, Newburyport, MA

January 17, 2013

'Renderings' can mislead public

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the Editor:

Architects “renderings” should not be the focus of our attention on the NRA waterfront proposal. Have you looked at the one featured in the presentations and Daily News article? It’s all trees! … hiding the enormous mass and footprint of the proposed buildings that the City/NRA “may” lease… in a bad real estate market…in direct competition with whatever Mr. Karp may want to develop between The Black Cow and Route 1. A good idea; really?

Look closer. The proposed buildings, all 70,000 sq.ft. of them, are each larger than the Firehouse and bigger than Parcel 8, the newer building that dominates the south side of Merrimack across from the Firehouse. Note the top floor condo windows 35-40’ up, facing the river. Just how is that “public usage?”

I hate when architects do that! “Add more trees Harry. It’ll hide just how big a project we can fit into the space. Bigger commish for us, yeah!” With abundance of landscaping, “renderings” are too often used to soften and hide the real scope of their intentions.

Think Pickering Wharf, Salem. Without their wonderful museum, it has been an abysmal failure.

(Opinion) The NRA’s time is up. Plant some grass and go out of business. Tax revenues from a new restaurant at the Davis Electric site, a hotel at the Fitness Factory/Gabriel’s/Theater site and the revitalization of Mike’s Subs building will more than pay for mowing and tending the landscape of a much larger Waterfront Park.

Chip Wyser