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Old May 10th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #10901
GarfieldPark
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Copied from posts above:

"GRAND TOTAL : 3,334"

"I forgot about the plans to expand the 1201 Indiana Ave. project. That should add another 150 or so -- bringing the total to about 3,500."

"And the Whitsett Loft conversion of the old Press Building on N. Capitol currently underway -- that's another 80 or so. 3,580!"

"Don't forget that Artistry will add 200+ more in phase 2."



So --with those additions, the total is now up around 3,800. Definitely pretty impressive. At 95% occupancy - and 1.5 people per unit - that means there should be around 5,300 new downtown residents within the next two - three years.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 12:17 AM   #10902
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After looking at the proposed Star redevelopment elevations..... I get the modern and hip aesthetic and knowing as much about that wreck of a building (the inside is in pretty bad shape) they have approached it intelligently. There is one thing that I hope gets addressed... If they are going to renovate an historic building (American), re-purpose an existing (Star), and develop the remaining quarter of the block, the least they could do is PUT A NEW SKIN ON THE PARKING GARAGE!!!!! There is no way to add retail to the ground level of that garage, but it doesn't have to stay ugly!!!!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 01:40 AM   #10903
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Negatives:

That structure looks exactly like everything else being built downtown. Talk about creativity. On top of that, what is up with the bizarre shaped courtyard? I get that it is hip to design structures to be asymmetrical and lacking in good balance, but isn't anyone getting bored of this novelty? The facades feel stripped and bare as well.

Disappointing that the original facades are not to be reconstructed. I know developers are trying to make money but the lack of willingness to restore surviving Indianapolis buildings is almost embarrassing. We should demand development that encourages restoration of our architectural heritage. It seems we are content to just take whatever development we can get in this regard.

http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm...=0&x=518&y=327


Positives:

This structure has excellent density! It seems the days of Firehouse Square are finally behind us. This is true infill and what we need more of in downtown. I dream of the day that Renaissance Place is torn down and replaced with something like this.

It seems the alley on the block will be utilized more like a small street which is fantastic!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 01:53 AM   #10904
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Its growing on me more as I examine the renderings. At first I thought the look was a little startling -- but now it seems better. I wish there could be some way to add a little variation to the Pennsylvania frontage with regard to the roof line. If they could just break it up a little with a few small differences in height between the different sections along that frontage it wouldn't seem quite so blocky. One other thing I have a question about is - why are there no trees planted in front of the southern half of the Pennsylvania street frontage? At first I thought that section of the project looked kind of strange - then I noticed there were no trees - and I think it would look better with six or seven trees planted along the sidewalk in front of that part of the building.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:14 AM   #10905
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The design could certainly be a lot worse.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:19 AM   #10906
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moochie View Post
The new building which is rendered very well, has great asthetics and is appropriate for new construction in the area. It's not replacing anything, and while a lot of people don't like some modern trends, I see nothing substantial to complain about. New building below:
The aesthetics are lacking. The building looks like it was built with the absolute minimum of effort to make the building architecturally interesting. I know some people claim this is a "clean" look, but to me that's like claiming a body stripped of the skin, organs, and tissue is "clean" looking. The style is clearly a rip off of other styles being built downtown and it isn't even a good style to rip off.

Quote:

Regarding the older buildings.. Well, I don't see how they could restore those facades and keep 500 units onsite, and even if they reduced the number of units, there would be no balconies.. so lower rents, and that would make the project not feasible. I'm guessing that so much has been changed over the years that it just may not be possible to restore this:
It is about making as much money as possible. Unless the city demands certain standards for development we simply will not get them. We have a city heavily scarred from careless destruction of the "urban renewal" era and yet we have no interest in restoring what still exists. Not reconstructing what is gone, but just restoring what little remains.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:43 AM   #10907
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Ok, I'm throwing in more....

I hear a LOT of complaints over and over about the same-ness of the buildings being constructed as of late. I ask ALL of you, have you really really looked at historical photos of Indianapolis. Every construction wave that this city has gone through has consisted of a lot of "fad" construction. (everything I'm saying here can apply to any city in the world). Some of these buildings will make it through to another generation, some of them will not. THAT is what creates the historical diversity that we all seem to wax on and ON about. (Look at the grand old buildings downtown.... Why don't they build them like they used to.... Why were so many torn down.... Why is this not cutting edge architecture.... etc)

I fall strongly in the category of something is better than nothing. I do agree that the public demanding innovation and good aesthetic is what will lead to good things. But, A downtown full of 5 story buildings is a grand improvement over acres of surface parking. Why 5 stories? ....Because that is where desirable price points and zoning meet.

For any of you who think I'm being another citizen settling for middle of the road, you should study the history of zoning and its effects on architecture in the evolution of Manhattan. All you have to do is look at the buildings along central park (unobstructed vantage point) and look at the roof lines and where the set backs begin to occur. Even the Empire State building fits into the zoning laws of the time (the base fills the entire footprint until it reached the height restriction of that era).

Imagine a future Indianapolis of 2040. some of these "they all look the same" buildings will be gone, or have a new facade. But the ones that are left will be looked upon in the same way we look back on all the trends that have gone through this city. We aren't Venice, and frankly, we are merely a preteen in so far as our cities existence in the world. We have a long way to go. I'm excited!
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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:46 AM   #10908
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one more apartment to add to the count...

i can't think of the name or how many units, but didn't jc hart recently complete units on east street, south of the mavris?
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Old May 11th, 2013, 03:56 AM   #10909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arenn View Post
The design could certainly be a lot worse.
I get so tired of reading/hearing comments like this! Not a knock to you at all arenn, rather to the architects! It is sad that an expert such as yourself accurately describes the Indianapolis proposals in such a manner.

1. I think the designs are getting more aesthetically appealing and dense.

2. I hold out hope the MSA tower is architecturally stunning based on the comments by the mayor.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 04:20 AM   #10910
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moochie View Post
Historic Indianapolis reports that the Soldiers and Sailors Monument would cost a half billion dollars to build today. That's a half billion good reasons why we don't build them like they used to..



Paris has only one (ugly ass) high rise. Paris is an incredibly dense city with most buildings in the 4 to 6 story range. And Paris is.. well.. Paris. (and please, no comments from the peanut gallery about the the sprawly, mostly office high rises outside Paris city limits)

So.. how important is building higher than 5 stories really?

Building tall for the sake of building tall is foolhardy. In a city like Indy with a sprawled population, no forced geographical boundaries like a major river, ocean or mountain, and a terribly lacking public transportation system, it can be very detrimental.

Think of the One America tower mess.. yeah, they built a 40 or so story tower, but with inadequate public transportation, the residents of the tower used multiple city blocks of surface parking for decades.. kinda defeated the purpose there..

Besides, if we continue to fill the fringe areas of downtown with solid mid rise developments, creating a true 24 hour downtown, the tall buildings in the core will come whether we want them to or not. The past few years have been a real game changer for Indy. We're finally beginning to build the urbane downtown we've all been dreaming about.. I hope we stay the course.
Has anyone really been griping about the height of this proposed development?

Given the lack of either a huge demand for office space or housing downtown (in comparison to more densely built-up and/or desirable areas), I think people understand most residential proposals in Indianapolis will be for mid-rise buildings. Nonetheless, there are plans to build more high-rise housing downtown, including on the MSA site (though, I would be shocked if the really tall 52-story proposal gets selected and built).

I've read the $500 million estimate of the cost today to build the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, but I think it is inflated. The building cost $600,000 to build, which is about $16 million in today's dollars. I realize it would cost much more than just $16 million to build today because it would be very hard to find a large group of stone carvers who could do all that detailed carving, but I don't think it would come anywhere near to half-a-billion. In any event, when people say "they don't build them like they used to," I think they usually mean the attractive but ordinary buildings of the past, not necessarily the most elaborate or expensive structures from bygone times.

I think it is fair for someone to say the current wave of new residential buildings are not their cup of tea. Though, I personally think this is a solid and attractive infill proposal for the Star's old site.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 06:30 AM   #10911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moochie View Post
I don't think we can get a lot of info from the Penn frontage pix. It looks like a rough mockup to me. I also hope that there will be more variation to the roofline.. just please no Ratio style hats.. please..

image hosted on flickr
I suspect everyone would agree that the Pennsylvania frontage is the least attractive from what can be seen in these renderings. I would also thing that everyone would agree that the Pennsylvania frontage, being across from University Park, should be the most attractive. I'd like to see some major changes made to this part of the design. If any part of downtown should be respected with grand, old school architecture, I think the lots fronting the Meridian/Pennsylvania park blocks would be the place.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 07:19 AM   #10912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indymidlander View Post
i can't think of the name or how many units, but didn't jc hart recently complete units on east street, south of the mavris?
Yes -- I think that was an addition to the Waverly apartments. They added about 40 new units - with the swimming pool on the west side of the complex - providing pool deck views of the skyline. I think that was finished up a little more than a year ago. I was just trying to list the projects that have either been completed within the past year or are currently under construction - or are in the final stages of planning and approval.

I guess the 16 Park project might be another complex to add to the list - although since it is on the north side of 16th street - I don't really consider that to be "downtown". My list has pretty much all been within the downtown interstate loop - although I did reach out a little far to the NW to include the Stadium Lofts project and the plans for the addition at 1201 Indiana Ave. I didn't count the first phase of the 1201 Indiana project and its 400 or so units - because it has been finished for more than a year.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 12:19 PM   #10913
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New York City is full of even relatively new buildings that are ho-hum at best. It's long been quipped that New York is where the world's greatest architects go to do their least significant work. (And Boston's skyline is a horror show. Indy certainly has no monopoly on bad or undistinctive architecture).

When it comes to building them like they used it, I've argued it before: something in the human spirit was grievously wounded during the Great War and the Great Depression. The economics changed forever, but much more than that happened.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:05 PM   #10914
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moochie View Post

Well duh...
I'm not stating that as if it is anything new or unknown. I'm saying that the only reason any new structures downtown look decent and follow good urban form is because of what we demand.



Quote:

But... this doesn't remain.. it clearly, clearly doesn't.. it'd be cheaper to rebuild entirely than it would be to restore with what little bones are left. So in essence it would be a total reconstruction. Sorry, those 4 nice old buildings were destroyed decades ago. It sucks, but they're gone. Dead. The ghost that remains isn't salvageable. Think Terry Schiavo..
If the facades were completely destroyed, I'd completely understand a lack of reconstruction. However, in a lot of cases with "refacing" in the 1960's and 70's the facades were covered, with only the protruding features destroyed.

We don't want another Allen Plaza scenario.
(photo from DIG-B blog)


On top of that, in Indianapolis we generally only restore facades when they are 95 percent intact (even then it is doubtful). But in more progressive cities you can see dramatic reconstruction. Look at this example from Warsaw.



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Old May 11th, 2013, 02:56 PM   #10915
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IMO, what makes a city interesting is diversity (of people, and of architecture). So what if everything built in today's design era "looks alike"? A city full of faux-Greco-Roman temples would look alike and be boring, too. Part of the reason the old County Courthouse went down is that it was an extreme example of a style people were collectively tired of.

Social eras express themselves in architecture, and since bigger buildings are relatively permanent, they stand as monuments. AUL (and the old American States/Safeco building) are monuments to 70's/80's corpoate recommitment to downtown...but one turned out to have a more destructive short-term impact. Now that DT is filling in, the land-banked surface parking of AUL is developing. What remains, though, is a tower/island removed from the street and streetlife, a real monument to the white-suburban anti-urban meme of the day: to "save" the city, we have to create these defensible islands so suburbanites feel safe downtown.

I've often written here that I dislike the Brutalist style as expressed in poured concrete, partly because that style was ubiquitous for new construction in my teen years. But the juxtaposition of the Minton-Capehart Building with the formal classicism of the Legion Mall is growing on me. At least the building actually fronts the street plane.

Perhaps someday I will even come to appreciate the ugly-ass/F.U. exterior of the Central Library addition that throws elbows (and nasty reflection) at its neighbors and just looks terrible from Meridian.

Probably not. THERE is a good candidate for an interesting/contributing reskin...sooner the better.

Last edited by cdc guy; May 11th, 2013 at 03:02 PM.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 03:09 PM   #10916
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cdc, I don't this we had so much second empire style here that people could be said to be tired of it. I suspect it had a lot to do with the ideology of modernity and, like many such bad ideas, were all about trying to make the city seem "of the now" and cool.

The Minton-Capeheart Building is so bad its good on its Meridian frontage. I don't feel bad about it even if the building is derivative. The Pennsylvania side is the killer.

I was reading in City Journal that federal standards around historic preservation almost mandate modernistic additions to new buildings. (These were the basis of most local standards as well). This is because you aren't supposed to build something that confuses the onlooker as to which part is original and which part is new. Generally this has been interpreted has leaning towards high contrast modernism.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #10917
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdc guy View Post
IMO, what makes a city interesting is diversity (of people, and of architecture). So what if everything built in today's design era "looks alike"? A city full of faux-Greco-Roman temples would look alike and be boring, too. Part of the reason the old County Courthouse went down is that it was an extreme example of a style people were collectively tired of.
There was actually a lot of protest to the demolition of the old courthouse (especially from the general public).
The old courthouse was demolished out of the modernist ideology of a few. It was regarded as a "relic of the victorian era", an obstacle in the path towards "modernity". Its demolition was the product of post-war trauma rather than genuine boredom from the public.

The only concession made was that some of the courthouse's sculpture was salvaged (though a great deal of the structure's art went down with the wrecking ball).

Also, though I am not advocating that the city be 100 percent neoclassical, I do not believe people would find it nearly as boring (and depressing) as a city made up entirely of brutalist structures. Do people find Paris or Rome boring? No, not even the residents of those cities find them boring. The ornamentation is the big difference. Contrary to modernist ideology, humans need ornamentation in some way or form. It feeds the senses and gives us a sense of security. It makes even the largest structures feel very human. This is probably why historic preservation today has more to do with preserving literally everything rather than preserving specific landmarks.
Quote:


I've often written here that I dislike the Brutalist style as expressed in poured concrete, partly because that style was ubiquitous for new construction in my teen years. But the juxtaposition of the Minton-Capehart Building with the formal classicism of the Legion Mall is growing on me. At least the building actually fronts the street plane.

Probably not. THERE is a good candidate for an interesting/contributing reskin...sooner the better.
There is also the assumption that all architectural styles are created equally, but this is not the case. Stripped down modernist architecture of the post-war years does not follow the same natural evolution that architecture has since the beginning of civilization. I do not find the Minton-Capehart structure attractive and I think that it is not very appropriate for the Legion Mall, but it is a fantastic example of its era.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #10918
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Also, I hope no one thinks I'm against this development.

I am just as excited as anyone else is about the density of this project and I hope it goes through. My only issue is the architecture.
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Old May 11th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #10919
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Actually, I've been a doubting Thomas about the Star building but seeing these renderings makes me feel a bit of excitement.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #10920
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cdc, I don't this we had so much second empire style here that people could be said to be tired of it. I suspect it had a lot to do with the ideology of modernity and, like many such bad ideas, were all about trying to make the city seem "of the now" and cool.

The Minton-Capeheart Building is so bad its good on its Meridian frontage. I don't feel bad about it even if the building is derivative. The Pennsylvania side is the killer.

I was reading in City Journal that federal standards around historic preservation almost mandate modernistic additions to new buildings. (These were the basis of most local standards as well). This is because you aren't supposed to build something that confuses the onlooker as to which part is original and which part is new. Generally this has been interpreted has leaning towards high contrast modernism.
Funny you should write this. I live between TWO Second Empire houses in Irvington, about 100 yards each way. I'm literally surrounded by it. Because the style called for turrets, steeples, and mansard rooflines (with flat roofs behind), it was/is hard to maintain. That's a big factor in public buildings.

Socrates, The Arts and Crafts/Craftsman, Prairie, Art Moderne, and Art Deco styles were a reaction to the fussy high-art Victorian Era. The (as you termed it) "stripped-down Modern" style was more of an evolution from the styles of the first half of the 20th century than you appear to want to admit...it deveoped pretty directly from those precedents. Drive by the Roberts School at 10th & Oriental, the commercial/industrial buff-brick building at 38th & Fall Creek, the "wartime apartments" on Pleasant Run parkway west of Howe HS. Tour Columbus, Indiana, especially the early (1940-1965) buldings...First and North Christian Churches, First Baptist, Richards School, Miller House (which I have only seen in pictures).

The early modern structures distinguished themselves with scale, proportion, geometry and repetition, the major elements of Neoclassical structures. Look at either major facade of the City-County Building and try to deny this. (You can't.) Contrary to many here, I really love the CCB despite it being essentially a Cubist phallus.
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