The design proposal for the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), which will be the southern terminus of the HSR route (at least until the San Diego line is built), was released recently. The image above is of the station, which will be wedged in between the Santa Ana River and the 57 freeway just across from Angels Stadium and the Honda Center (formerly The Pond). HOK Los Angeles and Parsons Brinkerhoff are the designers and builders for the ARTIC project. According to the release, the building will be of a sustainable design and will aim to receive a LEED Platinum certification, currently the highest rating for sustainable building.
The release also notes that the ARTIC design is modeled in part on the blimp hangars at the old MCAS Tustin. Which I have to say I find a bit unusual and not exactly inspiring. I never really understood the attraction some people had to the blimp hangars (the hangars at Moffett Field in Sunnyvale are exact copies of the Tustin hangars, for you Bay Area folks). Having grown up in Tustin, and having had several opportunities to take extensive tours of the hangars, I always thought they looked like rather ugly blights on the landscape that should have been torn down once the Marine Corps and US Navy stopped using blimps in the 1950s. (Apparently the hangars made good storage space for helicopters, which is why they were preserved.)
One of my favorite train stations is located just down the road in Santa Ana. I'm a sucker for the Mission Revival style, and that would seem to be more fitting for an Orange County HSR station. The Old Orange County Courthouse, which isn't Mission Revival but is still a great bit of 19th century architecture, would also make a good basis for ARTIC. At minimum there should be some orange trees around the station, to mark Anaheim's history and especially given how few orange trees are actually left in the county.
These criticisms should not be taken as a criticism of the ARTIC project itself. It's a long overdue and welcome project to improve the woefully inadequate existing Anaheim station (located in the parking lot of Angels Stadium), providing a centrally located place for trains, buses and pedestrians to meet.
OCTA is hosting a scoping meeting for ARTIC next Thursday, July 30, from 5 to 7 pm at OCTA HQ on 600 S. Main Street in Orange. You can submit comments online if you can't attend the meeting in-person.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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