Letters to the Editor

Assad Meymandi: What Raleigh could be

With respect, I am using historical evidence to disagree with the Nov. 9 letter-writer who criticizes the development of Raleigh “Midtown.”

In the 1850s, when a group headed by Fredrick Law Olmstead was planning to develop the New York Central Park and adjacent properties, there were many who opposed the project.

There is an elegantly written, exhaustively researched and exquisitely prepared five-volume set by architect-academician-historian-entrepreneur Robert A.M. Stern, dean of Yale School of Architecture, which argues for systematic planned growth of densely populated urban centers. Stern has taken a historical scalpel and dissected every building of every borough of New York, with exhaustive reference for detail and accuracy, concluding the need for open spaces on one hand and dense population centers on the other.

Today, Raleigh is where New York City was in the 1850s. We have an opportunity to initiate thoughtful urban planning, which the Raleigh Planning and Zoning Commission is diligently pursuing. The future of Raleigh depends on the commitment of visionaries like John Kane to turn our beloved city into a 16th century Florence. A Raleigh with plenty of open space and parks, such as the proposed Dix Park; a city brimming with arts, culture, music, fountains, high academia, brisk intellectual conversation, poetry, dance, along with what Stern suggests; high-rise, dense population centers.

Assad Meymandi, Raleigh

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