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Old May 17th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #81
BVictor1
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This is just a repost reminder of tonights events.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvel 33
Parkitecture 2005


Grant Park Advisory Council
Tuesday, May 17, 2005 at 6:30 pm
Daley Bicentennial Plaza, 337 E. Randolph (Grant Park's Fieldhouse)


THERE is currently a trio of high-profile, residential high-rise projects being planned facing Michigan Avenue but not directly on it. The 72-story high-rise planned for 21-29 S Wabash, the 830 S Michigan Avenue high-rise (planned for behind the YWCA Building), and the Fourth Presbyterian Church high-rise are generating both much praise and criticism. Given the cultural, economic and environmental virtues of downtown high-rise living with all its resultant energy and active street life, why the controversy? This question and others will be addressed in our continuing Parkitecture series.

The community surrounding Grant Park is a world-class community with many new residents energizing both the park and the city. The dream of making Chicago's downtown a 24-hour, 7-days-per-week community is quickly becoming a reality. We are seeing things never seen before around Grant Park. People are walking at all hours and on weekends along South Michigan Avenue, quality restaurants and retail establishments are moving in, there are more parents with young children, and dogs are being walked in many areas of Grant Park - all positive signs that there is a vibrant and significant Grant Park residential community taking hold. Grant Park with its much-improved beauty, nature, maintenance and culture is a very important catalyst to creating this vibrant community.

Please join us and our distinguished panel for this important discussion. The panel will include:

Jack Guthman, Partner, Shefsky & Froelich.

John Lahey, President, Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates.

Thomas Kerwin, President, AIA Chicago and Partner, Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

James Peters, Director of Preservation Planning, Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois.


Thank you for your participation,

Bob O’Neill

Phone: 312-829-8015
Fax: 312-243-4095


I'll probably be attending the meeting. Steely and I attended one of these meetings last year and it was very interesting. If anybody else is interested, let me know so we can meet there.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:59 PM   #82
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Stupid paper due tonight that I only found out about yesterday.

Can someone give an update on how the meeting went?
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Old May 17th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #83
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Hrmm... if I were to only attend one (either tonight's or Thursday's City Hall meeting), which one would you do Butler?
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Old May 18th, 2005, 03:02 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frumie
Where do they ever support the idea that Wabash Ave. or the so-called "Jewlers Row" are historic? Those blocks are now and always were a rather uninteresting and unsightly hodge-podge of trivial structures lacking in any significant architectural presence. The jewelers left along with the Blackhawk restaurant and dozens of other small run-of-the-mill commercial venues, and they left for sound commercial reasons. I'll wager that none of those who abandoned Wabash Ave. had any sense of a historic loss or that there were part of anything of historic significance. They plied their trades and passed on. Facadectomies pay homage to misplaced nostalgia, nothing more. Cities, like architecture itself, are new poems in the making. Let's enjoy our time under the sun, and let the future anguish over what we built.
I have to dissagree with ya Frumie...

Wabash Ave is not about just the individual non descript buildings, but a collection of buildings that on a whole make for a unique urban space that was once so prevelant in the Loop, and is now all but gone. With the exception of a few historic 19th century buildings, you are correct in that there are several bland buildings that indivually do not contribute much. But, together they create a street space that gives us a hint of what life was like in the Loop 50, 75, or 100+ years ago. Not something that can be re-created. While there are other areas in the Loop that also posess a fine collection of nice and bland old buildings, no area has it in quite the scale which still exists on Wabash. Wabash has a feel like no other place in Chicago. It is near the top of my list of favorite urban spaces. I would be deeply saddened if any more of that character was destroyed.

I am not a fan of the Facadectomy, but if done right, it does work. When you stand on the sidewalk in front of where the Heritage is standing you have no idea that a 57 story building is above you. They did a great job of maintaining the feel of the facades from more than a century ago. (I will admit that I can't wait until they get a bit dirty as they look way too clean right now, but that will happen.) The facades on the block of Jewelers Row are not that spectacular, but next door to them is Sullivan's oldest existing design, and it would look completely wrong to have it standing next to a modern 72 story structure on Wabash. (That doesn't mean that you can't build modern next to old, but in this context, it wouldn't work.) At the same time the upper floors of those older buildings is and has been vacant for years, why not use the space to hide a parking garage?

Anybody who knows me, knows that I am all about new and modern, but I have also learned to have a healthy respect for our past, and recognize that while it is imperative to move forward, it is also imperative to not forget the past.

Just my thoughts...
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Old May 18th, 2005, 07:30 AM   #85
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Well,the meeting seemed to go quite well. There was really noone at the meeting who specifically was against the tower. It was a great panel. I was able to get a high resolution of the building earlier today, that I will post as soon as it gets posted on Emporis, I'm having troumbe uploading it. But anyway I was able to voice my opinion and speak in favor of this project and say that people need to focus more on the asthetics of buildings rather than density. Shawn stole my line and got a standing ******* and he's going to get the wrath of Victor. For the most part there was positive support for this tower, even the preservationist had to admit that the building was sleek and elegant. I'm sure that the other forum members that were in attendance will add to this. Shawn, Tom, Marvel, Dan, Steely, 2PruRocks and myself were there as forum representatives.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 02:23 PM   #86
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Jewelers Row tower sets unwelcome precedent

May 18, 2005

BY DAVID ROEDER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST



It will be 73 stories, some 776 feet tall, and will arise from the Jewelers Row historic district in the middle of downtown. And if you think it's a bit much, your big chance to be heard will be Thursday's meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission, which convenes at 1 p.m. at City Hall.

The Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois has raised the possibility of a lawsuit if the project is approved. But that's been the only public expression of opposition thus far to a plan that changes the character of Wabash Avenue. The proposal by an investment team close to Mayor Daley calls for placing the condo tower behind buildings at 21-39 S. Wabash that date from the construction boom following the 1871 fire.

It's far taller than the neighboring office giants and would add a driveway to a lively pedestrian street. The design by architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates is attractive enough, but I'm concerned about the precedent. "I don't understand why we set up these historic districts, then ignore the guidelines that protect them,'' said David Bahlman, president of the landmarks group.

Deputy planning commissioner Brian Goeken said the building merits approval because it preserves the low-rise buildings. And he said the Jewelers Row district is based on the traditional uses of the buildings, not their height.

But that's a distinction that will be lost when future developers use this as a textbook study for how to get their way in a landmark district.

The deal has been cut and is probably unstoppable. But criticism from a few more Chicagoans would serve notice that it won't be so easy next time.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheLoop
I have to dissagree with ya Frumie...

Wabash Ave is not about just the individual non descript buildings, but a collection of buildings that on a whole make for a unique urban space that was once so prevelant in the Loop, and is now all but gone. With the exception of a few historic 19th century buildings, you are correct in that there are several bland buildings that indivually do not contribute much. But, together they create a street space that gives us a hint of what life was like in the Loop 50, 75, or 100+ years ago. Not something that can be re-created. While there are other areas in the Loop that also posess a fine collection of nice and bland old buildings, no area has it in quite the scale which still exists on Wabash. Wabash has a feel like no other place in Chicago. It is near the top of my list of favorite urban spaces. I would be deeply saddened if any more of that character was destroyed.

I am not a fan of the Facadectomy, but if done right, it does work. When you stand on the sidewalk in front of where the Heritage is standing you have no idea that a 57 story building is above you. They did a great job of maintaining the feel of the facades from more than a century ago. (I will admit that I can't wait until they get a bit dirty as they look way too clean right now, but that will happen.) The facades on the block of Jewelers Row are not that spectacular, but next door to them is Sullivan's oldest existing design, and it would look completely wrong to have it standing next to a modern 72 story structure on Wabash. (That doesn't mean that you can't build modern next to old, but in this context, it wouldn't work.) At the same time the upper floors of those older buildings is and has been vacant for years, why not use the space to hide a parking garage?

Just my thoughts...
I believe you articulate what the preservations mean by "historic", namely, "old" and "our own." Differently expressed: "our roots." Fair enough. I had felt that much time and recent developments had cut deeply into the fabric of Wabash Ave, despoiling most of its character. You have the advantage over me of having actually walked that cityscape recently. While I espouse the principle of "honesty in architecture," I have also to concede these 8-storey garages, presently forming the base of most new structures, are solely in need of some cosmetic treatment. In this case, then, should facadeism preserve the older "charm," I can live with that. We'll have to wait to see if it works and how much "life" returns to Wabash Ave. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old May 18th, 2005, 09:30 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1
Well,the meeting seemed to go quite well. There was really noone at the meeting who specifically was against the tower. The other forum members that were in attendance will add to this. Shawn, Tom, Marvel, Dan, Steely, 2PruRocks and myself were there as forum representatives.
Nice work gentlemen.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #89
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David Roeder is an idiot. First of all, how is this a precedent when the Heritage did the very same thing a few years ago (rather successfully I might add)? Secondly, it's been discussed time and again that it is the facades, and only the facades, of these buildings that warrant saving. The rest of the structures are completely unremarkable. A million people have said it before and I'll say it again - there is nothing wrong with facadectomy (a term that I am growing to rather enjoy).

My only concern with the project is the mention of the "driveway" in Roeder's article - this is the first I've heard of any disconnection in the street's pedestrian environment. We'll have to wait and see just how true this is - and how much of a detriment to Wabash it would become were it implemented.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 01:31 PM   #90
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Plan Commission backs Jewelers Row tower

May 20, 2005

BY DAVID ROEDER Business Reporter


A proposal for a 71-story tower within the Jewelers Row landmark district passed a key milestone Thursday when the Chicago Plan Commission endorsed the project.

The commission, which advises the City Council on major building projects, praised the architecture of the building and said the developers will revitalize a haggard section of Wabash. The condominium tower would arise from a base that will incorporate a renovation of three low-rise buildings at 21-39 S. Wabash.

The action came during a busy meeting that reflected developers' expectations of residential growth in Chicago. The commission approved projects that would add nearly 2,400 units to the city.

The largest is a plan for a new development of 1,200 homes at 3201 W. Arthington, part of the former Sears Roebuck & Co. campus on the West Side. Chicago-based Royal Imperial Group plans to convert two former Sears buildings into residential use and add other housing that will include a mix of town houses and rental properties.

Royal Imperial's president, Mordecai Tessler, said he hopes to start marketing the project late this year. He said the roughly $200 million development might take five years to complete.

Other residential projects that secured the commission's support included a thin 26-story building at 110 W. Superior, 240 units at 301 W. Ohio, a 51-story building at 148 E. Ontario, 93 new units at 2559 S. Dearborn and a 19-story building at 1255 S. State.

The Jewelers Row project comes from the same investment team that produced the 57-story Heritage at Millennium Park, which involved renovation of old storefronts at the southeast corner of Randolph and Wabash and is the new home of Mayor Daley.

The team is led by Mesa Development LLC, whose managing member, Richard Hanson, said he expects the $300 million project to take about four years. Hanson said he hopes to start marketing units next year and expects lenders will require that from 35 percent to 50 percent of the 353 dwellings be sold before construction can start.

Most of the units should be priced under $500,000, he said. Jack George, the project's attorney, said the developers will commit $1.3 million to an affordable housing fund as part of the deal with the city.

The project was opposed by representatives of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois and Preservation Chicago. They argued that while the project has many attributes, a building that soars more than 800 feet would detract from the integrity of Jewelers Row.

A member of the commission, Ald. Burton Natarus (42nd), countered that the high-rise refreshes a dilapidated stretch of the Loop and helps Jewelers Row merchants by bringing new customers close by.

The project also had support from leading civic groups, including the Greater State Street Council and the Grant Park Advisory Council.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:01 PM   #91
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That is great news! 71 stories!
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #92
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$300M Condo Tower Planned for Jeweler’s Row
By Mark Ruda (www.globest.com)
Last updated: May 19, 2005 06:45pm

CHICAGO-Rather than defacing the Jeweler’s Row landmark district, a 71-story condominium tower at the southeast corner of Wabash Avenue and Monroe Street will be a “stunning addition” to the East Loop skyline, plan commission members agreed Thursday. Mesa Development’s $300-million, 353-unit project will add 8,500 sf of ground-floor retail space, 41,000 sf for the School of the Art Institute on the next two floors, 460 parking spaces in nine stories of parking and an 18,000-sf athletic club on the 13th and 14th floors.
Mesa Development founder Richard A. Hanson expects to begin construction next year, with completion likely in 2010. However, the project still needs city council approval, and his Monroe/Wabash Development LLC must acquire the four-building property from the Art Institute, which uses some of the space for classrooms, administrative offices and storage. Although Hanson is talking with a syndicate of banks about financing, he expects there likely will be a pre-sale requirement in the 35% to 50% range for his condos, which will average about $400,000. “We have a long way to go yet,” he adds.

Although the 57-story reinforced concrete, aluminum and glass triangular condominium tower will sit atop of the retail space, parking garage, classrooms and athletic club, facades at 21-39 S. Wabash Ave. and 52-64 E. Monroe St. will be preserved. However, opponents criticize the 822-foot height of the new building, as well as nearly 1 million sf of mixed-use space.

“If an 800-foot building can be permitted in an historic district where the prevailing height is less than 300 feet, what keeps that from happening in any other historic district in Chicago?” says David Bahlman, president of the Landmark Preservation Council of Illinois. Adds Jonathan Fine, president of Preservation Chicago, “We do not condone construction of new buildings on top of historically significant ones…It opens the door to unbridled development in historic districts.”

However, 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus argues Wabash Avenue already is hampered by the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated tracks above the street, which casts shadows on Jeweler’s Row. “What everybody is forgetting is, this is Wabash Avenue,” Natarus says. “Wabash is a very, very different street because of the El. The El is an absolute shade on the street. This will make Wabash Avenue something to be proud of.”

US Equities Realty president and chief operating officer Nancy A. Pacher, also a member of the plan commission, agrees. Her firm’s office is at 20 N. Michigan Ave., a block from Mesa Development’s latest proposal as well as a block south of its Heritage at Millennium Park condominium tower. “It’s a wonderful part of the Loop, until you get to Wabash,” Pacher says. “It looks dirty, tacky and seedy.”

Hanson is being allowed to build 300,000 sf more than current zoning permits as a result of building setbacks, an environmental “green roof,” 20% of units being accessible to the handicapped and a $1.3-million donation to the city’s affordable housing fund.
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:38 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BVictor1
A proposal for a 71-story tower within the Jewelers Row landmark district passed a key milestone Thursday when the Chicago Plan Commission endorsed the project.....

The largest is a plan for a new development of 1,200 homes at 3201 W. Arthington, part of the former Sears Roebuck & Co. campus on the West Side. Chicago-based Royal Imperial Group plans to convert two former Sears buildings into residential use and add other housing that will include a mix of town houses and rental properties. Royal Imperial's president, Mordecai Tessler, said he hopes to start marketing the project late this year. He said the roughly $200 million development might take five years to complete....

Other residential projects that secured the commission's support included a thin 26-story building at 110 W. Superior, 240 units at 301 W. Ohio, a 51-story building at 148 E. Ontario, 93 new units at 2559 S. Dearborn and a 19-story building at 1255 S. State.
I can't believe everything's happening to Chicago. God, I love this city!
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #94
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Yeah, this is really an incredible period for Chicago. By 2008 or 09, We will have an additional 40 plus towers dotting our skyline!
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Old May 20th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #95
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#3. A proposed Residential Business Planned Development application and Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection application submitted by Monroe/Wabash Development, LLC for the property commonly known as 21-39 South Wabash Avenue and 52-64 East Monroe Street. The applicant has proposed the construction of a 71-story mixed use development including 353 dwelling units, 428 parking spaces, and retail and institutional uses. (42nd Ward) (Madeleine Doering)


Monroe-Wabash Tower: 822' 3" (top of wedge) 792' 3" (top of roof 73rd floor) Shawn and myself saw the elevations on the presentation boards.

There are a total of 73 floors if you include the 2 mechanical penthouse floors on top.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 01:09 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant
$300M Condo Tower Planned for Jeweler’s Row
By Mark Ruda (www.globest.com)
Last updated: May 19, 2005 06:45pm

CHICAGO-Rather than defacing the Jeweler’s Row landmark district, a 71-story condominium tower at the southeast corner of Wabash Avenue and Monroe Street will be a “stunning addition” to the East Loop skyline, plan commission members agreed Thursday. However, 42nd Ward Alderman Burton Natarus argues Wabash Avenue already is hampered by the Chicago Transit Authority’s elevated tracks above the street, which casts shadows on Jeweler’s Row. “What everybody is forgetting is, this is Wabash Avenue,” Natarus says. “Wabash is a very, very different street because of the El. The El is an absolute shade on the street. This will make Wabash Avenue something to be proud of.”

US Equities Realty president and chief operating officer Nancy A. Pacher, also a member of the plan commission, agrees. Her firm’s office is at 20 N. Michigan Ave., a block from Mesa Development’s latest proposal as well as a block south of its Heritage at Millennium Park condominium tower. “It’s a wonderful part of the Loop, until you get to Wabash,” Pacher says. “It looks dirty, tacky and seedy.”
Amen
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Old May 21st, 2005, 01:30 AM   #97
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What? I really like Wabash and all the shade the El casts on it.

Quote:
Hanson is being allowed to build 300,000 sf more than current zoning permits as a result of building setbacks, an environmental “green roof,” 20% of units being accessible to the handicapped and a $1.3-million donation to the city’s affordable housing fund.
Yay for incentives that work!
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Old May 21st, 2005, 05:22 AM   #98
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IMHO, the el is part of what makes Chicago- well Chicago.... No other city like it, and I love the shadow it casts on Wabash too. I love the fact that the el is 100+ years old and shows its age as well, its character.

A tower this size will do nothing but good for the neighborhood. Lets hope and pray its just the beginning of things to come on Wabash. What a spectacular new area for the loop that would be- along with Grant Park, Michigan Ave, a re-emerging State St, and the new and improved Wabash... All I can say is WOW. Go Chicago!
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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:04 AM   #99
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Those of us who enjoy the noise, both visual and audible, that the El produces are, I think, in the minority. It takes a special breed to understand just what Chicago's downtown rails have meant to the City. Unfortunately, a quick glance at any of the Loop's 4 "track" streets - Wabash, Wells, Lake and Van Buren - would reveal a certain economic depression that any casual observer could identify. As important as the El has always been, and will always be, to the City, the immediate effects of its position over a street are certainly obvious.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:08 AM   #100
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I wanted to pass this message along to you guys, I know that it's short notice, but whomever can and wants to attend should...Jim Hanson of Mesa Development sent this message to me



Butler:

Good to hear from you. Thank you for your support of our project. We are extremely excited by this opportunity and can't wait for the opportunity to actually get going.

We have one more public meeting before we go to city council. That is tomorrow (Tuesday 5/24) in the city council chambers at city hall (same as the Plan Commission). This meeting is the Zoning Committee of the City Council (comprised of alderman). It is set to start at 10 am and it is a public meeting. If you and the other students who have shown up at some of the previous meetings could show up at the Zoning Committee meeting to lend your support we would truly appreciate it.

In terms of renderings, etc let me talk to the team and see what we can release. I will try to have some feedback for you on that later this
week.

Regards,

Jim
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