LETTER- Ram buildings someplace else

We are making big mistakes on aesthetic and practical grounds when we okay nine-story buildings for the Downtown Mall [Cover story: "Are you ready for nine stories?" June 1].

On aesthetic grounds, we're ruining the sense of small scale and intimacy that makes the mall so inviting and conducive to human interaction. Instead, we'll be making it an urban corridor with echoing traffic noise and over-sized architectural monuments that block the sun and obscure our views.

On practical grounds, it seems like the dunces who okay this sort of development don't pay enough attention to the extra traffic that multi-story buildings will create. While there are plans for a multi-layered parking facility, the cars still have to get there. Widening the feeder roads upsets the intimate scale that makes the Mall such a treasure.

I'm not against all development. Buildings age, population grows, needs change. I like the new Pavilion. But bigger is not always better.

Human scale and the smaller dimensions, proportions and interactions with surrounding architecture are being too easily brushed aside downtown. Unless we agree as a community and take a unified stand, our downtown will lose its welcoming allure and become just another impersonal urban corridor.

There are plenty of other holes where developers can ram their big plan.

Dale Martineti