Dear Editor: With the political landscape so scarred by Trump & Co., it may be an indulgence to worry about Madison's urban landscape, but I'd like to second Maureen Oostidik in her criticism of the eyesore development at Gammon and Mineral Point roads. The previous Madison College building had some architectural grace, and it blended with the greenery and fountains around it. The new buildings look like empty boxes thrown on a basement floor.

One might say the new buildings echo the nearby strip malls and West Towne Mall. But with many of these malls now half-empty, it's time to plan more attractive and pedestrian-friendly commercial spaces for what is still a politically and culturally vibrant neighborhood that may be in danger of becoming a strip mall ghost town. Why not shopping parks, with a mix of green spaces, walking areas, cafes and food carts and shops — hopefully some of them local? Art galleries and artists' working spaces could also be encouraged. Parking could be either underground or in ramps. With imaginative planning, the area could become a human scale destination rather than a sterile blight.

Norman Leer


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