Update: The plan above never happened, but a grocery store, Fields Foods, and a Walgreens opened on the site.
I decided to swing by the site of the new Georgian Square development and get some pictures of the land clearance. They have placed a very handy sign that gives a street level view of the new shopping center. One could argue two interpretations of the image shown: firstly, you could argue that it’s logical to give the view below since that is what most people will see. The second, and more cynical interpretation is that the picture below is attempting to hide the fact that it is essentially a giant parking lot ringed with buildings.
As can be seen from the detail of the sign, the new development will at least ostensibly feature sidewalk seating for locals to sit and drink their lattes.
The initial site leveling seems like it is in progress, and the trees are now gone. Apparently, they haven’t gotten around to moving the utilities yet.
A larger issue, and not addressed in the debate, is the absurd width of Lafayette Avenue in between the City Hospital and the new shopping center. No, there is never much traffic on this street, and it could easily be narrowed to provide a more pedestrian friendly environment.
I still can’t imagine what it would be like to look out the windows of the City Hospital and see a gigantic swath of blacktop. The City Hospital was a possibility for my future home, but Gilded Age is doing such a bad job of developing the environs around its crown jewel that I would never live there now.
The only really great aspect of the possible second phase, which demolishes historic homes along Tucker, is the planned elimination of the hugely wasteful ramp from westbound I-44 to southbound Gravois. Here’s a great history of the neighborhood and what’s already been lost.
Update: Added a photo from the vault of a wing from the City Hospital.