Here’s a view of the Hotel Emma, which was once the Pearl Brewery, the centerpiece. There’s also a lightly embellished remnant of a structure to the left. I’m not sure of its purpose. Perhaps it was more economical to keep, and it works as a visual reminder of the area’s industrial past.
To the right, we have an expanse that serves as a public space for the Pearl District. On weekends, set up along the periphery is a farmer’s market. It feels like a community space, though I’m not sure if it is.
Redevelopments like this and the new-fangled outdoor shopping malls called “lifestyle centers” are deceptive. While they often look like downtown public spaces, they may not be. I’m not sure about the Pearl. However, The Domain in Austin is a private shopping area. Activities are limited to ones allowed by the owner and are more restrictive than in a traditional public downtown.
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