Monday, February 16, 2009

Back to the Future

I have a good deal of respect for Bob Tennenbaum and Cy Paumier. Both of these gentlemen have long and distinguished careers in planning. They were both involved in the early planning of Columbia.

Now CA has brought them back to participate once again in the planning of the Symphony Woods park that they never got to finish forty two years ago. In an article entitled “CA devising alternative plan for Symphony Woods” by Derek Simmonsen in The Columbia Flier, Cy recalled those early years:

“We had this absolutely great vision for what this Town Center park was going to look like," Paumier said of his original work in the 1960s. "But because of the pressure on other things we never got to it."

Cy and Bob are both Columbia residents and they are volunteering their time to help CA devise an alternate strategy to the one proposed by General Growth Properties for the park. The GGP plan was developed by a team that includes Jaque Robertson of Cooper, Robertson & Partners, Alan Ward from Sasaki Associates and Keith Bowers of BioHabitats.

On the one hand, Columbia is fortunate to have the input of such a wide range of experts in shaping the future of Symphony Woods. On the other hand, I feel like Bob and Cy represent old school thinking on community planning while the GGP team represents a fresh approach. Cooper Robertson designed some of the most innovative and award winning new communities such as WaterColor and Celebration in Florida and The Woodlands in Texas.

Columbia has been given the unique opportunity once again to lead the nation in excellence in community planning. Forty years ago Cy Paumier and Bob Tennenbaum had a shot at it. For forty years nothing much besides Wine in the Woods happened in Symphony Woods. For forty years Symphony Woods was largely an afterthought for CA.

It’s now time for fresh thinking and a new perspective for Symphony Woods for the next forty years.


Tom said...

Please, don't blame lack of development of Symphony Woods on Bob and Cy. First, let's see what they've learned in 40 years of experiences then compare results of the competing visions.

Anonymous said...

Not many people can objectify views when personal goals are at stake. Sounds like Bob and Cy were quite capable in that area.

Anonymous said...

I hope Bob's and Cy's alternative plan isn't limited to just Symphony Woods. We are trying to produce the best 30-year master plan for the entirety of Town Center, right?