1812 Moore --No Pedestrian Architecture Here!
Yesterday I attended a recent Rosslyn Renaissance - Urban Design Committee meeting where a team of architects presented first thoughts on teardown and reconstruction of the 1812 Moore, the building just north of the Metro station (the one that used to have a convenience store, Chinese restaurant, FedEx and cleaners). The new building would be much taller and much more dramatic .... but I walked away shaking my head.
My review follows:
No pedestrian architecture here!
In fact no support for pedestrians at all.
"Ethereal, exciting rhythm," these are the words I heard used to describe this building. Sounded like an ad for overpriced wine. All about form, nothing about function.
But the Rosslyn metro stop is not fundamentally about architectural flourishes! It is about efficient movement of people between various modes of transportation. Here's where the plan is weak. The current bus stops along Moore near to metro? The developer doesn't like them.... they block the view to the front door. They propose to move them to ... uh 19th street. Not enough space there? Oh, then lets move some stops to 19th and some to Fort Myer and retain some current ones at the southern end of Moore (away from that front door).
So the architect proposes three different locations for buses, all located further from metro than the stops proposed to be removed.
Let's talk a bit about auto traffic. On the one hand the architect shows pedestrians strolling across Moore. On the other hand the plan calls for parking access to the building from ... you guessed it ... Moore Street!! Less car traffic desired (and pictured on the PR fictional drawings), but more car traffic actually added. Dysfunctional schitzophrenia.
The Monday Group owns an immensely valuable piece of property just north of the Metro stop. But their plans for development of that property diminish the public utility of the Metro stop. Ever heard the one about short-sighted greed and the goose that laid golden eggs?.
Oh, thanks and tip a hat to the two people who made any sense at the meeting. First, Stan Karson of RAFOM who said that our first concerns were safety and access for users of Metro, and secondly to an individual (didn't get his name) who questioned whether this building would obstruct the view from the (soon to be built) observation deck at the Central Place.