Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Destroying Dave Hall Plaza for a Hockey Rink

...though advocates say this will be also a multi-use "event space" and minor league practice rinks.

The most influential Dayton blog (Esrati) and forum (Dayton Most Metro) are for this. You can read the comments yourself by surfing into the links (images are from Esrati). I made a few comments myself, somewhat favorable.

My real feelings on this are "It won't look that good" and "Too bad for Dave Hall Plaza".

I don't think it will be as attractive as the renderings make it out because things get diluted to a certain level of mediocrity, after which the locals play this "Emporers New Cloths" game and say isn't it all so wonderful. So expect all the nice glass walls to turn into concrete or some other solid wall suface (due to budget issues or other reasons). What will happen is that the convention center be repeated, one block north.

And everyone will say Hooray! Downtown is active! Since a rationale for this site is that it would "activate" downtown (and being next to that big parking garage). Maybe, if visitors can get over their fear of the city enough to actually leave the building (aside from travelling to and from the parking garage).

As for Dave Hall Plaza, the rationale is that the green space will be replaced somewhere else downown.

I don't think so.

Dave Hall Plaza has what any new park or open space does not have.

Mature landscaping.

The park was landscaped in 1974, meaning the plantings date back 30 years or so. This what gives the park its charm and makes it a pleasant place for the three outdoor music events staged there every year . Yet its not the landscaping. Its the that there is this play of soft greenery and old highrise architecture around the park, where the park frames and compliments the buildings, which become landscape features themselves.

This landscaping was supposed to be temporary and the park was a form of landbanking. And it looks like the time has come to make a withdrawl from that metaphorical bank. The Price of Progress.

The summer festivals (the reggae festival is in the pix) will either end or relocate. This will be a loss, but maybe only to a relative handfull of people like yer humble host, who likes listening to music and going to festivals, but really likes this on Dave Hall Plaza due to the landscaped green environment contrasted with the surrounding buildings.

Public Finance for the Arena

This is the clincher. If the arena is to be a regional draw the tax base needs to be regional, meaning Greene as well as Montgomery County.

The way to do this is via a public authority like the Conservancy District that transcends county lines. This authority would be given the power to levy taxes, fees, and issue bonds to build and operate the arena. Tax souces would be a hotel tax (as was proposed for the Austin Road arena) or a sales tax (as was done for the Cincinnati sports arenas).


Mike Bock said...

Thanks for all of the good pictures. I can't see that it would be an improvement for Dayton to destroy Dave Hall Plaza. There must be a better place to place a hockey rink rather than in this beautiful space.

Jefferey said...


I snapshoot the Reggae and Blues fests for the past few summers, and they are posted at Urban Ohio. These are just a few of those.

Yeah, too bad. I was thinking they could do something like Columbus' Arena District instead of that Ballpark Village over in Webster Station area, since there is a lot of vacant land there, and a big boxy building would fit in with the industrial buildings a bit.

Anonymous said...

I share a lot of your concerns. It could be nice but it could be absolutely horrible. Dave Hall Plaza is a great (albeit underutilized) park. This could develop into another nondescript blob. The timing is interesting too, since it is sapping some of the Greater Downtown energy.

Also, aren't their other possible locations? This could work if the city would take a lot of the vacant lots/parking areas and turn them into parks with a similar character (I'm thinking of the lot north of Hauer Music). Once this space on Main is gone, there won't be any greenspace upon entrance to downtown except via Riverscape.

Jefferey said...

I'll bet the city would be glad to get rid of DHP because they wont have to maintain it anymore. Thats the problem with putting in parks...they have to be maintained, and the city is going broke.

Unknown said...

I'm all for green space. With that being said, I have to look at other factors, such as how would this development enhance the economic vitality of downtown, especially south of Third. I think that a muti-use arena connected to the convention center and a hotel, surrounded by parking would create "critical mass" more than at the present Webster Station location. This new critical mass could energize efforts for developing the areas north, such as the Arcade, Fidelity Building, Schwind, and vacant DDN buildings. Dave Hall Plaza, defined as green, has not energized downtown development in that area. Perhaps the festivals now at DHP could locate in the now vacant space which was Patterson Coop.

Jefferey said...

The former site of Patterson Co-op would make for great parking for the Victoria and its close to Riverscape, too.

The festivals can move to Island Park, since its somewhat like DHP as its not used much and has nice landscaping.

Anonymous said...

Not quite sure I'm "Dayton's most influential blogger" - but thanks.
I haven't said I'm for this plan- I've said it makes more sense than Austin Road- and that there is a market for more ice.
I've been advocating a huge sportsplex on the former Parkside homes location for years- a centralized sports activity magnet for the region.
This location at least has some synergy with the Convention Center, the Crowne Plaza (which could use a boost).
There is a real question about if we can afford either- when basics aren't being taken care of.
I'd say- unigov first- then regional projects will be easier to accomplish.

viagra online said...

I fully support what you say. It might be nice, but it could be quite horrible. Dave Hall Plaza is a large park This could become another bubble indescribable.