Tuesday, October 24, 2006

showing off "the turf"

"The Turf . . . has become the venue for some of the best people-watching in the region, attracting a crowd with a better spread of ages and backgrounds than Dupont Circle, the Georgetown waterfront, Old Town Alexandria and Reston Town Center." - Marc Fisher
Marc Fisher writes a column on the eventual decline of "the Turf," our beloved Astroturf-lawn-turned-town-square. It's a shame that he's shrugging it off rather than issuing a call to arms to save the space.

William H. Whyte would be very disappointed. A champion of the city, he worked for decades to create and save great urban spaces such as the one we've created by accident here in Silver Spring. You would think that, after a decade's work trying to bring people Downtown, Montgomery County would actually give a moment's thought to keeping them there.

Instead, we get this piece of Modernist crap. The diversity of Silver Spring is only relevant - is only tangible - when there are places like "the Turf" for these different kinds of people to come together. This is what I've wanted from a community since I was old enough to remember.

Do you see anyone sitting on that broad plaza set on high over Ellsworth Drive? No. William H. Whyte would be disappointed.


Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for this nice post about the "Turf" (my friends and I prefer to call it the Sponge but whatever... ) I just stumbled onto your site from outside.in and I think its pretty nifty.
I think the design for the new Silver Spring that you link to isn't... well... bad. But I am disappointed that they didn't get a little more creative with it. I was kind of hoping for a skate park. Actually that's what I thought was meant to be built there. I don't skate but my brother does so that would have been really nice.
I don't know why they don't get more creative with it. I thought Silver Spring was supposed to be an arts center after all...

Anonymous said...

I'm ambivalent about the building, but I'd like to see turf (real or fake) instead of a paved plaza.

Why fix it if it isn't broken?