Friday, September 25, 2009


I call the block north of Barry Hall a concrete haven. The only green area on the site is a 10 to 20 foot border of grass buffering the sidewalks from the street. The whole lot is barren and full of hard concrete. Besides parking places, this block offers The Northern, a gas station, and a house. I find it interesting how the neighborhood operates with a church directly east, a college building south, small businesses to the west, warehouses to the north, and family homes among it all. In my opinion, this site greatly lacks unity and reason.
After discussing the future of the 'town and gown' relationship for Fargo, I feel it is necessary to develop the 10th Street corridor, giving this unwelcoming block a new face-lift. 

I want to embrace the students of NDSU, neighborhood residents, and the homeless traffic along 3rd Avenue and provide a space for them to live, learn, work, and celebrate. It is my goal to transform and unify the existing structures on the site into new quality spaces where people can feel uplifted.

Think about:
Fargo weather. Shelter green space in summer from wind. Provide fun opportunities Fargo citizens don't already experience downtown ex. winter garden. 
Connect and Link. Brent, Matt, and Marita are working on sites either adjacent to this site or close. Design fluent circulation between these areas.
Traffic Congestion. A citizen from this neighborhood expressed concern with the 3rd Avenue one way (south side of block). The NDSU parking lots are accessed through here and people drive like maniacs through the neighborhood threatening the safety of pedestrians and destroying the peaceful ambiance. I need to figure out how to re-route these drivers or just slow them down.
Ethics.  Is it appropriate to have a men's club next door to a church, in the middle of a neighborhood? It has existed here for a while, but does it prevent businesses to anchor in this block? Should I relocate it, or just work with it? College students probably don't mind going to a bar with a strip joint in the basement; homeless people probably don't mind either. It operates during different hours than the college and the church, so these people probably don't cross paths.

Spaces to Include:
-disco/club connected to the Northern (lawn bowling)
-enclosed shelter for homeless (transition space between 3rd Avenue and courtyard)
-multiple level commercial building (office space, outreach/tech center-basic courses for homeless taught by students) 
-place to project outdoor movies? for church/neighborhood

-shared parking for church and center

-partially enclosed green way (water feature, ice skating?, outdoor study space, spaces for kiosks, walls can open to outdoor green space)
-connect gas station and house, transform into market, pharmacy, gas station, coffee shop

After Team Input
Out of the three buildings on this site, I decided the only building worth keeping is the gas station. It is highly used by the people going up 10th street, NDSU faculty, and students (also it costs a lot of money to close down gas stations.) This is a downtown mixed-use zone and I feel the church creates a buffer between the single family housing style and something new. I don't find it important to re-use the house on site.

The green represents potential buildings for this area. The whole site will tie into the dense university development Brent has proposed, as well, it continues to provide parking. The spaces proposed will still fit into these structures.

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