Friday, June 20, 2008

what's up the pike: getting things done

The Chelsea School has launched a fundraising campaign for a striking addition to their current facility in Downtown Silver Spring.

Just Up The Pike took part in last night's Burtonsville Community Legacy Plan Charrette, where the future of a little town on the edge of East County seems, well, more muddled than ever. As we sort out the pieces, here's a look at some local developments that are, well, developing:

- Ellsworth Drive is poised to crash through the architectural vanguard with as the Chelsea School has hired "starchitect" Daniel Libeskind's firm to design an addition to their small campus off of Cedar Street. Libeskind, who may be best known for his still-unbuilt Freedom Tower in New York City, was contacted by the headmaster of the small school for learning-disabled students, which has launched a fundraising campaign to have the addition built.

Sheathed in glass and steel, the expansion consists of a new library meant to resemble an open book. In deference to the surrounding Seven Oaks-Evanswood community, the addition - and the school's new entrance - will be located on the Ellsworth Drive side towards Downtown, while existing bulidings facing the neighborhood will merely be rehabbed.

- The Prince George's County Planning Board enthusiastically approved a concept plan for Konterra Town Center, a large mixed-use project that'll serve as the centerpiece to the sprawling mini-city outside of Laurel. With 488 acres and 4,500 residential units, the project is larger than the King Farm development in Rockville; its nearly six million square feet of commercial space is nearly ten times that of the Downtown Silver Spring redevelopment. Developer Kingdon Gould must be excited about seeing Konterra inching closer to reality, given his first proposal for it was rejected by the Planning Board a quarter-century ago. "When you bring good stuff, you don’t have to fight," gushed Vice Chairman Sylvester Vaughns.

LATER: the Burtonsville charrette turns into a debate on who and what is welcome in East County.

1 comment:

Thomas Hardman said...

I'm really looking forward to your write-up of the degeneration of discussion. ;)

And indeed, that is a good question. Who and what is welcome in East MoCo?

Not ever-higher property taxes, I guess I could safely say.

Nice graphics for that proposed school addition. At last, 21st century architecture that looks like something out of the 21st Century!