March 24, 2016
BENEFITING: 1000 FRIENDS OF FRESNO
The funds previously raised have kept hope alive for this unique California Heritage site designed by renowned landscape architect Garret Eckbo and loaded with MCM art installed in 1964. Please donate what you can and share this link with your Facebook friends and email contacts. The Fulton Mall fight is not over! Find the DFC on Facebook for more information and updates
The Downtown Fresno Coalition, a community group associated with 1000 Friends of Fresno, has filed lawsuits in both state and federal court to protect and preserve the Fulton Mall that challenges the City Council's certification of the Environmental Impact Report on the proposed Fulton Mall Reconstruction Project, among other questionable legal aspects of the City's determination to destroy this registered historic resource and downtown pedestrian-friendly art park.
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A note from Stan Bitters
We are very thankful to those who have donated to saving the Fulton Mall. Your generosity is the reason why we were able to enact this litigation. The city has forced the issue of constructing a street on a valuable historic site in a desperate attempt to appease a few and ignore the interests of the public. While there is an understandable need to revitalize the downtown core we believe that sustaining the assets of Fulton Mall, with its great sculptures and fountains, seems a more worthwhile and viable direction. We already have what other cities can only hope for: a pedestrian only public space accented with great artwork.
The litigation has only begun and we need your continued help raising funds to see us through the legal process.
-- Stan Bitters
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Update: This news story came out on ABC30 on March 24 about our efforts.
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Thursday, February 27 the Fresno City Council voted to tear out Fulton Mall in favor of putting traffic back on what is essentially a historical landmark of modernist design. Fresno Mayor Ashley has always insisted that to revitalize downtown, cars must return to this six-block Fulton Corridor.
The issue in this, however, is not whether or not to return vehicular traffic to a street that is currently closed to vehicular traffic. It is whether or not to preserve a masterpiece of landscape architecture that is now recognized as an important historical resource. The pedestrian mall was designed by Garrett Eckbo, considered to be among the most influential 20th Century modernist practitioners. This pedestrian mall—which houses modernist sculptures from Peter Voulkos, Claire Falkenstein, Stan Bitters, Gordon Newell, among others—was Eckbo’s favorite and “the one of which he was most proud” (Garrett Eckbo; Modern Landscapes for Living by Marc Treib, 2005).
In fact, on August 20, 2010, the National Park Service made the following announcement: “The Fulton Mall has been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places at the state and local levels of significance under National Register Criteria A and C, in the areas of Landscape Architecture, Community Planning and Development, Recreation/Entertainment, and Social History.”
The Mall is listed in the California Register of Historical Resources and designated as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This means that all efforts to maintain it should be done with respect for its original design. In an article in the Huffington Post, Charles Birnbaum, President of The National Landscape Foundation, cites downtown Fresno as emblematic of what is happening to modernist urban landcape architecture.
Incidentally, the original construction of the Fulton Mall was financed by federal taxpayer funds. Construction of the Fulton Mall in the 1964 was paid for by the taxpayers of the United States. So it stands to reason that the Fresno community is the steward of this historic.
Which brings us to our cause. As a result of the Mayor and the City Council’s decision, we are looking to put a stop to the destruction of the Fulton Mall. The 1000 Friends of Fresno is filing a lawsuit against the City of Fresno. We are asking for your help in securing funding for this litigation. For all this to happen, we need to raise $50,000. This would cover all the legal fees and other costs that may arise from this litigation.
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Watch Stan Bitters at a rally to save the Fulton Mall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zbqlbhIPXo&feature=youtu.be
Watch the complete documentary on Fresno's Fulton Mall: http://SaveTheFultonMall.org
Watch the short film "How & Why Fresno's Fulton Mall was Created": https://youtu.be/8LOMKSD6J-Y?list=PLvTDzSVvsWuoHLW4VrAfOnggo9Dw4kIWJ