UDARP Concerned About Plans at Port Covington (AKA Planksville)

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Under Armour’s Port Covington development will span more than 128 acres, all told. The plans for 5.2 acres that are devoted to CEO Kevin Plank’s Sagamore Spirit distillery drew concerns from the Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel.

Baltimore Business Journal reports that UDARP members took issue with the “superficial” imposition of pastoral design themes on an area with an industrial history.

Notably, they criticized a proposed “bucolic” water tower, which would be fed by a truck hauling natural spring water from Plank’s farm. Why not build an industrial-looking water tower? Why not use water from the site instead? (Panelist Gary Bowden called the plan to truck in the water “even a little perverted.”) Can all these “stories” (of farm, whiskey, and water) be told “in away that hangs together?”

That’s not to say that Plank won’t get to build his distillery, or even that UDARP has nothing nice to say about the plans. But it teaches me that I never want to be in charge of developing even a single acre of land in the city.

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  1. Having been on the locust point architectural review committee in the early go-go years of the 2000’s, it’s essential to have one in place. otherwise all sorts of things happen that do not add to the beauty of the neighbourhood.

    someone wants to develop the tiniest parcel of land, but on-site parking is required, so they suggest drive-in parking on the ground floor. nope. can’t do that. someone wants to build a row of houses, but neglects to provide any delineation between each house, so it looks like a huge, block-long wall, with nothing to alleviate the mass of brickwork.

    when you have a neighbourhood, regardless of where it is, there are certain elements that unite it and make it look like a cohesive whole.

    As for Port Covington, why not take clues from the industrial and maritime history of the area, which is the architectural vernacular, rather than bringing Sagamore Farm into the city, where it doesn’t belong.

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