People keep reminding me of architect Brandon Specketer. He first caught my attention when I saw his proposals for turning the Santa Fe depot or the nearby train viaduct into an intermodal station.
Blair Humphreys then showcased Specketer’s work on his blog, www.imaginativeamerica.com and explained this P.C. North and OU grad, after working Hans Butzer and Rand Elliott (great teachers), went to NYC to continue his career in architecture.
Again, an impression was made – but with Brandon working in New York and my not having met him in person (at least in my memory, forgive Brandon if I’m wrong), thoughts turn to other people, events, things, etc.
But this brilliant guy keeps coming up. I’ve seen (at least I think I’ve seen) some of his comments on this blog, and now I’ve been made aware that he has his own blog. And his old hometown is clearly close to his heart. But by being away, he notices things we might not. This latest post, referred to me by Kim Searls, is especially interesting:
The biggest ‘good’ by far was that downtown, it’s local. All of it.³ And that is the best thing that can happen for downtown Oklahoma City as it begins taking its first real steps towards becoming a viable neighborhood rather than just a ‘destination.’ My wife and I enjoyed the fact that we weren’t walking into a generic retail oriented development similar to what’s occurring around the nation. (do we really need another mall fashioned as a ‘town square?’)
We were in Oklahoma City. Rather than a conforming sameness, the restaurants were uniquely individual, local and entirely Oklahoman. I have to call out Sage and Bolero. If the city took a more active stance in encouraging more developments like these downtown, residents and the necessary density would follow. And this is where government policy comes in.
I believe that one of the smartest things any city could do right now is find creative ways to encourage existing small businesses to expand and entrepreneurs to hang their own signs on the storefront. Whether its taking advantage of the $15 billion that’s been used to open up credit, or helping forge partnerships between smaller, local banks.
Read Brandon’s full post here.