An architect's hope for the future of Corpus Christi

Together, those over 70 are running out of time. Huh!?! What does that have to do with anything? After living here in Corpus Christi for nearly 75 years, I’d love to see some things that have been in hearts, minds and drawing boards for many decades before kicking the bucket … OK, like what?

Rescuing North Beach is at the top of my bucket list. The direction and extent of development has been whirled around for years. But first the water has to be put somewhere, so here is the plan as I understand it: dig a deep trench, take the dirt and pile it on either side, raising the bump a few feet above sea level, leaving it The ditch with sea-shallow bay water, and if it rains or storms, drain the rainwater from the raised land into the ditch. It’s a simple idea really – and based on my limited knowledge of hydraulics, it should work.

A $ 40 million Marriott hotel has been proposed at this North Beach location.

Let’s say it not only works, it works well. So now we have this open trench that not only drains the land around it but also grows bulrushes, frogs, snakes, and the occasional alligators. But wait a minute; We have the ability and know-how to get rid of the eyesores and critters by skillfully changing the USE and NAME – a CHANNEL! Impressive! Why didn’t I think of it now? Canals take place in Venice, Panama, New York State, and other exotic locations around the world.

So let’s change the NAME; but what about the USAGE? Canals carry boat traffic, bridges, and in many cases paved banks on either side that make it look pretty and keep the shoreline where it should be. Now I can imagine beautiful yachts and pedal boats as a canal navigating the water on a clear summer evening with spectators by the water. A bridge or two provide access on either side and decorate the canal so viewers can stroll across it on lazy Sunday afternoons. These viewers will multiply over time and need other amenities like hotels, restaurants, tourist traps and other investor input on both sides of the channel.

My bucket has also had several other attractions – like the new cable-stayed bridge completed and the old Harbor Bridge removed, Ocean Drive re-paved from Louisiana to Ennis Joslin, the old Nueces County Courthouse converted into a fabulous hotel resort, Oso Creek turned into a natural recreation area, and the road tucker holes in front of my house have been mended.

I probably have some other little buckets of druthers I’d love to see in my life, but if the above were in real time I’d die with a big smile on my kisser! Doers and doers, join the program and get our city running at full speed. I do not have the time!

Johnny Cotten is a retired Corpus Christi architect.


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