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Please stop Paving Paradise and Putting up a .....

Original post made by Resident on Jun 14, 2013

Palo Alto was a charming town. The charm is going. Please stop.

I loved Mitchell Park library and agree it needed updating, but to an ugly monstrosity?

Rickys Hyatt was full of character, what we have now has nothing.

Paly was a lovely campus with green grass, trees and a bit of quirkiness mixed in. It is being built up and the old buildings will look so out of place in the modern design - if you can find them.

I have nothing against change, updating, and getting rid of buildings that no longer do their job. But, please, please, please, can we still maintain something of the things we valued when we moved here.

It can't be that difficult to design something with character. It can't be that difficult to give some interest rather than blank walls that are reminiscent of prison blocks. Please stop the ugly and give us somewhere to breathe.

Comments (8)

Posted by Just my 2 cents, a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 14, 2013 at 11:22 am

You have to admit, it was pretty ugly before right? Someone once aptly described south Palo Alto as the perfect set for a 60's - 70's retro movie, and who could argue. Not much worth preserving in my view. We can discuss whether the new stuff is any good - mixed reviews so far, but have to wait till the landscaping grows in - but keeping the "quirky" old stuff, no thanks.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 14, 2013 at 11:28 am

I'd disagree with the Paly comment. Yes it is getting built up. But the buildings' exterior design will reflect the tile roof and stucco finish that gives the campus its overall appeal. Be patient and wait for the final product.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm

I am not as confident about Paly, but will wait and see. Pleased somebody seems more optimistic.

As I drive around town, I continually see ugly buildings with less frontage and setback. A few spindly trees which never seem to grow any bigger, and a park the size of a handkerchief with perhaps a picnic table and little or no shade, none of which seem to have appeared like the artist's impressions foretold.

As much as the parking lot and traffic flow is a mess at Town & Country, at least the makeover kept the original feel. I hope that the original feel of other areas can be salvaged too.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 15, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Here is the page with a concept of the new 2-story classroom building that is going up on the back part of the campus (near the tracks):
Web Link

Media arts:
Web Link

Performing arts:
Web Link


Posted by Near neighbor, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 15, 2013 at 11:31 pm

The new Mitchell Park Library would be OK if they'd just removed that bright yellow plastic awning that hangs from the roof and repaint the bright blue elevator shaft a more discreet color!!

I wonder what the place looks like inside?!!!!


Posted by Need a Hall of Shame, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 16, 2013 at 12:17 am

It really is puzzling, the ugliness and starkness of so much new construction. can it all be greed? Maximizing every bit of land to increase rentible square footage? Hard to understand what the architects are thinking. Maybe they just do what the developer wants, maximum yield, never mind the streetface.
Even Lytton Plaza is stark and sterile, and noisy. The "water feature" is awful, mechanical, irrelevant and noisy. When I think of the charm of the old Plaza with its charming brick floor and seating around trees. Sure it needed sprucing up, but what they produced looks like a bomb hit it.
We need a Hall of Shame for these destroyers of the town.


Posted by paly parent, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

Our ARB must be focused on being modern and has forgotten that many of the residents prefer charm over what we view as ugly, modern statement buildings (or we just don't appreciate the "statement" they make.

The other thing that puzzles me is how Mountain View manages to build things so quickly (the shops and apartments at San Antonio, new townhouses on Middlefield) and we still haven't finished one library.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 21, 2013 at 10:45 pm

How is "Take Back Palo Alto" getting on. I have not been able to find the Facebook group. Is this moving forward and how can we get on board?


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