The august solons who govern D.C., including Mayor Muriel Bowser, have decided that shouldering the cost of a new basketball arena/practice facility to the tune of $55 million–ninety percent of the estimated cost–in part of the vacant land at the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is a fabulous idea. There’s a post just waiting to be written about the stupidity of building a sportsball facility right next to a Metro station–in a city which supposedly has an affordable housing shortage (SPORTSBALL!)–and how this reflects the priorities of civic ‘leaders’ who live a suburban life within the city limits. But that is not this post (mostly).
What really bugs me is the proposed design of the arena. Can you find what’s wrong with it?
No? Here’s a hint: look around the arena.
It’s all open space. There are no surrounding buildings (or a Metro station entrance). For all intents and purposes, this building exists in the middle of nowhere, not in the middle of a (not-so-dense part of the) city. There’s no indication from the designers that this building, this entity is going to be part of the surrounding community–or that the surrounding community even exists.
This will end well, no doubt…