Historical Society Disputes Commercial Development Of Public Property

    Architecture ExpertThis case involves a park and adjacent plaza set for redevelopment as a luxury mall. The plaza and park in question were not specifically protected under the city’s historical preservation society but were seen as city landmarks by residents. Upon learning that the park and plaza would be redeveloped, the city’s historical society filed suit against the mall developer for infringing on public property. It was alleged by the mall developers that the plaza and park were not tendered as public property according to the zoning authorities and therefore could be purchased and developed. An expert in architecture with specific experience in landscapes and streetscapes was sought to evaluate if the plaza and park in question were designed and built for public use.


    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please explain your background in designing public plazas and landscape/streetscapes.
    • 2. What are some measures to determine if a plaza was designed and built for public use?

    Expert Witness Response E-172645

    I am an architect with 30+ years of experience in planning museums and cultural facilities within urban environments. I have extensive experience in the restoration and design of park environments, having completed projects for the parks and conservancy departments in a major metropolitan city. I have been involved in the renovation and preservation of historic parks and the restoration and rehabilitation of plazas. I have also been involved in the restoration of one of the oldest libraries in the country. I was the master planner for an art museum located in an urban park. Measures can vary greatly. Some of the most successful urban park spaces have evolved into their current conditions while others have been planned from inception to offer accessible open space suitable for relaxation, conversation, interaction, solitude and generally a complement to the dense urban environment.

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