Thursday, June 01, 2006

Downtown Park Groundbreaking Images

About 20 minutes ago (go blogs) I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bechtel-Lincoln Public Park at 2nd and Iowa Streets. Here are the images.The plans for the park. I believe the blue-ish areas inside the circle are fountains or reflecting pools. (click for a closer, but still crooked, view)
D1 Diplomats, Alderwoman Howard, and others prepare for the actual groundbreaking.
Mr. Bittner, a trustee of Bechtel Trusts, speaks about the park's location and features. The mural seen on the pawn shop wall behind him was created by Felicia Feldman, a QC Metro Arts Apprentice.
I would say a total of about 45 people attended the ceremony, but anyone who arrived 15 minutes late missed it entirely. I can appreciate brief speeches, especially when its 80º out and I foolishly wore a black shirt. This park should be a great thing for downtown Davenport. There are so few places downtown between River Drive and 4th Street where you can find grassy areas. (Across from Majors outside the RiverCenter, and next to the ground transportation center are the main two) Having a park with fountains and benches nearby will be another selling point for downtown residents in the continuing lofts projects also.

17 Comments:

At 6/01/2006 3:18 PM, Blogger The Colonel said...

With bucktown and the park, this will be the first part of "downtown" to see real residential development. Not that far from Alexanders development, so stuff is happening.

Unfortunately, the City doesn't have this area designated for any special planning (like the market district - in far west downtown).

Regardless, it's good to see the riverfront "greening" up.

 
At 6/01/2006 3:27 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Also, here's a link to the page on Quad City Arts' website about the mural.

 
At 6/01/2006 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That seems like a strange place for a park. What exactly will be it's main purpose and who will be using it? It's not the most scenic area unless you want to look at a gas station, roller dams, a pawn shop and a gaudy mural.
Interesting.

 
At 6/01/2006 4:26 PM, Blogger Aloaber said...

To the Colonel,
This area is the beginning of "The Cultural District". There is a sign commissioned by D1 directly across 2nd St from this greenspace. it is a small sign and not designed in a way that you can make out what it says but after all D1 is a low budjet operation. Most of their money goes to salaries.

 
At 6/01/2006 4:33 PM, Blogger WindingHills said...

It's no Central Park, but it is a start!

Hopefully they are putting some comfortable benches in so the crack-heads can get a good night's rest:)

 
At 6/01/2006 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was Alderman Howard the only alderman there? He looked a little funny in those white pants.

 
At 6/01/2006 8:14 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

He?

 
At 6/01/2006 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the same thought watching the news shots.

 
At 6/01/2006 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be nice if they would cut the weeds. It looks pretty trashy.

 
At 6/01/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

They're going to be doing a lot more than that... did you even look at the plan?

 
At 6/02/2006 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just amazing how some people can find things to bitch about in ANY supject!!

 
At 6/02/2006 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The againsters are at it again. I will never understand why some people are so against any improvement to this city.

 
At 6/02/2006 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe image can talk Malin into putting a glass dome over the park and air conditioning it so he can visit.

 
At 6/02/2006 2:15 PM, Anonymous b. FiSh said...

Cool.
I can buy my boom box at the iowa pawn shop, get my 40oz of malt liquor at the gas station and have myself a nice party at this park. Then, after I drink too much Old English I can pass out on the park bench. What more can I ask for?

 
At 6/03/2006 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Iowa Pawn Park, I hope the City puts up signs so all the residents from the northeast side of Davenport can find thier way.

 
At 6/07/2006 2:05 AM, Anonymous Todd McGreevy said...

Great to see some forward movement on our eastern gateway. But why the ground breaking and arts spin now? The project has sat dormant for over two years since the building with number one river views in two states was torn down in 2004... what has taken the Barney/Bittner duo so long to turn a spade?

What has the Davenport tax payer's $100K investment returned thus far besides a photo opp and pretty concept? Site history here.

Maybe it's because the arts are moving forward too fast without D1 or Quad City Arts’ involvement … and it was finally time to start pointing credit for this emerging arts corridor in a new direction…

Which comes first: a groundbreaking and photo op or a vibrant arts scene?

Bucktown is thriving with dozens of artists, retail galleries and programs like Venus Envy and Art Works Expo. Living Portrait Studios is full of choir singers, painters, performers and coffee lovers (just across the street). Not to mention River Music Experience, the Figge Art Museum, Sculpture on Second and a real mural by Pat Collins (see below).

But acknowledging all this culture came long before the “gateway” was unveiled this week would be about ADVOCACY, which is not in the vocabulary for D1 or Quad City Arts, unless it’s advocating an entity they control. Such a nod would mean celebrating the good works of others…

Maybe we got the ground breaking and the QC Arts sponsored stunt this week, because on June 24th the multi state performance, “One River Mississippi” will be happening right in front of this soon to be park. There might be national TV cameras onsite soon…

So hurry, it’s time to slap some digitally printed vinyl up on a painted pawn shop wall and turn some dirt in a weed filled lot in front of a handful of redcoats and call it the origins of a "gateway to the arts" -- brought to you by D1, Bechtel and Quad City Arts. Tara you get the Gator and bring the agenda and I’ll get you a cultural backdrop for the media to photograph.

(And how audacious is it to slap one’s name up against Abraham Lincoln’s name and call it a park….did the two gentlemen even live in the same century? I would love to know… )

Feldman's "mural" is civic enough... she's an accomplished artist and will go far (I’ve seen her nude oils inside Bucktown and they are gorgeous)... but she got pimped by the Bechtel-Lincoln Park... it's no mural when your work is scanned and printed on vinyl and hung next to the "Mega Talk" banner.... I hope she got paid for her work.

All one has to do is cross the street to see a real mural by artist Pat Collins at the Oasis Gas Station... meticulously hand painted on a tin surface that took months, this fabulous artwork has weathered our seasons for over ten years... and is rich with history and a distinct style that reflects a regionalism informed by a lifetime of drawing our waterfront.

If this gateway concept was done with any forethought (rather than a quick one off to get some press), then all the stakeholders on 2nd Street would have been engaged… maybe Pat Collins could have been commissioned to work with the artists at LP Studios or Bucktown or Quad City Metro Arts to develop a mural that will last the ages. The process could have been documented inside the Figge for posterity. (This and more can still be accomplished.) But, after two years, this is the roll out the community gets?

The Times' reported this little love fest in 300 words and didn't mention once any of the art attractions that this gateway is supposed to herald… I have to admit, I withheld posting any of my opinions on this little spin fest by D1, Bechtel and QC Arts until I walked up to the “mural” today and saw that it was a digital print on vinyl…(and QCI’s images of the scene only solidified my take on the anti-advocacy our “leaders” exhibit)… the sham is too much to take now.

(Why wasn’t downtown 3rd Ward Alderman Meyer digging the first hole? Because, unlike Howard he knows the score on incremental arts development and how it’s the sum of the parts that make up the whole – not a 15 minute publicity stunt).

Lest I be accused of being an “againster”, I say bring the park on (finally)…. Build the reflecting pools and create an homage to the Lincoln history connection…

But please, don’t embarrass this community even further with more publicity stunts that usurp the efforts of this corridor’s real arts pioneers.

 
At 6/14/2006 12:16 AM, Anonymous todd mcgreevy said...

I understand I owe Alderman Howard an apology. According to a friend who attended the gateway groundbreaking (this person attended it and didn't know it was becthel lincoln park, or is it? which is it?)... anyway, Jamie Howard was quick to mention the Bucktown efforts in tandem with this gateway.

So there was some advocacy afterall... thank you and my apologies.

Perhaps we can take a nod from this advocacy to ensure that as additional projects move forward involving art and its presenation at this public gateway, the neighborhood can be involved in the discussion early on...

I suggest that MidCoast Fine Arts make it's 2nd floor conference room in the Bucktown bldg available for such Gateway Meetings... the conference room is used often by the Midwest Writing Center... what better group to have around to assist with historical research?

Maybe Living Passion Studios can be enaged to create a replica of Dali's famous surreal Abe Lincoln painting (that is not it's real name, he named it after his wife)
[picture here: http://dali.uffs.net/galerie/pictures/1971_president_lincoln_01.jpg ] ...

And with dozens of artists of all ages represented in the building there is plenty of opportunity for collaboration on arts projects that will energize the community... perhaps not all ideas generated at such Gateway meetings will make into the Bechtel park, but many of the concepts and content can then be shared throughout the neighborhood... creating a consistency of message...

Anyway, maybe you get the idea that this gateway opportunity deserves more of a presentation than a watercolor painting blown up into a billboard (as much as i love billboards)... let's not blow this gateway like we blew the airport... i'd much rather see hundreds of artists, musicians and history buffs at the next ribbon cutting than a hastily thrown together showing of chamber red coats...

Remember the "Great Day Portraits" that kicked off the Arts Stroll events further down on 2nd Street.... they were a nod to the famous 1950's photo of a "Great Day in Harlem" with all the emerging and even then legendary jazz giants... we staged such a photo opp for artists and musicians and authors at past Art Stroll events... there were over 100 artists in the first year's photo...

With a strong dose of advocacy and outreach, this gateway could be an annual site for such future portaits...

 

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