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Old December 17th, 2004, 07:54 PM   #1
The Urban Politician
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Am I the only one who hates Bertram Goldberg's work?

I can't stand any of the buildings Goldberg designed. Sorry, guys, but it's true. I don't care if it's different and belongs in a textbook--but I think his architecture was very narrow-minded, and suburban.

Marina City, River City, the Women's Hospital, and those ugly Hilliard Homes. They're all a blight to the city and I wish they would be demolished. All of them look the same, all ugly poured concrete, and have this Jetsons-turned-1960's annoying look to them. Does anybody else feel this way?
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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:02 PM   #2
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^ i certainly don't share your feelings on this issue. goldberg was a true original and i absolutely adore his jetsonesque brand of 60's modernism. his works are pure genious and they should be protected for all eternity. chicago would be a lesser city today if goldberg's genious had never blessed our fair town.

goldberg rules!
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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
I can't stand any of the buildings Goldberg designed. Sorry, guys, but it's true. I don't care if it's different and belongs in a textbook--but I think his architecture was very narrow-minded, and suburban.

Marina City, River City, the Women's Hospital, and those ugly Hilliard Homes. They're all a blight to the city and I wish they would be demolished. All of them look the same, all ugly poured concrete, and have this Jetsons-turned-1960's annoying look to them. Does anybody else feel this way?
How could you hate Marina City and River City? They are absolutely brilliant! Of all the modern designs in Chicago, they are certainly some of my favorite.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 02:43 AM   #4
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Bertrand's works are beautiful and very inspiring. Let's not forget that Frank Gehry sites Bertrand as "influential" in his career.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 02:49 AM   #5
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While i am not a big fan of Goldberg's work, Marina City is just awesome! Its a Chicago icon, you cant honestly want it torn down, UP?
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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:10 AM   #6
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I thought that marina city and the women's hospital both look pretty good. I don't like the hillard homes either though
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Old December 18th, 2004, 06:58 AM   #7
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I've got to side, for the most part, with TUP on this one. I, personally, loathe River City. And while I'm not a fan of Marina City, I must say that they've grown on me since I moved here. I still think they're ugly, but, they're sort of like the ugly dog that everyone wants to have.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 07:22 AM   #8
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I love Marina Cities because it give the river almost every architectural flavor there is. Brutalism, modern, international, neo-gothic, postmodern, art-deco, spanish revival, ect.

They also look great from Hotel 71:
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Old December 18th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #9
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How many skyscrapers grace album covers? (and a damn fine album at that)

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Old December 18th, 2004, 08:41 AM   #10
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I <3 Marina City and Goldberg.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 03:43 PM   #11
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It just pisses me off, in Marina City, that he devotes like 50 gagillion floors to parking. Yuck! It's like a monument to the car.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 06:30 PM   #12
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Tup,
You must consider the time that he was designing M-C (early 60's). This was a time when people were fleeing cities faster than they could down a can of beer and pee. His concept was to encourage people to re-consider living in the heart of the city, and one of the primary lines of thought at that time (and unfortunately it is still that way today) is that to keep people in the city, one must provide a place for them to store a car.
It should also be noted that in the early 60's, we were still living in an era of futurism, and celebration of the auto. It was considered very forward thinking to feature the auto in the design of a building. Goldberg was groundbreaking in his design for the time. One of the great qualities of the units at M-C is that the balconies which every unit has at least one, are absolutely huge! For highrise living one could almost liken them to having a yard. To this day, very few highrise buildings feature such large outdoor spaces.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #13
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^Okay, perhaps Marina City is a unique and powerful architectural statement. It may be worth preserving, as well as River city.

But damn it, I hate the Hilliard Homes. If you look at the Central Area Plan, that section of the city is recommended to have commercial venues fronting Cermak as a bridge into Chinatown. But instead, those ugly suburban boxes, which are oddly distanced from the street, are being renovated. The only thing a pedestrian on the future Cermak district will see is a gate, a huge lawn of grass, a parking lot, and Goldberg's shitty architecture.

How dissappointing. I envision something so much greater for that area. It's a waste of such proximity to an 'L stop, too!
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Old December 18th, 2004, 08:00 PM   #14
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^
TUP, Again I would defer to the need to consider when these buildings were designed and built. I agree that the Hillard Houses aren't the most attractive work of Goldberg.

These structures simply wouln't be built in today's world. We know better than to warehouse the poor in highrises, and we know that the whole concept of building housing outside of the reference of appropriately scaled neighborhoods with buildings built out to the sidewalks as opposed to putting them in a park setting doesn't work. The Hillard Homes are a product of their time, and when compared to the other CHA Housing of that era, they are far more interesting architecturally than Cabrini Green. At least there was some effort to try to lift the spirits of the people with design.
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Old December 19th, 2004, 12:33 AM   #15
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Honestly, it seems you had to grow up in Chicago to actually like Marina City. When i show visitors around downtown, they either love of hate Marina City. Those who hate is deem it ugly. Now that i look at them... i guess they actually kind of are ugly. But i dont see that when i give them a standard Chicago glance. To me, they are there. Corn cobs on the river. They are supposed to look pretty? I didnt know that. Its not one of those types of buildings that needs to look pretty. its so ingraned into Chicago's self image that it dosent matter. Its like saying you dont like the Cubs (or Sox, depending which side of Madison St, or Roosevelt Rd depending on your definition, you live on) because they arent playing well. Oh, as if that was one of the reasons you are a die hard fan to begin with

Marina City owns. One of the few concrete brutalist buildings i love. UIC on the other hand, needs to be bulldozed
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Old December 19th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
It just pisses me off, in Marina City, that he devotes like 50 gagillion floors to parking. Yuck! It's like a monument to the car.
Except he handles the parking garage in a way that's absolute genius. Instead of letting us all stare at a huge blank concrete wall, or some lazy attempt to disguise it with fake windows, he makes the cars part of the facade. Ralph Johnson used the same idea when designing the Contemporaine, placing the ramps on the outside so pedestrians can see people driving up and down.

I think it's kind of cool
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Old December 19th, 2004, 05:14 PM   #17
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I think my biggest problem with Marina is actually not the towers, but, rather the base. To me, it feels like it suffers from the whole Renaissance Center fortress problem (even though it came long before the RenCen). The fact that it is elevated several feet off the city streets and tries to be somewhat isolated makes me feel like it's shirking its surroundings; and unless there's a good reason for it, I can never agree with a building that does that (and no, I don't consider the inclusion of a marina a good reason to turn your back on your city).
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Old December 19th, 2004, 10:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-town
Except he handles the parking garage in a way that's absolute genius. Instead of letting us all stare at a huge blank concrete wall, or some lazy attempt to disguise it with fake windows, he makes the cars part of the facade. Ralph Johnson used the same idea when designing the Contemporaine, placing the ramps on the outside so pedestrians can see people driving up and down.

I think it's kind of cool
I totally agree. The parking base really isn't a base, but fully incorporated into the design. I actually like Marina City. It's something that you can't find anywhere else. When I'm giving my tours on the river Marina City is one building that the people always take photograpgs of.

As for the Hillard Homes, I think that they are more attractive that the regular "gallery style" public housing highrise. They are much more interesting than the former highrises of Stateway Gardens, Cabrini Green and Robert Taylor. With the renovation they will be cleaner and safer. The two round buildings are the senior buildings and the thw half moon shaped buildings will have low income as well as market rate families living in them.


They are going to also redo the landscaping, lighting and playgrounds.
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