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Old May 11th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #10921
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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.
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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, 04:50 PM   #10922
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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, 05:17 PM   #10923
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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, 05:05 PM   #10924
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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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Old May 12th, 2013, 05:17 PM   #10925
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Was on Mass Ave late afternoon/early evening Saturday. We had front-row seats at Bru, then walked up to College and back. It was the tail end of the Cultural Trail grand opening celebration. Ragtag marching bands, costumed oddities, the Pedal Bar, pre-prom diners, street (Fringe) theater in front of Metro, bazillions of cyclists, a few pre-Pacers enthusiasts, a young woman striking a provocative pose on the brick head sculpture. It was a cool urban experience. It underscores the need to PROGRAM our corridors.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:27 PM   #10926
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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 styles you state (excluding art moderne) are not considered styles of the modernist era. Note that those styles all featured ornamentation (though in a more masculine fashion). The stripped down modern came after WWII, the cubist and brutalist architecture that dominated urban renewal projects from the 60's-70's. This was a sudden change, an unnatural change to the evolution of architecture. IMO, it was a reaction to the very traumatizing events that had occurred (WWII, the depression, etc).


Quote:

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.
The primary difference between the two is the hostility modernist architecture has towards the natural human need for ornamentation. Having the same proportions and scale does not make a modernist structure attractive or pleasant. A beautiful statue is no longer beautiful if stripped of its detail and reduced to only its basic box proportions and stating the connection in proportion does not justify the destruction of the original's beauty (nor does it make the boxes beautiful).
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:41 PM   #10927
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If you haven't read it, you should check out Tom Wolfe's "From Bauhaus to Our House" It's a hilarious negative take on modern architecture.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #10928
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Sounds like an early 80's sitcom.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #10929
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The styles you state (excluding art moderne) are not considered styles of the modernist era. Note that those styles all featured ornamentation (though in a more masculine fashion). The stripped down modern came after WWII, the cubist and brutalist architecture that dominated urban renewal projects from the 60's-70's. This was a sudden change, an unnatural change to the evolution of architecture. IMO, it was a reaction to the very traumatizing events that had occurred (WWII, the depression, etc).
We disagree substantially on this point. I never said those styles ARE modern architecture. They are the clear bridge to modern architecture. There is not the rupture you assert across styles and eras, and those styles show it.

Look at where Frank Lloyd Wright started in the 1890's, and where he ended in the 1950's. His masterpieces (Fallingwater and the Guggenheim) are sculptural and nearly devoid of ornamentation, yet they are human-scaled and provide the setting for appreciation of beauty while themselves being beautiful sculptural designs.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 12:35 AM   #10930
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http://earthengine.google.org/#timel...,latLng&t=1.97

Awesome stuff!
Look at how Indianapolis has grown since 1984 when the colts arrived until today.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 01:04 AM   #10931
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http://earthengine.google.org/#timel...,latLng&t=1.97

Awesome stuff!
Look at how Indianapolis has grown since 1984 when the colts arrived until today.
Wow. Hamilton County is crazy.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 01:17 AM   #10932
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Wow. Hamilton County is crazy.
I noticed that too.
Hamilton County basically turned from farm country into a big suburb in under 20 years.
Also the west side and the Airport area is significant too.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 04:53 AM   #10933
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We disagree substantially on this point. I never said those styles ARE modern architecture. They are the clear bridge to modern architecture. There is not the rupture you assert across styles and eras, and those styles show it.
The simplification of ornamentation that you saw in the bungalow, art deco, etc was not a bridge to modernism (unless you're talking about Miami art deco). Architecture has repeatedly gone through stages of simplification and over ornamentation. One only needs to look at the major simplification of European architecture following the Baroque and Rococo eras. The change in style that one saw after WWII was not natural, it was not built on the successes of the previous eras, it was a deliberate and brutal divorce from anything prior to its existence.

Modernism is not simply an architectural style, it is an ideology.


Quote:

Look at where Frank Lloyd Wright started in the 1890's, and where he ended in the 1950's. His masterpieces (Fallingwater and the Guggenheim) are sculptural and nearly devoid of ornamentation, yet they are human-scaled and provide the setting for appreciation of beauty while themselves being beautiful sculptural designs.
Frank Lloyd Wright was an extremely egotistical architect who had difficulty seeing things beyond his own perspective. Frank Lloyd Wright's earlier works were beautiful, though hardly IMO breathtaking. He was a prime candidate for the emperor's new clothes ideology of modernist architecture.

I do not find the Guggenheim to be a masterpiece or beautiful. Just because it is famous doesn't make it good. The only slightly beautiful portion of it is the rotunda. IMO, it's a monument to Frank Lloyd Wright's ego.

I like Fallingwater, but not because of its style (the style is disruptive to the natural organic flow of the woodlands and not in a good way) rather because of its location and positioning. There aren't too many buildings built over water falls.
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Last edited by socrates#1fan; May 13th, 2013 at 05:48 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 12:51 PM   #10934
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A lot of modernism proper (the Bauhaus movement, for example), was explicitly in direct opposition to the values that underpinned the arts and crafts movement.

If you want to know what architects really think, find out where so many of the most famous architects of the modern style have lived. A large number of them - say Mies van der Rohe - chose to live in extremely traditional buildings.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #10935
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Does anyone need more proof that Schmidt and Associates are the worst firm in Indianapolis? And have no right to call themselves architects?

No problem, here you go.

image hosted on flickr


I saw them put the wood up to rehab their entrance and thought to myself "there's no way they're so bad they'd get rid of that beautiful arch. They're just putting in new flat glass and touching up the seals." I should've known better.

The stronger this firm gets, the worse Indy gets. Not joking at all.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:08 PM   #10936
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Does anyone need more proof that Schmidt and Associates are the worst firm in Indianapolis? And have no right to call themselves architects?

No problem, here you go.

image hosted on flickr


I saw them put the wood up to rehab their entrance and thought to myself "there's no way they're so bad they'd get rid of that beautiful arch. They're just putting in new flat glass and touching up the seals." I should've known better.

The stronger this firm gets, the worse Indy gets. Not joking at all.
Why? That arch was beautiful and the floor to ceiling glass really opened up the the whole space. What once caught the eye is now plain, pedestrian and ugly.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #10937
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Why?
Because Schmidt & Ass.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:27 PM   #10938
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The stronger this firm gets, the worse Indy gets. Not joking at all.
Reminder: They designed a 52-story tower proposal for MSA partnering with Keystone Construction who seemingly has an in with Ballard for these big projects. And they won the Mass Ave. fire station site with Keystone. These are not good things.

I'm not bashing Ballard or Keystone. I am directly and unabashedly bashing Schmidt.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:48 PM   #10939
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VisitIndy.com

Has anyone see this video for VisitIndy.com?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=jB9URXAI-ws
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:51 PM   #10940
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablerock View Post
Does anyone need more proof that Schmidt and Associates are the worst firm in Indianapolis? And have no right to call themselves architects?

No problem, here you go.

image hosted on flickr


I saw them put the wood up to rehab their entrance and thought to myself "there's no way they're so bad they'd get rid of that beautiful arch. They're just putting in new flat glass and touching up the seals." I should've known better.

The stronger this firm gets, the worse Indy gets. Not joking at all.
According to the Property Lines post when Schmidt's plans were announced:

"The firm’s new address will be 415 Massachusetts Ave. and the new entrance will reuse the historic leaded glass entrance archway—the only piece of the original storefront remaining on the building."



So I'm thinking this is one of two things:

1. They're doing some sort of restoration on the arch and this is mid-point in the project.

2. They're going to be cited by IHPC. I can only imagine that removing the last remaining piece of the original historic storefront would be an IHPC violation.
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