'm saying any judgment that does not follow the established guidelines is arbitrary.

    With the proposed changes, the City Planning Department reviewed against those guidelines -- and explained in great detail -- and then recommended the committee approve the application.
    I'm confused by the back-tracking here. Why have a design review district that does not have design standards? You're saying that design judgments are arbitrary. I'm saying this is the smaller issue, the single instance, and the existence of said design review is the bigger issue, the broader framework. The very nature of a design review process is to make design judgments.

    It sounds like what you are really debating is whether the code allows for or should yield a design review committee to begin with. The only problem with these otherwise solid points you're making is that we already have the design review committee, it just doesn't feel empowered to review design. But if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you can't square this circle no matter how hard OKC is trying.

    We used to practice design review and historic preservation, and the city had a line in the sand which created a level of expectation. In municipal law circles this is referred to as "investment-backed expectations," which derives its judicial precedent from Penn Station. The design standards created an environment in which people interested in urban revitalization felt comfortable investing their own money. Then we had a series of challenges to our design standards from the corporate community, the design standards were not upheld, and ever since we have lost control of the situation and the ship has sailed on substantive design standards. That's the bigger picture that regardless of whether you're pro-standards or anti-standards, we all know to be true.

  13. #113

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Is the role of the design committee to ensure the developers meet the guidelines set forth, such as acceptable materials, setbacks, height, preservation of historical elements, or does the design committee act as critics of the aesthetics of the design? The building must have met the overall requirements set forth by the committee, but should it also be pleasing to their eyes?

  14. Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Motley View Post
    Is the role of the design committee to ensure the developers meet the guidelines set forth, such as acceptable materials, setbacks, height, preservation of historical elements, or does the design committee act as critics of the aesthetics of the design? The building must have met the overall requirements set forth by the committee, but should it also be pleasing to their eyes?
    That's a slippery slope. The guidelines should be very well-crafted and as specific is possible. It is the job of the review committees to enforce the guidelines to the greatest extent possible, but NOT to make up new rules as they go along. If design guidelines don't anticipate something, that is a failure of the guidelines themselves, and that failure should be addressed with revisions (to the guidelines). There is SOME room for interpretation, but committee members are NOT selected to be legislative bodies, and definitely not to be taste-makers. Fiefdoms are very dangerous.

  15. #115

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Thanks. I would not want the government defining tastes for private development, but is there a guideline that says a developer should adhere to the "look and feel" of a historic structure? If so, these guys failed that for sure. I am assuming that is the reason behind many of the opinions here; it kept the columns but hid them in a way it doesn't matter if they are there or not.

  16. #116

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    It sounds like what you are really debating is whether the code allows for or should yield a design review committee to begin with. The only problem with these otherwise solid points you're making is that we already have the design review committee, it just doesn't feel empowered to review design. But if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture, you can't square this circle no matter how hard OKC is trying.
    I'm not debating anything, I'm explaining the way this works.

    The committee's charter is not to make judgment calls about aesthetics; it's to apply the established guidelines.

    If they withhold approval just for personal taste, the City risks legal action for not following their own published rules.


    The City is in the process of reworking and rewording the various guidelines and framework used by the various design review committees.

  17. #117

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I'm not debating anything, I'm explaining the way this works.

    The committee's charter is not to make judgment calls about aesthetics; it's to apply the established guidelines.

    If they withhold approval just for personal taste, the City risks legal action for not following their own published rules.


    The City is in the process of reworking and rewording the various guidelines and framework used by the various design review committees.
    I think we're talking past each other, and not with each other. I don't think you realize that I'm explaining the way planning works. I clearly distinguish my points that are debatable.

    You can say I'm wrong, but I also understand that you have a need to placate information sources. That's why I generally don't direct my comments toward you, and put you in debates that are lose-lose propositions given the service you provide of getting information.

    You're right about the overarching point that the city risks legal action if they act outside of the boundaries of city code or precedent. I'm just saying they used to have that precedent, and consistently enforce standards that they no longer do. The issue in OKC is not that we don't have standards or even know what standards are.

  18. #118

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    This is an unfortunate, ugly design. This could have been an interesting adaptive reuse project.

  19. #119

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    I wonder if the historic colonnade which is being "preserved" will be remembered in 20 years or so when this dung pile is relegated to being nothing more than dozen bait.

  20. #120

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    We should find the architect who designed this crap pile and socially shame him and his children. Perhaps if we ostracize them enough they'll go hide and not complete their rape of this building. Where's the hysterical social media when you need it?

  21. #121

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    http://www.okctalk.com/announcements...ss-owners.html

    Virtually every business owner around Oklahoma City reads this site. So, when we post something about a restaurant or retail shop or development or any type of enterprise, we are discussing someone's passion and livelihood.

    Please keep that in mind as you post comments. Constructive criticism is always welcomed and you've seen several owners come here to ask for more feedback, even if it's less than positive.

    But please refrain from saying something 'sucks' or is 'fugly' or is 'garbage', etc. It comes across as petty and disrespectful and reflects badly on the entire site; and lessens the value of our discussions.

    Imagine a business owner sitting across a table from you and what you might say to that person face-to-face. Because the reality is they are generally hearing everything you say here.

    Thanks.
    "This seems like it sucks."

    "bland new crap"

    "piece of poo"

    "the design pegs the needle on the fugly meter"

    "unfortunate, ugly design"

    "crap pile"

  22. #122

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    http://www.okctalk.com/announcements...ss-owners.html

    "This seems like it sucks."

    "bland new crap"

    "piece of poo"

    "the design pegs the needle on the fugly meter"

    "unfortunate, ugly design"

    "crap pile"
    The community does not like that they are obliterating a historic Georgian colonnade to put up a rather bland modern "annex"

    Given OKC's planning processes, sadly they may as well have gone through with full demo unannounced. Which was their plan.

  23. #123

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    The community does not like that they are obliterating a historic Georgian colonnade to put up a rather bland modern "annex"
    And there are respectful ways of expressing that, as many have demonstrated.

  24. Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    I personally really like the modern design... but it's an atrocious idea to tack this façade on to this historic building like this. I would really like to see this modern style building built somewhere... but 400 N Walnut should be restored and rehabilitated, not transmogrified like this. The building, district, and city really deserve better than the current plans.

  25. #125

    Default Re: 400 N. Walnut

    I absolutely 110% agree that the modern design is NOT bad, and does belong in our community. The issue is what is being lost, not what is being gained. What is gained should always outweigh what is lost. I have sat on countless design review boards, in countless different cities, where that is the basis for rejecting a permit application or certificate of appropriateness or whatever. It's even happened on projects I have been working on, and it forced us to go back to the drawing board to elevate our design within our means.

    What is happening in OKC is unique. Youuuu-neek. OKC is uniquely predisposed against its historic building stock, and the reason I am so harsh on us is because we need that 12-step recovery process...

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