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Ben D.

So true. It's certainly not an inviting presence in the neighborhood.

However, I can empathize with Hoffman's point of view on this one. They have got hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of dollars worth of expensive musical/recording equipment inside. Given that particular neighborhood's...well.."not so lovely" reputation, it makes sense that they wouldn't want to give every strung-out, brick-toting thug an open invitation to crash-and-grab. (Sorry to stereotype, but it's unfortunately true in that area of town.)

Also, if you've ever been inside that store, you've seen just how full it really is. They are utilizing every square inch of their available space. And to have big windows would further limit them.

I think it's an interesting problem to face for a business like theirs--or any other business that must utilize ALL of their interior space--walls and all. I think a good example of a sensible approach is the J.Craig Sweat photography studio in The South Perry District. They can't have big windows--both for lighting reasons and, again, safety/security reasons. And yet, they have a pleasant-looking facade on the outside walls that prevents the building from looking like a big brick box. They also have some nice exterior lighting that helps it feel "inhabited" event though you can't see in. It's not perfect, but it works.

Anyway, just a few thoughts...


Ben - You make some excellent points. Their priority at the time of construction was likely the safety of their merchandise and property. Certainly designing a building like a bunker will achieve that end...but so will other other options that better fit the urban environment.

Huppins downtown has an equally valuable inventory, yet still maintains large windows that connect inside and outside activities. Safety can also be achieved by putting more eyes on the street. One benefit this corner has is upper-level apartment buildings on opposite sides of the street, giving anyone down below a sense that people may be watching.

The Photo Studio on South Perry is a pretty good example of how to make a builing less hostile to the streetscape. Thanks for pointing it out.

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