Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Citizens weigh in on proposed Depot market in Tucson

Developer, foes clash over planned Depot market [Source: Teya Vitu, Tucson Citizen] -- City, state and federal historical preservation guidelines differ from those of people passionate about the downtown Historic Depot, 400 E. Toole Ave. Government keepers of historic qualities see no problems with Hotel Congress owner Richard Oseran's plan to fill the depot lobby with a neighborhood market. Friends of the Historic Depot are aghast at the thought of converting the space from wooden benches and ticket counters to 4-foot high glass cases with cheeses, fruits, juices, salads, baked breads, bandages and aspirin - things you might have forgotten to buy at the supermarket, Shana Oseran said. Richard Oseran and his architect, Bob Vint, both champions of historic preservation, faced off with depot Friends Wednesday at the Tucson-Pima Historical Commission. The commission hosted an informal presentation of Oseran's ideas for Maynards' Market and Maynards' Kitchen to allow Friends of the Depot to have a say.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Bob Vint, Vint & Associates Architects - Rendering of the interior proposed for the Depot.]

Don't thwart progress at depot; market needed here (op-ed) [Source: Tucson Citizen] -- The opposition to a proposed market in the downtown Historic Depot is ill-conceived on multiple levels:

  • The state Historic Preservation Office finds no problems with the market plans, so concerns that it would disrupt the depot lobby's historic integrity clearly are unfounded.

  • The market would be removable, using only portable cases not affixed to walls or floors.

  • The enterprise would offer cheeses, fruits, baked goods, aspirin and other items that would make train travelers' wait times more pleasant.

  • Because Amtrak runs only one train a day through Tucson, six days a week, only 40 to 60 passengers use the station each day. The lobby isn't exactly teeming with such crowds that the market couldn't be accommodated.

Yet opposition to the venture became quite vocal last week, another example of the roadblocks to change that do not serve our city well. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]