Well, its been 5 years and 351 days since the groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed "Landmark Hotel," according to the DTM's construction clock, and finally someone has come up with a sensible, if temporary solution to dealing with the concrete eye-sore. The Bridge Progressive Art Initiative has proposed doing a series of collaborative art projects on the exterior of the building.
From 2009 to 2013, Matthew Slaats, the executive director of BridgePAI, says he was involved in a series of projects in New York that looked at the ways that art could temporarily address vacant sites that would be developed.
"Especially after the 2008 financial crisis, there were a multitude of development projects that could not get funding and that provided opportunities for artists and designers to create projects which addressed those sites short term," says Slaats. " After the Planning commission voted to blight the Landmark, I saw an opportunity for this type of conversation to take place in Charlottesville. "
In addition, Slaats says he wanted to "respond to all the negativity that was going on between the City of Charlottesville and Dewberry Capital in positive and generative ways. "
The pitch is this: The Bridge will help to develop a series of art installations on the building that would both serve to remedy the security/safety issues the City wants addressed, provide a way for Dewberry Capital to do some public relations work around the development, and finally allow The Bridge to create an opportunity for local artists to participate in a very creative/public project.
"As of right now, "says Slaats,""we are still working with the City and Dewberry to see what is plausible.
Back in 2011, Downtown residents David and Carolyn Benjamin, representing 23 other Downtown residents, proposed "wrapping" the building, something that is common in Europe, and can be viewed HERE, but the proposal went nowhere.
We've provided a link to their full proposal below, which will be submitted to the current owner, Dewberry Capital, and the City of Charlottesville for approval, as well as photos of some of the proposed art projects.
Some proposed installations: