Saturday, December 18, 2010

Scene This Week In…

The early season snows are the best snows. They herald the arrival of indoor time and warm fires. In December, winter is still a novelty and winter scenes like this one of Bonnie Branch in Ellicott City help set the mood.

In another month we’ll be sick of it.

I can usually sustain a modicum of winter enthusiasm through February 6th when the Super Bowl is played. After that the shortest month of the year always seems like the longest month of the year.

In Columbia it was another sign of change that captured my camera lens. Yesterday a new sign appeared in front of the former Rouse Company headquarters building in Town Center. For the third time since it opened in 1974, the Frank Gehry building has a new name out front, The Howard Hughes Corporation.

Of course there was more than a sign change at  HHC. The new company dismissed Greg Hamm who had been the public face of the companies’ efforts to transform the Town Center area over the next thirty years. Greg immersed himself in the HoCo community to craft a plan that is economically feasible and that holds true to the vision and promise of Columbia’s original planners.

This also marks a vindication of sorts for those who have supported the plan. Alan Klein, the plans most visible and vocal critic, ominously warned that the plan was unenforceable. He was Columbia’s own Chicken Little. Yet now, with a new company already replacing the original petitioner, General Growth Properties, the plan is moving forward as anticipated. While HHC has removed Greg Hamm, they kept his entire staff in Columbia who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for the past five years on this project and will continue to do so.
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