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Old January 23rd, 2005, 09:48 PM   #1
TPX
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chicago's plazas

Alright, a couple of questions on chicago's urban plaza's:

Which ones are the greatest for architecture and bringing people in? which one is the best overall (combining architecture and bringing people in)? which is the worst for the same two questions I just asked? also, do you think that the plaza was a success or failure for chicago? Finally, how do you think chicago's plazas compare with the rest of urban america?

just curious, i personally think the negativity of plaza outweigh the benefits, however some plazas do it well. also, can you think of any new skyscrapers in chicago that are being constructed/proposed with plazas?
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 10:07 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPX
Alright, a couple of questions on chicago's urban plaza's:

Which ones are the greatest for architecture and bringing people in? which one is the best overall (combining architecture and bringing people in)? which is the worst for the same two questions I just asked? also, do you think that the plaza was a success or failure for chicago? Finally, how do you think chicago's plazas compare with the rest of urban america?

just curious, i personally think the negativity of plaza outweigh the benefits, however some plazas do it well. also, can you think of any new skyscrapers in chicago that are being constructed/proposed with plazas?
Plazas seem more about another, more sterile era and generally did a pretty rotten job of breaking up the density and uniformity of the street wall.

That said, one plaza, IMHO, is head and shoulders above the crowd: the 1st National (I have saying Bank One. Or Chase). Its fountains, its greenery, its sense of enclosure and warmth are unparraleled. And Marc Chagall's Four Seasons is my favorite work of art on the impressive Dearborn stretch.

Second to it: Pioneer Plaza: the seting at the start of the Mag Mile, along the river and neighbors like Wrigley and the Trib is unbeatable.

When construction is finished on Block 37, I have a feeling that the Daley Plaza space will be far more impressive and one of the best downtown enclosures.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 02:22 AM   #3
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^ Daley Plaza could be so much better if it were made a cultural center. Every once in a while, something is held there, and it becomes packed with people--but all other times, it's nothing.

Chicago isn't really a big plaza town. I mean, we have lots of them, but that's not where we spend our time, and understandably so--why on earth would you relax at Daley Plaza when you could do so a few blocks away at Buckingham Fountain, or now at the Bean?

That being said, I will agree that Bank One has one of the most pleasant plazas in the city and will add Aon's name as an even better one, albeit more removed from the central city.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 04:34 AM   #4
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Daley Plaza is undoubtedly the busiest and livliest one. Bank One Plaza is awesome, but always empty and forbidding.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 04:42 AM   #5
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Here's hoping the best of the plazas is yet to come....6 or 7 floors up, on the top of the base for Block 37. That would be spectacular.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 05:33 AM   #6
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With regard to the plans to put a plaza above the fifth floor of B-37... While my current view out of my window is directly on B-37, and I stand to benefit with looking down on beautiful gardens, I have deep concern about locating a plaza that high up in the air.

My main concern... How the hell do they expect to get people to actually go up there? Let's face it, people will only do it if there is a BIG purpose for going up there. They will have to have some type of attraction up there to get people to take the time to go there, and I personally believe that a plaza on top of B-37 will not be used. People are just too lazy to take the time to go to a place to relax when it involves stairs, elevators and escalators. The plaza would be just too removed from the street, and most people wouldn't even know it's there.

I lived in Seattle for many years and have seen first hand that people don't use plaza's not located at street level. Seattle is a city with tons of plaza's, and the city also has a great pedestrian experience as well. Downtown plaza's host concerts and other event's all summer long. That said, I can think of two plaza's that are located only one level above the street, and they are almost completely vacant year around. One of them is at Rainer Square, where in spite of cafe's and nice landscaping, the only people who ever use the plaza are office workers in Rainer Tower eating lunch or smoking outdoors. Across the street on Fourth Ave, a block or so down, is another plaza on the roof of a one story section of a building, that, in spite of having a nice staircase directly from the sidewalk, it is always empty. I have never seen more than ten people there ever (which I kinda actually liked, as it was a great respite from the city without having to go far). In my experience, people just won't use something that isn't easy to use, no matter how nice it is. We have seen that with vertical malls, with the exception of Water Tower Place, all other vertical malls have failed. Failed because people just won't take that extra moment of time to take advantage of what could be a great space.

As much as I look forward to having a beautiful landscaped plaza to look down on from my place, nothing would be worse than to have a beautiful landscaped empty place to look at.

Just my 2 cents worth...
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