1926 directive finally came to be in 2010

1926 directive finally came to be in 2010

Just to give you an example of how the comprehensive plan, an update of which the Champaign City Council reviewed last night, is more of a long-term decision document rather than a short-term development plan, here's an excerpt from the 1926 comprehensive plan that Planning Director Bruce Knight pointed out last night.

It is the seat of the state's greatest educational institution. This serves to bring the city to the attention of people of taste and culture. There are expectations which should be met. Nature moreover has given the site few advantages. Lack of hills and ravines, lakes and water sources must be offset by other features created by the people who live in Champaign.

City planners in 1926, Knight said, were talking about the creation of a public art group to compensate for central Illinois' lack of unique landscapes.

You might remember that the city council earlier this year approved a partnership with the Public Art League of Champaign-Urbana and the group unveiled its first sculpture in August. They were not necessarily following the directive given in that 1926 document, but you can see how the comprehensive plan looks ahead.

That only took 84 years.

Here's a little more from that plan for your enjoyment:

There is a place for civic art in the city plan. The influence of pleasing surroundings is recognised today by nearly every one who builds a home. Good taste in the selection of home furnishings and equipment is applauded, but what of the city? Where all are concerned, taste has no established authority. There is no pressing public demand for better things; the bad develops without protest and is tolerated. Whatever the city gains in character and distinction and real beauty, it gains largely by chance.

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