- Davlan Park – Located in Davlan Park, The Art Bäks is a pop-up art gallery inside a shipping container. The grand opening was held on Friday, November 6, during First Friday and the hours for Mass Ave’s newest art installation are at the discretion of the featured artist. Art-oriented projects and pocket parks such as this maintain Mass Ave’s brand as a creative hotspot as well as contribute to a sense of place. Given the prominent location of Davlan Park, The Art Bäks further glues the first two blocks of Mass together. “Our design for this public “place”, which was approached with a place making-based methodology, will transform this key underutilized open space into a dynamic, flexible urban plaza that articulates the unique ethos of Mass Ave., serves as a home for public art and helps to increase overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike.” – Eric Strickland, Executive Director of Riley Area Development Corporation
- Southwest corner lot & 3. Northwest corner lot – Owned by Lockerbie Court LLC and 500 Marott Center respectively, these lots have done nothing short of contributing to the walkability gab between the north and south ends of Mass Ave. Upon passing Chatterbox or Hoaglin walking north, pedestrians find themselves facing a surface lot then a 6-way interchange before the new Millikan on Mass and Montage developments. Surface lots detract from urban vitality, negate sense of place, and add nothing stimulating for the passerby. Assuming the goal of the new developments further north on Mass is to mitigate the pedestrian dead zones, a great start would be infilling these lots as well as making the intersection of Michigan/Mass/New Jersey cater to walking/biking. This would most assuredly involve killing these ridiculous curb cuts. Of concern in regards to infilling these lots would the parking requirements for the residential apartments they service -although it would be ideal in an urban setting that these residents rely little on cars, the fact they do must be confronted. Fortunately, something like a well-designed or perhaps hidden parking garage behind future developments can assist in alleviating this problem.
As always, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!