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Old December 13th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #4681
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Which area is that in the last picture of Chicago. Schaumburg is not by Lake Michigan.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 07:34 PM   #4682
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
If you removed the skyscrapers from Toronto or Chicago, you wouldn't feel like you're in a big city anymore. The other cities I mentioned would still contain dense, substantial mazes of low-to-mid rises that keep them feeling urban at street level.
That's very incorrect in Toronto's case. There are many km of continuously built up, dense urbanity surrounding the downtown core of Toronto made up of pre-war rowhouses and old and new midrise buildings.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 11:47 PM   #4683
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Is south and west where Chicago's downtown will likely expand to or is there still lots of intensification that can happen in the Loop? Awesome Manhattan photos btw.
It's both. The loop does not have a lot of room but towers are still being built on any empty lots they can find, or by demolishing smaller buildings. I think the most notable buildings going up in the loop are Wolf Point (being built right where the Chicago River splits into two, a dramatic setting), and the former Chicago Spire site, where it looks like they are building two 900+ ft/274 m+ towers.

South of the Sears/Willis Tower to about I-55 is where the Loop is expanding with mainly condo skyscrapers. It would be analogous to the South Core in Toronto? It's slowly starting to expand the skyline southward.

The West Loop is more about mid-rise construction and converting industrial buildings to lofts and workspaces, but nothing very tall is being built here that I know of. Google and other tech firms are opening offices there and it is arguably the hottest part of the city right now. To me the biggest knock against Chicago is how barren it becomes when you go west or south of the Loop, and they're finally changing that.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 11:50 PM   #4684
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Originally Posted by lochinvar View Post
Which area is that in the last picture of Chicago. Schaumburg is not by Lake Michigan.
It's on the south side, right next to Hyde Park.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 12:13 AM   #4685
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It's both. The loop does not have a lot of room but towers are still being built on any empty lots they can find, or by demolishing smaller buildings. I think the most notable buildings going up in the loop are Wolf Point (being built right where the Chicago River splits into two, a dramatic setting), and the former Chicago Spire site, where it looks like they are building two 900+ ft/274 m+ towers.

South of the Sears/Willis Tower to about I-55 is where the Loop is expanding with mainly condo skyscrapers. It would be analogous to the South Core in Toronto? It's slowly starting to expand the skyline southward.

The West Loop is more about mid-rise construction and converting industrial buildings to lofts and workspaces, but nothing very tall is being built here that I know of. Google and other tech firms are opening offices there and it is arguably the hottest part of the city right now. To me the biggest knock against Chicago is how barren it becomes when you go west or south of the Loop, and they're finally changing that.
The drop off beyond the Loop does seem far more severe in Chicago than the drop off when one leaves Toronto's downtown. Can you build mid-rises in Chicago's low rise residential neighbourhoods or will it remain largely as it is today? The Loop itself does seem as built out as the CBD here.

Regarding Southcore in Toronto, it's very much spill over from the historic CBD so the analogy looks correct. Practically every lot has been taken so the CBD can only expand by taking down existing buildings and erecting something taller. 100 Adelaide West, 88 Scott, and Bay-Adelaide East are examples of this. The Union Centre proposal represents one of the last lots left and its really just a slither of land between an existing building and the rail line.

Southcore had to happen, but even that is now close to full. Future office development will increasingly have to look elsewhere in the core to grow. I'm hoping to see office proposals spread more evenly around the core than having it all concentrated in 1-2 areas. Toronto only started building tall north of the CBD when Four Seasons went up in Yorkville a few years ago. Now we have AURA and soon One Bloor. It's 30+ blocks of mid-rises for the most part so there's tons of spots to grow.

If things continue on the current path we'll see tall buildings from the lake all the way to Yorkville, that's 4.5km. We're also seeing expansion east and west 5-6 blocks deep along the lake shore.
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Last edited by isaidso; December 14th, 2014 at 12:54 AM.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 01:55 AM   #4686
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Here's one just for you!

DSC_9780 by laurabl, on Flickr
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Old December 14th, 2014, 03:33 AM   #4687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DZH22 View Post
If you removed the skyscrapers from Toronto or Chicago, you wouldn't feel like you're in a big city anymore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
The drop off beyond the Loop does seem far more severe in Chicago than the drop off when one leaves Toronto's downtown. Can you build mid-rises in Chicago's low rise residential neighbourhoods or will it remain largely as it is today? The Loop itself does seem as built out as the CBD here.
I do not agree with these opinions. Beyond the skyscrapers of the Loop and the North Side, there is a vast amount of dense mid-rise neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are actually where most of the urban wealth and vibrancy of Chicago are. I do not know why for most people Chicago seems very suburban right next to the downtown core. Maybe it is the flat topography or the abundance of parks and tree-lined streets. Maybe is the large differential in height between the downtown core and the surrounding neighborhoods. But if you look closely, you will see that there is great mid-rise density surrounding most of the downtown core. And after these dense mid-midrise density areas is where the "suburbs" really start.

You can see what I mean in any of the following pictures *click to open*

Lake Street View

West Loop

West Loop 2

West Loop 3

Belmont

Halsted

Logan Square


Edgewater

South Loop

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park 2

North Dearborn

South of Gold Coast
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Old December 14th, 2014, 04:15 AM   #4688
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by alittlegordie on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/maktra...n/photostream/
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Old December 14th, 2014, 04:27 AM   #4689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
The drop off beyond the Loop does seem far more severe in Chicago than the drop off when one leaves Toronto's downtown. Can you build mid-rises in Chicago's low rise residential neighbourhoods or will it remain largely as it is today?
I would say yes, but perhaps not as much as Toronto, but it really depends on the neighborhood. In the northside (above, say, North Avenue), the neighborhoods are very established, intact, and full of beautiful architecture, so not much gets built there. But it's not like it really needs to be densified. The model of dense commercial strips and townhouses in the residential areas works very well.

In most other places, mid-rises come easier, but they are mostly restricted to existing commercial strips. Here is a map showing development along Milwaukee Ave, the main hipster/gentrification artery, similar to Queen West. http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2...-boom.php#more

The west loop and south loop seem to be more like the area between Toronto's CBD and Bloor Street, where development occurs more evenly across the neighborhood and people are less concerned with maintaining a neighborhood's character (somewhat more so in the south loop, as the west loop/west town has an existing architectural heritage in the form of industrial buildings and lofts).

Further west, the Illinois Medical District seems to be undergoing mid and even high rise development. South of the south loop, Bronzeville and Douglas (home to the Illinois Institute of Technology, an architectural wonderland), there are the beginnings of gentrification and new development.

Along the lake, though, you can see a continuous swath of highrises all the way from Evanston to downtown, and then mid-rises and some highrises down to South Shore. This seems to be the one constant in Chicago, and indeed, a general rule is the closer to the lake, the taller and denser things get.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #4690
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Quote:
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I do not know why for most people Chicago seems very suburban right next to the downtown core. Maybe it is the flat topography or the abundance of parks and tree-lined streets. Maybe is the large differential in height between the downtown core and the surrounding neighborhoods. But if you look closely, you will see that there is great mid-rise density surrounding most of the downtown core. And after these dense mid-midrise density areas is where the "suburbs" really start.
I agree, Chicago is pretty misunderstood. I blame the large swaths of industrial areas and railyards on the West and South sides (that are slowly being filled in; see my previous post) that cut off the relatively dense neighborhoods beyond them.

And beyond these midrise neighborhoods, things kind of fall into an urban/suburban gray area, where things are walkable and serviced by transit, but are somewhat more car-friendly than neighborhoods in New York or Toronto. Part of it, like you said, is just that the residential areas just look suburban, with their lawns and the spaces between houses, but they are very much part of the city. I would say Chicago is pretty urban until Devon Ave in the North and Pulaski or Cicero Ave in the West. South/southwest is a bit murkier, as it probably was pretty urban until urban decay took out a lot of the south side.

Much of this could be avoided if it weren't for the construction of freeways in the middle of the city, but the Chicago is slowly reclaiming the areas affected by them.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 04:49 AM   #4691
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DSC_5566.jpg by Peter Glenday, on Flickr
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Old December 14th, 2014, 05:11 AM   #4692
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Old December 14th, 2014, 05:12 AM   #4693
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Old December 14th, 2014, 08:29 AM   #4694
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanPaulo View Post
I do not agree with these opinions.

You can see what I mean in any of the following pictures *click to open*
Thanks for those photos. I've seen a side of Chicago I didn't know was there before. Those areas are comparable to areas here outside the core. Would Chicago have something similar to NYCC? Do big retail strips in the Loop continue on well outside the Loop?
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Old December 14th, 2014, 08:45 AM   #4695
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Originally Posted by bodegavendetta View Post
Along the lake, though, you can see a continuous swath of highrises all the way from Evanston to downtown, and then mid-rises and some highrises down to South Shore. This seems to be the one constant in Chicago, and indeed, a general rule is the closer to the lake, the taller and denser things get.
This is one area where Chicago and Toronto developed differently. Chicago followed a more natural path with density and height along the water for miles and miles. Toronto density and height followed the subway inland (and away from the water) along Yonge Street. NYCC is a node 15 km inland, but it's also part of that Yonge Street spine.

It's only in the last 10 years that Toronto has started to build tall along the lake and invested in the public realm down there. In some ways, Toronto has an advantage because of this progression as it now has well established density miles and miles inland.
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Old December 14th, 2014, 04:16 PM   #4696
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I think people are conflating the word "urban" with the existence of tall buildings. I say this because the areas outside the loop in Chicago are incredibly urban even if they don't have tall buildings. Wicker Park for example, is well outside the loop and one of the greatest urban neighborhoods in North America (IMO). I visited Chicago last fall and was pleasant surprised how urban the city felt miles beyond the core.
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Old December 15th, 2014, 12:04 AM   #4697
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MEXICO CITY ( the only asian-like skyline in north america)

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Old December 15th, 2014, 02:46 AM   #4698
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Toronto has an astounding North-South corridor, but I'm wondering why there isn't as much East-West development, especially along the lake shore. I'd love for Toronto to maybe reallocate some of its boom laterally. To any Torontonians out there, is there a clear cut reason to this particularity, or is it a combination of more latent factors?
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Old December 15th, 2014, 03:29 AM   #4699
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Leafy detached housing on big lots is the biggest obstacle to these areas developing. NYCC has seen a number of streets like this redeveloped and they were very high end homes that got bulldozed. I suppose everything has a price. Throw enough money at people and they will sell.
That's very interesting, and completely awesome. One thing I hate about cities in NA, is that they often seem to either have ground level urban density or they don't. When places gain density it tends to only be in nodes where growth is accepted and not blocked by NIMBYs and through very timid infill. You don't really see any significant area that was once leafy detached house areas turn into urban areas with buildings built to the lot line. To me, growth really needs to include an expansion of the urban fabric. If it's limited to highrise intensification of small places that are already urbanish, it just isn't enough.
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Old December 15th, 2014, 03:34 AM   #4700
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I think people are conflating the word "urban" with the existence of tall buildings. I say this because the areas outside the loop in Chicago are incredibly urban even if they don't have tall buildings. Wicker Park for example, is well outside the loop and one of the greatest urban neighborhoods in North America (IMO). I visited Chicago last fall and was pleasant surprised how urban the city felt miles beyond the core.
Yes that's very true. That type of lowrise urban fabric seems more urban to me that 30 story highrises surrounded by lawns and parking.

One thing about most Canadian cities is that there are lots of highrises in suburban areas but they mostly have poor street interaction and are in a very suburban format.
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