the public gardens of modena – giardini estense

Schermata 2013-11-28 a 02.08.55

Giardini Estense

Once private property of the Este Family (the Duke of Modena),  in 1739 these manicured gardens became open to the public.  I only live a 15 minute walk away, so I love to bring my son here when it is nice and sunny outside. He doesn’t go to daycare so when I want him to get some good old fashion outdoor play time I just bring along his trucks, wheelbarrow, ball and a few extra cars and shovels and sure enough other kids show up like moths to a flame!

I LOVE These gardens.  There is a children’s playground, a curated duck pond, a chicken coop with roosters, plenty of pigeons (my son LOVES pigeons), and if that wasn’t enough there is a caffe / open air bar, with a FREE performing arts venue.  Plus there are the botanical gardens AND a free public gallery that houses some of the best temporary exhibits I have ever seen (and I majored in visual art so I know my exhibits).

The “Palazzina” meaning little palace, that now houses the contemporary art exhibits was once a green house, and inside they have done a great job of making sure that it is still very bright but not so bright that any artwords receive direct sunlight.

 

What Is That Thing? …..That thing is my sadness.

 

The Public Gardens of Modena aren’t quite a “thing” as they are a place, but for today’s Thursday’s Things I wanted to specifically focus on the “thing” behind the gardens…

Giardino-Ducale-Estense C/o http://www.architetturaecosostenibile.it/

Giardino-Ducale-Estense
C/o http://www.architetturaecosostenibile.it/

 

 

I’m a super geek at heart.  I can’t deny that.  I love topics like “urban planning” and “urban renewal and regenaration” and “cultural conservation”…. all these buzzwords that came out of those Cultural Pluralism classes I was forced to take for my degree.

 

So it’s no wonder that EACH TIME I look at the huge and ugly apartment building behind the Palazzina Art Gallery I shed a tear.

WHAT WERE THE CITY PLANNERS THINKING?

Of all the places to give a permit to build a tall building, why directly behind this beautiful historic building?  Why?  Was someone paid off by the mafia to get this permit?  Was the city planner drunk?  Did Rob Ford temporarily move to Modena and become the mayor for a brief period of time, allowing these sorts of things to happen while he participated in debauchery with Berlusconi?

 

I want answers.

It is the only building of it’s kind in the skyline.  It would be BETTER if there were more buildings like this, at least then it wouldn’t stick out as much.  Or perhaps after this blunder someone passed a building law.  But the damage has been done.

Grow, sweet trees, grow.  Hide the shame of a city council that didn’t do their job correctly.  Grow up, nice and tall, so that at least this gorgeous gem of a building can have a nice treed background and not an eyesore.

 

This is my one serious gripe with Modena.

 

Am I being overly sensitive?  It can’t just be me that hates this thing….I’ve seen so many photos of this building with the apartment building photoshoped poorly out of the background, so that tells me someone else hates it too.

Take this photo for example from gmmultimedia.it , hmmm those trees seem strange and that dome is kind of crooked isn’t it? I bet all the graphic designers in Modena were happy when they built this building, at least they knew there’d always be work to do taking it out of every photo.
Schermata 2013-11-28 a 02.08.55

Anyone else have a city planning blunder to tell?

 

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