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About bonwich

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    Listener of the Streets

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  1. And if the current five-second rule were in place back then (or if the five-second rule from those days had been enforced correctly), we would have won at least one of those games. (No, I'll never let that one go. )
  2. It didn't occur to me until I was at his funeral today that my friend Pete Herbig was a member of the proto-band, that is, the pre-Beczkala pick-up group that bravely held the fort during the Ekker days, when sometimes even the small numbers in the band would outnumber the students in attendance. It's from this time that I can claim my own band alumni letter -- I was pretty broke back then, and in lieu of having to buy a ticket, Pete would hand me a tambourine and tell me to say that I was "with the band." In any event, it seems like Pete stayed on, as many have, for a little while after he graduated and after Mike took over. There were several Jesuits concelebrating today down at St. Margaret of Scotland, as well as a sizable representation from that era of the College Church Choir. And it's really a shame to lose someone who was only 56 years old. A few of you knew Pete, so here:
  3. Some timely news from Stu: stu durando ‏@studurando 5h5 hours ago Although not announced, St. Louis University is slated to play in the Men Who Speak Up tourney in Las Vegas with Valpo, BYU, Alabama.
  4. I wonder if they made that call before or after they hired Ford.
  5. Or typically until after the rest of the world has announced theirs.
  6. Mary Bruemmer, Class of '42. I don't remember -- has she been recognized at a basketball game (lately)?
  7. So I never took any courses in that program, but I did know George Wendel, usually regarded as the patron saint of that era, pretty well. I really can't remember if there was a master's within the program or not (although I know someone I can ask). Here's some stuff I dug up about the program based on looking for stuff about him. (T)he Center for Urban Programs at the University (was started in 1968)....In 1990 the Center's academic degree programs were combined with other public policy degree programs into a new Department of Public Policy Studies. Regarding the old campus's planning and design, I don't think you can directly compare then and now, any more than you can compare, for example, Busch Stadiums I, II and III. Each had good and bad points for its era but had entirely different standards for "good" and "bad." For example, I bet you can go back and find plenty of praise for the initial design of Frost campus and how "transformative" it was, similar to all the praise given to the Biondized campus. From then until the Biondi era, though, planning and design was a combination of "use it until it falls down" (because the U. didn't believe in proper maintenance budgeting) and "incorporate the ugliest, most derivative architecture you can conceive" (the initial Frost Campus, and then some of the additions such as Tegeler). Nice buildings like DeSmet Hall and beautiful buildings like Sodality House basically crumbled under their own weight (Cupples was the major exception to this rule). The concept of a master plan was probably not even considered, and in any event was made difficult by all the non-University buildings within what was considered the "campus." And we'll have to agree to disagree on WashU, or at least to clarify some semantics. The WashU Danforth campus proper, aside from its connection to one of the great urban public parks in America, is not urban. But "community-connectedness" itself isn't just physical. WashU truly connected itself to its community by playing an integral planning and financial role in transforming a rapidly blighting area near its campus into something that's considered an urban showcase.
  8. I think we have more agreement than argument and most of our disagreement involves semantics. Also, just as point of reference, hsmith, how old are you? I'm 56, so that's what shapes a lot of my perspective. Wash U's Redevelopment Corp has done tons of great things, but that doesn't change the fact that their campus is walled off from the developments you're talking about in a way that SLU isn't, even today. They didn't need a Biondi to build a "fortress" because their campus was built as one as soon as they moved west in the late 19th Century, before most of the surrounding neighborhoods even existed as we know them today. Their students have to worry less about crime because they can walk to dorms and classes and not ever venture into the City in a way SLU students still can't, even after Biondi and his statues and dog parks. If SLU is "suburban" in style, then Wash U. is far more suburban, even after all the planning efforts surrounding the Med School. Correct, WashU's campus proper didn't need to be a fortress given its high-end residential buffer on three sides. And yet they reached out many blocks to the north to nurture an entertainment district that became one of their selling points. They also arguably stabilized some of the south-of-Delmar apartment market by buying up many of the buildings. They "got it," IMO. Contrast this to SLU, which borders Grand Center. SLU nominally participated in Grand Center redevelopment with Biondi on the GC board, but his ego and Schoemehl's couldn't fit in the same room together and SLU, at least for many years of GC's existence, did virtually nothing to improve the arts district that's immediately adjacent to its campus. As noted, Biondi demolished buildings that could have joined the campus and GC, and he discouraged students from going in that direction off campus. Also, and this is apocryphal but I believe it to be true, SLU once had the opportunity to co-locate its theatre department (and maybe also its music department) in Grand Center, which really would have tied the two entities together. But they walked from the deal. One other perhaps interesting point told to me by a SLU VP was that Biondi was actively working to implode Lewis/The Coronado before the Gills stepped forward. As for the Med campus, Biondi improved it by expanding to the south but also pulled a Father Borgia to the east of Grand by lying through his teeth about "moving the med school" just so he could knock down a building he didn't like. I won't argue that SLU has matched the urban design or community development efforts at Wash U. (a school with world class architecture and social work programs is always going to have a leg up there), but looking at the two campuses as urban environments is still an apples to oranges comparison for all of these reasons. I also won't argue that Biondi was right to tear down all the buildings he did, but the end result today is still an attractive urban campus that, post-Biondi, has a chance to fit in well with the growth in the surrounding area. Could it be even better today if Biondi had been less bulldozer-happy? Sure, but I hear very few people saying they prefer the pre-1987 SLU campus to what we have today. The campus today would also be more urban and more cool had Mill Creek Valley never been wiped out long before Biondi got his mitts on the area. There are all kinds of what-ifs, but SLU today has an opportunity a school like Wash U. will never have to blend into the middle of a truly urban neighborhood. Remember, however, that SLU had perhaps not a world-class but at least a nationally reputed Urban Planning program. And Biondi (and perhaps some of his predecessors) utterly ignored what was taught at the school. Another consideration that's come up in other OT threads in the past several months is how much of the campus improvement can be attributed to Biondi and how much was the overall trend of luxury campuses. Biondi also would have quite blithely destroyed much of what became Midtown Alley and the Locust Business District if not for the not-entirely-successful efforts at resistance bythe entrepreneurial types who turned it into what it is today. He was ready to (and did) bulldoze stuff to prep for the version of Chaifetz that never materialized. SLU has had the opportunity to blend into its surrounding neighborhood for decades. It simply actively resisted doing so, with most of that resistance occurring during Biondi's tenure. One last note on Wash U.'s Redevelopment Corp--over the past few years, it has worked more and more closely with SLU's Center for Sustainability, and a lot of their personnel are graduates of SLU's Planning & Development program. Their last Executive Director before the current one graduated from our program a few years ahead of me. Our program is still tiny and therefore unaccredited, but it's the only one with a Masters in planning anywhere in the state, and one of a handful in the Midwest. It also breathed one of the biggest collective sighs of relief once Biondi finally left. But my point is that Wash U. and SLU are working together, and if anything the SLU CoS gets under-recognized for the role it plays in broader efforts at regional collaboration. On these points we are totally aligned. At least SLU nowadays recognizes that PR is vital to a school's reputation, but back when, it consistently got overwhelmed by WashU's PR machine. For example, when my old man had a heart transplant at SLU 30 years ago, he was at that time probably the oldest recipient to date in the country. And I'm reasonably sure SLU was doing more transplants then than WashU. But the only recognition SLU got for my dad's transplant was when I wrote about it several months later. In general, collaboration between WashU and SLU used to be a fantasy, and the recognition of its benefits in more recent times,and the actual collaboration, is terrific.
  9. We'll see how he does in the Baby Race. If he can't crawl like a werewolf, relegate him to D-II.
  10. This is one of our classic off-season off-topics. And the OBC knows how much I love playing along. From my perspective: Biondi turned our campus into Fortress SLU. He even explicitly told students not to travel too far off campus. That's all well and good from a public-safety viewpoint, but SLU the fact that SLU refused to embrace its urban environment and especially the periphery of campus played as much role in the decay of the surrounding area as did general urban blight. SLU could have made Grand Center's (and Locust's) redevelopment move two or three times more quickly than what's happened, but rather than addressing crime head-on by helping to improve the neighborhood (see below), SLU shunned it. Compare WashU, from a peripheral standpoint. With all due respect to my friend Joe Edwards, The Loop would never have become "one of the best streets in North America" if it weren't for WashU, which actively bought up property, especially in the dreaded "north of Delmar." Not the same as Grand Center, you say? I grew up in U. City and my parents continued to live there until the late '90s. As late as the '80s, that area around Eastgate had a very high concentration of drug dealers. WashU saw how a vibrant Loop could be a recruiting tool and bought apartments and invested in (and, granted, tore down) a lot of the old buildings. Not to mention I'm pretty sure they've made a crapload of money on their investments. An even more glaring example of building up your surroundings is the Central West End, which also basically wouldn't exist in its current form without the extensive intervention of WashU. In the '70s and '80s, Laclede and West Pine (and even Forest Parkway) east of Euclid had as many bombed-out houses as they did nice large houses and mansions. The WashU Redevelopment Corporation very deliberately sought out people with the vision and the bucks to renovate many of those residences, some of which are now offices and some of which are very expensive residences. Compare that with SLU's lack of support (and almost willful destruction) of the neighborhoods surrounding Firmin Desloge and the med school. The Locust corridor east of Grand also developed in spite of, rather than with the assistance of, SLU and especially Biondi. And rather than leaving continuity leading into Grand Center, Biondi bulldozed a still-architecturally-pleasing, well-occupied old building and put in...a dog park. Bulldoze is a perfect word for him. When in doubt, rip it out. The campus does look great, but at the cost of slamming a suburban style into an urban environment.
  12. He got a $7.5M buyout, which sounds like he could lose his ass and his right nut and still be OK save for the obvious problems with his wife and girlfriends. And it doesn't say if the buyout included covering any losses on the sale of his house. I wonder...
  14. Cue Brown Indian.
  15. 1. You need to check the meaning of "OT." 2. It's actually a redundant post. Previous mention here