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Eye Eyeball

This typology is the bread and butter of N.W.
Kurt and SERA have got the right touch. Nice!
The main issue remaining? Can the developer pony up with the money and the architects follow through with the proper details and materials to make it timeless? Example: Building "A" Steel windows, wall thickness and masonry rustication at base are projected in the rendering. Do these critical elements get value engineered out? Lets hope not.


It's nice to see that SERA has FINALLY taken some of the historic nature of our neighborhood into consideration. These buildings do look to be appropriate for their location. BUT don't trust SERA. They will do whatever it takes to push their buildings through. This is what happened at the building on the eastern edge of Couch Park. The staff of the landmarks commission did not recommend passing the building because it was too massive (and too tall), yet somehow it still got pushed through. (A member of the commission-Peter Meijer-that vehemently fought for the building to be passed, and had previously been employed by SERA, later resigned when asked to disclose all his sources of income). SERA definitely will value engineer out critical elements of these buildings, as they have done in the past. Hopefully, there are enough members on the landmarks commission that are not in SERA pockets to keep these buildings appropriate for the Alphabet District.


The building at Couch park did not "somehow get pushed through". It was a challenging process for all, given the scale of the project and sensitivities around the park.
The design advanced incrementally through the process, adapting and evolving in response to neighborhood, staff, and Commission concerns.

As these projects are now approved, the intimation that the projects will be cheapened seems unfounded. I have not tracked the project, but the Commission and staff are extremely detail-oriented: those elements that concern has been expressed about I suspect to be fully embedded in the approved drawings. But to those in the neighborhood concerned about such elements, I'd suggest, rather than jabbing at SERA for a project you appear to like, that you scrutinize and testify to ensure theses elements are indeed fully and appropriately memorialized in such decisions.

The implication that there's a connection between that earlier project/decision, Peter Meijer's one-time (many years earlier) employment, the nature of his role in decision-making, and his resignation from the Commission is entirely mis-placed. He consistently advocated and voted from his passionate and sophisticated preservation sensibility. That disclosure issue was problematic throughout the state for citizen-contributors who felt the disclosure information to be inappropriately and unnecessarily invasive. Some refused to provide the demanded information, daring the state to come after them or their respective municipalities, others resigned on principle. This was a demonstration of Peter's integrity (there are many), not the implied opposite.

Jeff Joslin

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