Let me make it clear that I fully support the Omni Hotel project.
The downtown block bounded by Second, Third, Liberty and Muhammad Ali has long been one of this city's deadest black holes, and this is our best chance at re-establishing some serious urban density in an area that definitely needs it.
But before it's too late, this city's leaders must take a stand and insist on changes in the present design that would make the Third Street side of the hotel complex little more than one, long, blank wall enclosing a giant parking garage.
With the opposite side of the street also fronted by a large parking garage, one of the longest city blocks in Louisville would become one, long, boring tunnel, offering nothing of interest to pedestrians and further cutting the vibrant north side of downtown off from its southern half.
We already have one glaring example of such bad planning on Fifth Street between Broadway and Chestnut, and we don't need another.
Yes, it will cost more to accommodate parking for the hotel differently--perhaps underground. But considering the major investment the city itself is making in it - this is a change our leaders should insist upon.
This hotel has the potential to radiate excitement in every direction, and it would be a shame if all we got was 75 percent of its potential.
Call and tell us what you think of the Omni.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.