12/26/2006

NewsAdvance.com | Developer pours energy, creativity into Lynchburg

I grew up in Lynchburg, and I'm amazed at how fast it is now growing. We spent the weekend there, and it was bustling. Charlottesville developer Oliver Kuttner sees a future there, and even says in this News and Advance article that he'd like to live there.

NewsAdvance.com | Developer pours energy, creativity into Lynchburg

I do worry about the idea of building too much by the James River. Lynchburg is built on a hill, and there's a very steep incline. But every fifty years or so, a massive flood can reach way up into the city's streets. The Flood of 1985, was particularly devastating. And, to my knowledge, there has been no flood abatement program like the ones in Scottsville and Richmond.

I'd also like to spend more time in Lynchburg. My parents live there, and there are a lot more opportunities then those that existed when I was a boy. Heck, I even went to go see Borat at a cinema less than a mile away from Liberty University.

It's interesting to read that Thomas Jefferson once said:

"Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be useful to the town of Lynchburg. I consider it as the most interesting spot in the state."


I'm pleased that Charlottesville developers see a profit in being useful to 21st century Lynchburg. I also see a future there. I'm working with Lynchburg podcaster Dan Portnoy on several projects, and of course, I'm on the air in Lynchburg three days a week on WNRN, which reaches into town via WNRS at Sweet Briar. I'm also working with Media General on the Gateway Virginia podcast, which includes the News and Advance.

Fun fact: Actor Skeet Ulrich from Jericho was born in Lynchburg. It's amazing what you can learn from Wikipedia.

4 comments:

jhcudlin said...

Interesting to see things starting to happen downtown. Obviously I've gotten to see a fair bit of what's been done with the Academy of Fine Arts and the Riverviews studios & gallery spaces, thanks to my mom...but the downtown needs some real retail establishments to make it a destination.

Vastly preferable to, say, that awful, Northern VA-style development--Windhurst, is it? Cookie cutter houses on tiny lots; strip malls with chain retail stores--all trying to pass itself off as a self-contained community.

Sean Tubbs said...

I was really impressed with Windhurst, which is a style of development that I would like to be able to live in. The idea of building a village is something that really appeals to me. Somewhere where residents can walk around and do things. What could we walk to when we were kids? Our parents were fools to let us walk up Whitestone to the Winn Dixie. Windhurst has sidewalks, and places to actually walk to. There's a YMCA, several restaurants, and a wide range of housing styles, to suit low-income to high-income, as well as an assisted living facility.

jhcudlin said...

You are either a terminally glass-half-full kind of guy, or on the payroll of some big housing developer.

I'm sure that it's fine, more than fine for some folks--and admittedly better than no sidewalks and inaccessible stores. I do really hate going home to the old neighborhood and not being able to walk anywhere.

But I also hate those new buildings--the materials, the layouts, the styles, etc. And the big chain stores. And the people who like them. And all the rest.

But then again, I like cities. And old buildings. And independently owned businesses. In other words, I am not on the pulse of the populace.

And you are either a populist, or doing a damn fine impersonation of one--in a desperate bid for acceptance, perhaps. In which case, I fear that you may one day snap and kill many people.

Happy New Year!

Sean Tubbs said...

If I wanted acceptance, I'd go mainstream. Instead I'm trying to be underground mainstream, tapping into secret aquifers.

There are no big box chain stores in Wyndhurst. A list of the retail stores shows a lot of independent stores, boutiques, really. A lack of a grocery store is a problem. In the list of restaurants, there's a Subway, which seems to be the closest to a national place. Everything else appears to be independently owned, or at least, part of a small chain.

No comic shops or record stores, though. But, places to go and socialize without having to get into a car.

This country needs new places. Someone has to build them, and someone has to live there. To the east of us in Charlottesville they are continuing to expand the Glenmore Country Club, with a population density much lower than that of a new place like Wyndhurst. The key to this country's survival, environmentally, will be increased popuation density. We need new cities, villages, towns, where people can spend their lives.

I am an optimist half the time, and a pessimist the other half. A place like Wyndhurst gives me hope that developers are beginning to build things designed to foster community, rather than putting up gates.

As for your comment on cities, I like cities as well. Can you flesh out further what defines a city for you?