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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:41 PM   #981
Loopy
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 09:00 PM   #982
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Fire Escapes

My feeling, besides the fact that they are eyesores, is that the fire escapes were not originally part of the facade. Now that technology has allowed interior sprinkler systems, I'm hoping the original handsome exterior of the hotel will again sparkle.

But, what progress has taken place so far?
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 09:25 PM   #983
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 09:48 PM   #984
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I suspect those extra fire escapes were added after the Hotel LaSalle fire killed 61 people in 1946.

Loopy, when have "preservationists" ever asked for external fire escapes to be saved?
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 09:58 PM   #985
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It's great to hear the fire escapes and coverings will be removed.

Random photo from the net:

Last edited by i_am_hydrogen; May 3rd, 2007 at 11:49 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 10:42 PM   #986
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:47 PM   #987
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Anyone make it to the Friends of Downtown presentation? Anyone have any renderings on the changes?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 01:51 AM   #988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobablob View Post
Anyone make it to the Friends of Downtown presentation? Anyone have any renderings on the changes?
The presenters asked that no photos be taken. Nothing terribly striking or unreported, other than a new storefront system for the ground floor, and of course, the removal of the State Street fire escapes. Those fire escapes are shown, by the way, on the original 1925 H&R elevation (which was displayed).

I was able to confirm that the midblock arcade (from State to Wabash) will remain open. In fact, it appears that Landmarks Division reopened negotiations after the first, depressing, approvals. Now the arcade is part of the landmark designation, so will remain forever. The basement (including the old Trader Vic's) will become a 250-car garage, with a ramp entered off Wabash. I suppose that means a new curb cut there.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:14 AM   #989
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When will the renovation of the blackstone be finished?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #990
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When will the renovation of the blackstone be finished?
I forget the exact month, but I think I remember hearing that it would be finished sometime this fall.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 02:24 AM   #991
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
The presenters asked that no photos be taken. Nothing terribly striking or unreported, other than a new storefront system for the ground floor, and of course, the removal of the State Street fire escapes. Those fire escapes are shown, by the way, on the original 1925 H&R elevation (which was displayed).

I was able to confirm that the midblock arcade (from State to Wabash) will remain open. In fact, it appears that Landmarks Division reopened negotiations after the first, depressing, approvals. Now the arcade is part of the landmark designation, so will remain forever. The basement (including the old Trader Vic's) will become a 250-car garage, with a ramp entered off Wabash. I suppose that means a new curb cut there.
Thanks, Downtown. The added parking will be a boon, I'm sure, but won't do much for Wabash traveling pedestrians

The State Street ground level . . . are they revamping the exterior or just doing touch ups?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 05:47 AM   #992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobablob View Post
The State Street ground level . . . are they revamping the exterior or just doing touch ups?
It's a pretty extensive rehabilitation, and I would say an entirely new storefront system that they're designing to be in the spirit of H&R's original, but with a little extra oomph in places and simplified, almost spare, in other details. They're moving the old Peacock Co. Jewelers entrance screens around to use on the Monroe entrance. They're doing 100,000 sf of retail, which probably means they're taking in some second-floor space on the State Street side.

However, the building was originally designed to have 250,000 sf of retail! The State Street side of the building was designed to be a "tall shops" retail building (like the North American or Stevens or several others on State and Wabash), with stores all the way up to that big space on 4 that's now an expo hall. That's one reason the levels don't align on 3-4-5. But I don't think they ever leased up that way, and the upper level space was quickly converted to convention needs and hotel offices.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 03:52 AM   #993
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199 West Monroe
~36 story office building
(renderings from architect's website)




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Old May 18th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #994
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I dig this building. I'll have to walk by their later today though, to see if this will be out of place. I think it might stick out, given the location, which might not be a good thing.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #995
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Gorgeous. I love the gentel convex curve on the front. So sexy.
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Straight from Michigan and Monroe in downtown Chicago!
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Old May 19th, 2007, 12:24 AM   #996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy View Post
I don't believe that Preservation Chicago is opposing the removal of the fire escapes at Palmer House. So, I'm pretty sure they will be removed.

Mostly their complaints were about the storefront treatments and canopies, both being readdressed by the developer per their concerns.

Currently, there is a sidewalk protective canopy in place set away from the storefronts. It looks like they have begun work or will soon.
Preservation Chicago fought hard against Thor Equities over the original plan. Thor Equities had proposed glass and steel sterilization of the State Street facade. They wanted to remove a lot of limestone from the second floor and replace it with glass. The result would have been a glass facade on State Street up to the third floor with a traditional facade above it. It was bad. Thankfully, that plan for the State Street side was scrapped.

The Thor Equities plan has always called for removal of the fire escapes. In general, preservationists whom I know love fire escapes. They really give you that historic feel that says "city." Personally, I would have been happy if the fire escapes stayed.

However, with the Palmer House, they were not part of the original design. Holabird and Roche wanted a clean facade over State Street and so does Thor Equities. Preservation Chicago opted to agree with the fire escape removal.

The only true loss at the Palmer House is that the length, i.e., the east-west dimension, of the fantastic Monroe Street canopy will be reduced substantially. That will allow Thor Equities to have more retail windows on Monroe that are not under the canopy's shadow. Preservation Chicago fought the Monroe Street canopy reduction but lost.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #997
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I've always thought those canopies were a bit oversize anyway, creating a disharmony with the rest of the building. Just because the building came from Holabird and Roche does not make it perfect in every way. I'm also glad they are removing the fire escapes.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #998
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Zell puts West Loop building on the block

May 30, 2007
By Thomas A. Corfman


Billionaire investor Samuel Zell is putting up for sale an antiquated West Loop office building his father bought nearly 30 years ago.

In response to unsolicited bids for 300 W. Adams St., Mr. Zell has hired the real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc. to market the 12-story structure, sources say. The building, at the corner of Adams and Franklin streets, has been controlled by Mr. Zell’s family since 1970, when it was purchased by his father, Bernard Zell, an astute real estate investor who died in 1986.

...

Bidders have considered several options for the structure, including redeveloping it and even tearing it down to make way for a new building, sources say.

The Gothic structure is possibly the only office building designed by Jens Jensen, who is best known as a landscape architect.

Full article
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Old May 31st, 2007, 01:28 AM   #999
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Is this one worthy of saving though? It may be Jens Jensen's only office building, but then again there might also be a reason Jens Jensen was known as only a landscape architect.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 08:52 AM   #1000
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I love it, but it is kind of a dwarf among giants. Also, what's with calling this "West Loop"? In my mind, West Loop is west of the river.
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