Letters to the Editor

Bellevue becoming more bland

The Feb. 28 article by Brandon Macz describes another new development destined to "enhance" downtown Bellevue's tasteless, unwelcoming, bland style.  Yet more stores and apartments designed in the same nondescript, functional, soul-less architecture that is proliferating in the area.

Other cities highlight the importance and civic beauty of preserving characteristic, architecturally interesting older homes and buildings interspersed among the new – renovating their inside spaces for art galleries, coffee shops, etc.  Other cities showcase local natural beauty: creating livable spaces of natural and human harmony – beautiful, stimulating city center environments.

But not Bellevue, thanks to Kemper Freeman and other business-oriented "powers that be." Our city is not focused on developing a welcoming, walkable, visually varied, multi-culturally interesting center – a place to linger, appreciate, stroll and interact. Instead is has become an homage to efficient consumerism: drive, park, shop, spend money, get in your car and drive away. Pedestrians sprint across streets as the ominous orange signs count down seconds.

Is Bellevue being co-opted by business expansion to the point where nothing else matters? Do we really want our downtown to be a homogenous "shopping mall" with yet another new project adding more stores and apartments in rapidly erected, functional, style-less buildings?

Peggy Gennatiempo, Bellevue

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