Kiener Plaza Redevelopment

Downtown construction activity, including hotel projects, major renovations, office projects, streetscape improvements, etc.
The one negative for me are the trees blocking out the view of the courthouse steps. I thought that was a nice vista to draw your eye in the original plan.


Don't worry you'll see them in the winter rendering :lol:

It's kind of unfair showing it with the trees flowering. Beautiful, but fleeting. I would like a rendering of what it looks like the other 350 days a year.

Also the fountain looks the be a reconstruction moved a hundred feet or so west and significantly smaller in diameter. Reminiscent of the original, probably to appease the push back against moving it.

If we were building from scratch I would be very complimentary, but even though it's stylistically better, I still don't think it's nearly as versatile.
Personally, I like the amphitheater -- it's biggest issue is a lack of programming. Regularly scheduled concert events, activities and food-focused events would do wonders to consistently activate the space. I was of the impression that was one of the purposes of the Gateway Mall Conservancy, but I guess not. :)

The complaint I also hear is that the amphitheater is too isolated -- people walking or driving past can't see into it so they tend to avoid it. This could be resolved by simply widening out the bowl. Grade the steps all the way out to the sidewalk at all three edges and it would become more inviting. From there, just install some visual pieces to further draw people in.

I don't like the new design, if only because it creates yet another flat, surface-level plaza/pavilion, which downtown already has in spades. If it does nothing else, at least the amphitheater creates some depth and vertical variance.

[Sidenote: I think the mass of the gateway mall has done as much to kill street activity as the too-wide Market Street and the monolithic garages and uninviting government buildings. If the E-W streetcar became a thing, I'd like to see one of the western blocks -- maybe the one across from the Library -- become a trolley stop. I can envision a streetcar pulling off the street and into the square for drop-offs/pick-ups. Picnicers can jump off and set up shop, maybe install a bandstand with regularly-programmed musical performances, etc.]
As long as it has fountains and water features and playgrounds for kids, it will be a success in the summer. Everywhere there are free fountains in the city in the summer, there are kids having a blast playing in them and making the space look like the architect drawings, except for the guy holding 40 balloons. I hope they make the fountain around the runner statue kid friendly, like this one in Portland. This is the Salmon Street Springs Fountain on the riverfront in downtown Portland Oregon. There is no pool or outer rim to step over, and the fountain is programmed to cycle through a number of spray patterns continuously.

Image

Image

Image
^ I'm not positive, but I believe kids will be able to enjoy water features in the "fountain garden" on the western end. The area I'm most concerned about is the expansive courthouse lawn area.... could be a dead zone most days.
roger wyoming II wrote:
^ I'm not positive, but I believe kids will be able to enjoy water features in the "fountain garden" on the western end. The area I'm most concerned about is the expansive courthouse lawn area.... could be a dead zone most days.


So I think it would help if they made that fountain kid-friendly as well as the Western edge fountains to keep the lawn from becoming a dead zone.
Plan for the new large park that will be next to the new Minnesota Vikings facility:

Image

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/m ... polis.html
^Wow minnesotan urbanists must be ill about this. Looks like they are planning to tear down a perfectly nice midrise building so the the vikings can have their lawn. Looks like an old Star Tribune building based on my google maps tour of the planned site.

At least St. Louis is only talking about destroying greenspace to build stlightly reconfigured greenspace. :roll: Of course our stadium proposal also completely disregards the historical significance of the near north riverfront andoffers to demolish and even greater number of usable buildings but thats a seperate battle from Kiener.
Surroundings need to be changed more than anything.
Kiener Plaza construction cam was added today. Looking forward to watching this develop.

Yes the garages look hideous.
stlwahoo wrote:
Kiener Plaza construction cam was added today. Looking forward to watching this develop.

Yes the garages look hideous.


The best thing that could happen downtown would be demo and redevelopment of Kiener east and west and Busch east and west garages - They take up 8 blocks - they are beyond hideous Busch garages a street killers with no storefronts.

Honestly redeveloping those properties would do more for Kiener plaza and the ballpark then anything else
^I think the most recent TOD plan for downtown shows renderings of the Busch garages with street level retail. But of course you know how much that actually means.
Did not know this, but Steve over at urbanreviewstl tweeted that Market will be losing the landscaped median as part of the overhaul of Kiener Plaza.... work should be getting underway next month or so. He wasn't sure of final design of the street.
Those medians were pretty but they messed up parades. Better to give the street a diet.
^ Agreed.... if they can widen the sidewalk and maybe put in bulb cuts that would be awesome. I still wish there were a way some of those buildings could do a bit of re-orientation to take advantage of the amazing view, too. Sad to see things like the subterranean Imo's when there should be outdoor dining, etc.
There will be a parking protected bike lane on chestnut long the plaza and also back in parking along the plaza on Market.
http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/m ... 9ff04.html

Man 23 million doesn't buy what it used to. Any inside information on why it cost so much...?
I miss the amphitheater. What was the basis for removing it again?

Just kinda looks like city garden 2.0..
[quote=bwcrow1s post_id=283064 time=1495135571 user_id=9794]
Just kinda looks like city garden 2.0..
[/quote]

That's high praise!
bwcrow1s wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 2:26 pm
I miss the amphitheater. What was the basis for removing it again?

Just kinda looks like city garden 2.0..
St. Louis' Citygarden, South Grand win national landscape design awards

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metr ... 0f31a.html
bwcrow1s wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 2:26 pm
I miss the amphitheater. What was the basis for removing it again?
Well, no one really used it, for one thing.

Several years ago, Kiener was named to a listing of the nation's worst public spaces. The ampitheater was a tired concept whose best days were behind it.
hebeters2 wrote:Remembering The Old Kiener Plaza

I remember as this. Nelly 2012


https://youtu.be/e9IgiuLrxMs
debaliviere wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 3:00 pm
bwcrow1s wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 2:26 pm
I miss the amphitheater. What was the basis for removing it again?
Well, no one really used it, for one thing.

Several years ago, Kiener was named to a listing of the nation's worst public spaces. The ampitheater was a tired concept whose best days were behind it.
Well not really true exactly. I would say there was little to no programming for it. I suspect this site will suffer for the same reason.

I have often see casual use of the amphitheater and certainly the falls were popular for kids in the summer. Of course was also popular for homeless to bathe in which between that and the increasing maintainance for the pumps and pipes are the primary reasons I suspect it "had to go". One common reason was also that it's sunken nature made it hard to police.

My beef is its replacement was never compelling enough to justify the expense. For instance if it had been proposed as an under ground garage facility with a park on top, while simultaneously paired with a significant development to replace one of the kiener garages, I would have been all for it. As it is... meh.
STLEnginerd wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 9:49 pm
debaliviere wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 3:00 pm
bwcrow1s wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 2:26 pm
I miss the amphitheater. What was the basis for removing it again?
Well, no one really used it, for one thing.

Several years ago, Kiener was named to a listing of the nation's worst public spaces. The ampitheater was a tired concept whose best days were behind it.
Well not really true exactly. I would say there was little to no programming for it. I suspect this site will suffer for the same reason.

I have often see casual use of the amphitheater and certainly the falls were popular for kids in the summer. Of course was also popular for homeless to bathe in which between that and the increasing maintainance for the pumps and pipes are the primary reasons I suspect it "had to go". One common reason was also that it's sunken nature made it hard to police.

My beef is its replacement was never compelling enough to justify the expense. For instance if it had been proposed as an under ground garage facility with a park on top, while simultaneously paired with a significant development to replace one of the kiener garages, I would have been all for it. As it is... meh.
I would say that the new design has programming "built in" via play ground, movable seating and spray ground - people avoided the old one with intent - blazing hot in the summer - the landscaping looked like haphazard - the hole was a catch basin for blowing trash - the arcade was barrier that did not feel comfortable or even scaled correctly
I was surprised that the few times I visited the amphitheater that there were almost always people there taking wedding photos, kids playing in the fountain, sitting eating lunch, etc. It wasn't busy, but then again Citygarden has been virtually empty during my visits there. Citygarden was always most fun when heavily trafficked. Now, that traffic will be diluted and pulled to Keiner. What's the point? If I'd put $40M into Citygarden I'd be livid. The new Kiener is a symbol of the lack of planning and understanding of urban space in this city.