Thursday, May 8, 2008

New Urbanists

Waiting Down Low Red Who Would Believe You Could Live Like This Downtown? Salvation
It may be hard to believe but Shreveport’s downtown area is being populated by New Urbanists. Eleven non-traditional living spaces in downtown were highlighted in the first ever home tour sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority.

DDA Executive Director Don Shae says the tour was a success and there are plans for another one next year. If you’re interested in buying a building in downtown the DDA’s website is a good place to start. The DDA’s next big event is Mudbug Madness.

Note: If you click on the pictures they get bigger. Also, I shot video of the tour. You can find it at KTBS. Keyword video. Click on Submit Video. Click on DDA Home Tour. Or maybe click Neighborhood News Team Video.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you took the pictures and the video, and your eye for color held you in good stead there... but I was hoping for a narrative - accompanied by more views that might provide a real feel for what life in these downtown domiciles might be like. I guessing owners didn't want shots that could readily identify location, or interior visuals (except for the couch-and-shelves shot, and the star-on-the-brick-wall photo).

Nonetheless, thanks for your effort. teaserthecat

Kathryn Usher said...

Eleven places to visit in four hours is a hard push. Eleven places to photograph and video with a brand new camera I was totally unfamiliar with was an even more impossible endeavor. To take detailed enough notes for a narrative...OMGoddess, I'm just one woman.

But then I knew this starting out. I didn't even go to places I thought would open at other times and The Logan Mansion was included, and since I went there just a year ago, that's another one I didn't visit.

I do have hopes to go back to the owners and do some docublogs with them. I'm passionate about life in Shreveport and living in the Highland and downtown areas.

On thing that did strike me (if you saw my video on KTBS you saw it) the child's room. I guess I'd forgotten kids could live downtown. And then at one of the places a cat was lounging on a trunk at the foot of the master bed.

Jay Carter said...

Hey Kathryn! Thanks for all the pics you posted. Darn, I wish I could've checked this event out! It was awfully nice of you to give me the heads-up on it, though. Thanks!

I looked at the two websites you mentioned for the Lee Hardware and United Jewelers apts, and was a little disappointed with what I saw. Isn't the whole point of the "new urbanist" movement to include more mixed use (residential + retail) and therefore more walkable areas? When I see pics of those buildings, what's missing is the vibrant street-level retail component. A coffee shop, convenience store, sandwich place -SOMETHING! - would really liven those places up. As it is now, just based on the pictures I've seen on the apartments' own websites, the buildings look to me like scary, isolated, lonely places to live.

So far, I think the Highland neighborhood is doing a better job of achieving this kind of walkable mixed-use urban environment than what we're seeing downtown. As gas prices keep soaring, more people will place a much higher value on those kinds of neighborhoods rather than the disconnected suburban "enclaves" where you always need a gas-guzzling car in order to get so much as a gallon of milk.