Thursday, October 10, 2013

Flat-butt, bubble-butt, bony-butt ugly

I felt compelled to go two better than Councilman Becker with that post title, so please excuse the rather indelicate visual impression that it conjures. 
It's just a personal opinion but it's a really, really strong one which the two of us share:  That the Stripes gas station (corner of SH 96 and West Walker) is "flat-butt ugly" (per Becker as quoted by GCDN (paywalled)). 

This Googlemaps screengrab above shows that corner before it descended into esthetic ruin.  I have always hesitated to publish a pic of the Stripes itself for fear of attracting the wrong sort of attorney communication, even though all I'm expressing here is a Constitutionally-protected personal opinion which - thank God - the majority of our City Council shares with me.  They wisely decided to deny a special use permit for Stripes to erect yet another similar visual atrocity on Main Street.  And in so doing, they gave me a journalistic "out" on my own commentary. 

Screengrabbed from Google streetview. 
As I explained in the GCDN comment section, this question is not just a matter of land use - it's a matter of property values.  I personally do not believe that the Stripes visual brand is appropriate for our type of development.  Look at the corner of West Walker and State Highway 96 (League City Parkway) and what do you see? 

(1) Substantial investment in the Gas Dude, which is more than architecturally appropriate for the area.
It may have a funny name, but they put some serious big bucks into all that stacked stone.  In a visual quality sense, it even outstrips Buc-ee's, which now sets the bar for C-stores in southeast Texas (and beyond). 

Screegrabbed from Yelp
(2) Even more substantial investment in the ACU Federal Credit Union, which is actually LEED-certified as well as being architecturally appropriate.
Artists's rendition creengrabbed from this site.
(3) On the northeast corner, there's Walker Commons, also appropriate.

Screengrabbed from this site

(4)  Aaand then on the southwest corner of that same intersection, we now have this:
No tasteful natural building materials, no neutral tones whatsoever... how is this even remotely consistent with the established architectural character of our area?! 

Screengrabbed from this GCDN article
It's a style appropriate for some areas, but this isn't one of them, in my opinion.  Perhaps next to a children's museum with oversized Lego contemporary art outside, or perhaps a park with a matching playscape.
Would it not coordinate beautifully with one of these?  The colors appear to be a perfect match. 

McDonald's playscape screengrabbed from this site
Anyway, the other day when I published "Breaking news", I was in the mood for some good news about something League City might have wrought.  On that day, I sure never got my wish.  But this makes up for it.  Bravo to Council on this one. 
Tap to expand.  Text of my GCDN comments. 

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