Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Future is Uncertain because Life is Awesome.

Getty Images

The Strip District is one recent example:

Pittsburgh City Council on Monday delayed a vote for a second consecutive week on whether to grant historic status for the Strip District's landmark Produce Terminal. (Trib, Bob Bauder)

Ideas for the building are just starting to circulate, a new Council rep and Mayor are just coming aboard.

Mr. Ferlo argued against proposed alternatives, saying "we can't afford to let more of the building fall apart while we wait for a faction of the preservation community's ideal to materialize." (P-G, Mark Belko)

Well we could always take basic, critical-needs measures to maintain our building, if any are truly necessary. We could also take "The Preservationists" seriously. It's not like they are an exotic or foreign Hobbit-like race. They're just the half or so (or more?) of regular Pittsburghers who harbor an affinity for innovation and doing things better.

*-UPDATE / THOUGHT: To view the Terminal from the David McCullough Bridge -- perhaps our greatest bridge -- approaching the development site from the north, and viewing it on approach from Downtown, the opportunity to deliver and build upon historic value lies to the west. Let us not destroy that. Points east also deserve historic exposure. There is also a strong sentiment for riverfront access. Why not demolish the middle, creating a short north-south avenue of retail and other commercial or boutique residential bisecting the Terminal? The surviving two approximate thirds of the Terminal on either end can be preserved and commercially or otherwise advantageously adapted, as well as made to suggest an architecturally consistent one-time connection between each other -- which has an aesthetic appeal. Entertain discussions about signage and other opportunities.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Quickly, on Kevin Acklin and Right Hands

Game of Thrones funny scene

An increasingly critical responsibility, in this complex work-a-day world.

Acklin will hold the top administrative position in Peduto's office and essentially function as the mayor's gatekeeper. (Trib, Team Editorial)

PROTIP: If you cannot make it through Acklin, try an end-around using Twitter. It is this Mayor's wheelhouse.

He also will oversee development bodies such as the Pittsburgh Planning Commission, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Sports & Exhibition Authority and Stadium Authority. (Tribid)

The Planning Commission, too? No, no, no. See? Now already we have problems. Do a search on the Comet for "many-hatism" or "many hats" disease. We can address this detail down this road however, it is of no immediate concern.

Panning back:

Over the decades Pittsburgh mayors have grown more and more dependent on their aides to get things done. While the support staff's influence often didn't become apparent until after the mayor left office, their impact on the direction and health of the city is undeniable. (Christopher Zurawsky in 2009, P-G)

Quite the trip down memory lane, what with a note about "twisting arms" and "killing" therein. The incumbent, outgoing and affectionately monikered Hand of Dread is profiled here and here. No word on the specific nature of Mr. Acklin's fearsome visage, but the standard City uniform is spiked plate mail.

This is why fish fries are important.