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Old January 13th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #21
Steely Dan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomarandlee
If high speed rail ever did catch on in the U.S. or at least the mid-west (LONG ways off I know) does anyone else think that Union Station could become obsolete?
how would it become obsolete?
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Old January 13th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan
how would it become obsolete?

Well it would have to get to dramatic higher numbers of trains per day I would guess. But Union Station use to share inter-city traffic with three other stations (is that number right?) in its heyday when it was the busiest train hub in the world. It also didn't have near the suberb commuter traffic it does now pre-1960.

With expandad and frequent Metra the hugh numbers that article talked about in terms of passanger (which I am all for) it is just hard to envision that Union has enough track to meet that kind of demand especially at peak times (maybe it does but its just hard for me to envision).
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Old January 17th, 2006, 12:24 AM   #23
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^There would be more than enough track at Union Station if a high speed rail network were to replace some long distance Amtrak lines rather than just as a service to the midwest. Personally I would like to see the Empire Builder and the Southwest Chief go high speed though that is not likely to happen. I think that there would be enough trackage anyway because high speed trains could utilize the Metra lanes if necessary when boarding and departing. Some Metra lanes stay vacant for one or two hours between Metra arrivals.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #24
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- edit
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Old April 24th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #25
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According to the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois, Union Station is in negotiations with a new developer for a twin tower addition; the single-tower LaGrange proposal is in limbo: "...An earlier development proposal, which was approved by LPCI, called for construction of a single-tower addition that would be compatible with Burnham’s original design intent. Recent discussions, however, with another developer, have called for a twin-tower design that could compromise interior spaces and the integrity of exterior of the building..."

You can read the entire entry here: http://www.landmarks.org/chicago_watch_2005_11.htm

Anyone have a clue as to this new twin-tower proposal?
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Old April 24th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #26
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I have no idea about it, but I don't like the sound of it. There are many places they can build this "twin-tower" design, and it probably look fine. If they want to add on to Union Station, they should be required to follow the original design intent.

Can you say Soldier Field part Deux?
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Old April 24th, 2006, 11:04 PM   #27
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First, that single tower design is hideous. Nevermind the fact that sunlight would never reach the hall again with it. I'd prefer them to chuck two of the four sides of the expansion to create a twin tower design, but not if it's like Hearst Tower in NYC. I like that tower but it doesn't mesh with the base at all.

Basically, I'm for two towers, but only if they match the detail of the orginal station.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 11:15 PM   #28
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I don't know, it seems like it matches the existing building fine. I guess I shouldn't past judgement until I see the twin towers design.

This part bothers me about the two tower design
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabbit
Recent discussions, however, with another developer, have called for a twin-tower design that could compromise interior spaces and the integrity of exterior of the building..."
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Old April 24th, 2006, 11:17 PM   #29
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Yes, that version matches the detailing, but the massing sucks. Period. It's a giant ugly block the width of the Sears Tower but without the height to balance it out.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #30
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That should give Lucien LaGrange extra free time in improving his design on Ritz-Carlton on Mich Ave.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:09 AM   #31
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As much as I like Burnham's designs, this one doesn't look very good. The Beaux-Arts design is done well, but as STR said, the massing is not. Unfortunately, in the revived single-tower design, the massing is the only thing remaining of the old.

To be honest, I think the best possible thing we can see here is a new postmodern design, ala the Harold Washington Library, that is correctly proportional to the existing station. But that's probably not going to happen.

I'll wait until I see a visual of the twin-tower design, and receive more specifics about how it will "compromise" the existing station.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #32
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This would be the perfect time for a Norman Foster creation with the weird curvy glass top. I'm sure that would please a few people too (cough*Trib*cough).


Last edited by spyguy; April 25th, 2006 at 01:16 AM.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #33
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Back in the 1990's there was a well-designed two tower addition for the station; it preserved interior spaces and exterior elements by incorporating an ingeniously engineered cantilevered truss system. When that building boom went bust, this proposal went with it. I've searched in vain for the renderings that appeared at that time.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #34
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^I dug up the WTC and that Schaumburg tower, I'll see what I can find on Union Station.
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Old April 25th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #35
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It's easy to say "Don't ruin the beautiful classic architecture with such a monstrosity."

But it's hard to look past the fact that such development might have saved Penn Station from the recking ball in the 1960's.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:20 AM   #36
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Such development was not possible at the time that Penn Station was demolished. The principles of modernism (the dominant, successful style at that time) strongly advocate starting from a clean slate. Building over Penn Station would mean that the building has to concede some architectural points to the original Beaux-Arts, which would have been seen as a travesty.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #37
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I was refering to the fact that the original designer of Penn Station rejected offers for a highrise to be built when the original station was built. That might have changed history a bit.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 05:56 PM   #38
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is this all part of the west loop transportation center consept from the 2020 plan to connect this to the ogilvie transportation center.

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Old April 28th, 2006, 07:09 PM   #39
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^Nope. Independant of the Northwestern/Union Station transfer.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardecila
Such development was not possible at the time that Penn Station was demolished. The principles of modernism (the dominant, successful style at that time) strongly advocate starting from a clean slate. Building over Penn Station would mean that the building has to concede some architectural points to the original Beaux-Arts, which would have been seen as a travesty.
Also, the RR wanted to be free of the maintenance costs associated with the older station.
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