Market St. Garage Renovations

betterlife writes: I am someone agitated by the renovations that are nearing completion on the mall side of the Market Street parking garage. Do other people agree that the steel beams and cables actually are out of character and somewhat of an eyesore?

betterlife is talking about the recent expansion of the garage that has added four new storefronts and metal-and-cable awnings on top of them. The expansion started several months ago, and appears to only have one storefront remaining to be finished before the project is completed.

10 thoughts on “Market St. Garage Renovations”

  1. I think the new facade looks kinda cool. I guess it’s different than other storefronts, but I like it. It’s a whole lot less ugly and un-inviting than the set-back/diagonal look that it replaces. Not to mention the fact that having those spaces filled by retailers is a vast improvement.

  2. It’ll certainly add to live on that end of the Mall. Just curious – since the City owns the Garage, does anybody know if they went through the BAR process to get the new storefronts approved?

  3. I started out thinking “the beams and cables must be temporary.” That has given way to “oh so its a design that only an architect would love.”

  4. Count me in the “like it” column. The copper overhangs give it an urban marketplace kind of look. There are some glass panels above the overhangs that are, apparently, supposed to reflect colored lights.

    I can’t quite figure out just how it’s going to work, but I’m looking forward to seeing completion.

    Bashir’s will be one of the tenants. I’m happy to see this effort to bring more activity to the east end of the mall.

    Harry Landers

  5. I like it for the same reasons that Harry outlined. (I know virtually nothing about architecture, it’s worth pointing out.) It’s got classical lines, but the look of the awnings is pleasantly daring. The whole thing is simple and attractive, and I think will continue to look nice as time passes, as opposed to looking dated.

    I give tours of the Mall to out-of-towers pretty regularly, and the few tours that I’ve given since those awnings have gone up have invariably involved compliments regarding them.

  6. I think the only reason this was allowed to be built is it’s a quasi-government building. The BAR would have never allowed this on any other building. This thing loooks butt ugly, unfinished, and screams 1980’s euro trash design.

    This is HISTORIC Downtown Charlottesville not a branch of the local IKEA. With the stink the city put up when the Ice Park put up attractive outside lights the city screamed that ugly city approved “spider” lights were not used.

    I would like to know what, if any, approval were sought before this design happened.

    Tear it down- it’s the ugliest thing built on the mall in quite sometime.

  7. The BAR would have never allowed this on any other building.

    I’m not aware of any evidence that the BAR is any more permissive with the city government than any other organization or corporation.

  8. I dig it. I’m glad to see them doing something with that space as it was dark, bland, and all around pretty uninviting. I can’t say I’m the least bit sorry to see that old design replaced with the new one.

  9. I’m not sure anyone can sell the “historic downtown” argument. If you don’t count the “county courthouse” the downtown section is hard pressed to find anything earlier than the turn of the century. It may be time to move on and build some new and innovative structures.

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