The great American architect and urban planner Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912) would approve of the choice of John Kane, developer of Raleigh’s new North Hills, as Tar Heel of the Year ( “John Kane’s vision transforms Raleigh,” Jan. 1 news article). Burnham said (1907): “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized ... Remember that our sons and our grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.”
Personally, I have mixed feelings. My wife and I lived on Dartmouth Road from 1973 to 1989. We and our three sons could walk or ride bikes to North Hills Shopping Center. We liked it the way it was.
As chairman of the North Hills Task Force in 1985-1986, I was very much a part of the efforts by North Hills residents to limit further development there. The task force drew a “boundary line” around the northern part of the shopping center, for example – its recommendations became part of Raleigh’s Comprehensive Plan.
That said, and whether we like it or not, Kane has catapulted North Hills into the future. In doing so, he has made some blood boil. Therefore I can understand why he deserves this recognition.
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Peter V. Andrews