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There's no "Architecture" forum in "Don's Cavalcade of Culture," but here is a great article by Philip Kennicott of the Post about the new Silver line.

Without reading the article (yet), they've turned an eyesore (Tysons) into even more of an eyesore (Tysons with the raised track).

Why in God's name didn't "they" run this straight up the toll road to the airport?

Gee, I wonder.

Tysons Corner: Your future; my present, and my soon-to-be past.

My wealthy-man's fantasy? To mimic what The Nature Conservancy has done, except to do it with brownfields, abandoned buildings, or vacant, overgrown lots, in blighted, underprivileged areas, and to 1) raze them 2) clean them, and 3) turn them into simple, beautiful, safe, well-lit parks with grass, trees (each one labeled), native flora, benches, and one security guard working at a time - someone on duty 24 hours a day - in each park - stationed in a comfortable, locked guardhouse with WiFi and TV - hired from that exact neighborhood for something markedly above minimum wage - night shifts getting higher hourly rates than day shifts.

I'd start with, I don't know, something from here, or something equivalent to that which has been abandoned. Each eyesore to become a thing of absolute simplicity and beauty for the neighborhood residents to enjoy, and which wealthy people from across town won't even care about (at first). And even if the residents don't enjoy it, they'd still know it's there. That, my friends, is how I'd spent my winning Powerball ticket, and I've thought about it for years. I, personally, have everything I need in life, and I don't need any more.

What a wonderful world it would be. Perhaps nothing more than my own personal fantasy world, but it remains *my* fantasy world.

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The article is artfully and beautifully written; A skillful effort at attempting to turn the massive, utilitarian, and simple into something that is attractive.

Of note, for about 1 year circa 2000 I worked with civil engineers on this project and others.  The Metro expansion project was going through an EIS (environmental impact study).  My part included evaluating the land near metro stations, as potential high rise development near the stations would contribute to ridership and would be used to create future ridership estimates.  The ridership estimates fed into financial projections for the potential "effectiveness" of the proposed mass transit system.  It was a critical element in measuring the worthiness of one project against others in the competition for federal funding.

During that time I participated in the "station meetings" with architects, engineers, etc, as to the design of the stations.   From my recollection remarkably little changed from the stations that had been designed prior to my joining those meetings to the finished product we see today.  I found the participating architects, knowledgeable, professional, and responsible with the task at hand to design stations that met all the existing parameters of location, funding, utility, etc.

Today as I go up to Tysons they appear to be monstrous clunky large structures that somewhat dominate the view.  Hopefully the structures have great utility for the metro population in getting around the region.   I'm a little skeptical to that last point, but the real story will be told decades into the future to see if this expansion of metro adds to productive development and growth.

What surprised me is that Fairfax County dramatically increased all the zoning and construction allowances proximate to the metro stations from what we worked with around 2000.  Its already spurring some great big high rises near those stations.  Time will tell if they attract residents and commercial tenants.   What is scarcely ever articulated or described in the media is that the ridership and development projections always suggest that automobile usage increases with development even if metro ridership increases.

Prepare for even more traffic feeding into Tysons.

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