Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

29 August, 2013

Madison's Bland Skyline

The Guardian has a neat photo quiz of cities around the world. The skyline of Doha, Qatar really caught my eye.

It reminded me of just how bland Madison's skyline is by contrast.

(Photo found here.)

The Capitol and the convention center stand out but most of everything else is a boring box of 8-10 stories. I got my hopes up when I read that Curt Brink is looking to demolish some structures on the 900 block of East Washington. He proposed Archipelago Village back in the mid-aughts which featured a 27-story skyscraper and designs "influenced by the architecture of Stockholm, Sweden, and Central Park West in New York City." Ten out of ten for style, in my book. There is at least the prospect of some new buildings that are at least aesthetically interesting.

Perhaps the time has come to revisit the laws which limit building height around the Capitol. If Brink and his co-conspirators want to build a 20-story colossus on the 900 block of East Washington, let them. Is the view of the Capitol going to be more severely impaired than if the building were erected a block away where it would be legal? Let's keep the dome visible from some vantages but a blanket ban within a certain radius seems counterproductive. If density is efficient from various urban planning perspectives, limiting height uniformly limits density. Pack those people in, I say. In addition to a better skyline, it may spur improved and expanded public transportation and perhaps get that near east side tech corridor off the ground.

But don't forget the green spaces.

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|| Palmer, 12:35 PM


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