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Old October 31st, 2005, 07:54 PM   #1
The Urban Politician
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Chicago is Manhattanizing--like it or not

Interesting article from November's New Homes Magazine. Click the link to read the whole thing:


'Manhattanization' is changing
the face of downtown Chicago

Twenty-five years ago, a stroll south down Wabash Avenue toward the Chicago River on the Near North Side of Chicago was sooty and uneventful.

A highlight might have been the aroma of fresh-baked deep-dish pizza wafting from Uno’s and Due’s, legendary pizzerias housed in two Victorian buildings that still stand on Wabash Avenue between Ohio Street and Grand Avenue. Nearby, stood the aging Medina Temple and the landmark Tree Studios, an artist and writer’s haven at State and Ohio streets.

Then you’d stroll pass a series of rundown loft buildings and a couple of newer residential highrises before the Wabash Avenue bridge came into view – flanked by the squat Chicago Sun-Times Building on the left and the IBM Building, on the right.

A decade or so earlier, before Mies van der Rohe designed the stately IBM Building, the riverfront site was a parking lot dotted with three-story buildings, including Gitano, a rowdy flamenco nightclub.

Today, if you walk south down Wabash Avenue toward the river in what is now called River North, it’s like strolling through the bottom of a dark highrise canyon in Manhattan. And the bumper-to-bumper traffic makes the neighborhood nearly as congested as Midtown New York.

For more, click: http://www.**************/NHNew/Colum...ter2005-06.htm
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:02 PM   #2
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Yes it is. And I like it. Take a look at a picture of River North from 1980 and then take a look at it today (someone posted a picture like this in the "Old Chicago" thread). The disparity is remarkable. Back then, the JHC stood out so prominently on the north end of Michigan Ave, as did other buildings like IBM and Marina City, as they towered over lowrise development and surface parking lots beneath them. While the quality of construction has been questionable at times (that's you Grand Plaza), the densification of River North and the Near North Side as a whole has been the most tangible example of the revitalization of Chicago.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Take that same stroll down Wabash to the Chicago River today and you will find the Sun-Times Building gone and the first construction work underway on the huge Trump Tower project, soon to be the newest New York-style skyscraper icon on the Windy City skyline.
What do they mean by NY-style skyscraper?
Skyscraper history- Chicago and NY
Trump- NY but now very much global
Design- Basically a curved version of Sears Tower
Architect- Chicago's own Adrian Smith of SOM

Perhaps he got lazy and wanted to add the word New York one more time.
Nice shot at Grand Plaza too- it deserves it.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:21 PM   #4
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Although I love the content and message of this article, I must admit that I hate the term Manhattanization. I believe that only the real Manhattan is entitled to that designation. A better word would be "canyonization," because there are other cities on this planet that also are "canyonized" by highrises. It is even more amusing when cities like las vegas use that term. Although I think the term is flawed, chicago would be the only other US cities that is approaching something that would be "manhattanized" (yet, we are still a long way off).
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:26 PM   #5
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To be fair, we should coin a new word: "Chicago-izing". It means a city is experiencing an urban renaissance and revitilization after years of decay and neglect. Or a city transformed its neglected riverfront and/or waterfront into a jewel, just like Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi_Coruscant
To be fair, we should coin a new word: "Chicago-izing". It means a city is experiencing an urban renaissance and revitilization after years of decay and neglect. Or a city transformed its neglected riverfront and/or waterfront into a jewel, just like Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive.
Then Milwaukee is in the midst of a Chicagoization. I think "Mannhattenization" is the best word anyone has come up with so far to describe the phenomenon of cities developing super dense, canyonlike cores.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:52 PM   #7
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Well...what can I say? Medina Temple is not a mall rather it is a Bloomingdales Furniture Store. Oh well. Funny....is there a taller Trump tower in NYC?

Positive article mostly.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:53 PM   #8
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Manhattanization? I had no idea Chicago was turning into an island.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:01 PM   #9
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Maybe he's trying to say that Trump tower isn't as boxy, and therefore NY-style. I don't, however, agree with that. Maybe you could make that argument about Fordham (maybe), but Trump simply looks like a 21st century Sears.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:17 PM   #10
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I think the term 'Manhattanization' means that people now work, live, and play in the same area. Chicago was that way decades ago but went through a down turn the in the 60's - 80's. But since the early 90's things have been changing and the city core is improving.

I dont believe the term 'Manhattanization' has anything to do with architecture, buildings, etc.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvidler
I dont believe the term 'Manhattanization' has anything to do with architecture, buildings, etc.
Well, perhaps not architecture, but surely buildings. The reason for that is simply that 'manhattanization' implies density. In this case, density=highrises.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:49 PM   #12
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Again, not that I want to make a big deal of it, but the term is mildly annoying. There is only one manhattan. As cities develop, they will be unique, and entirely different from NY. Using the term "Manhattanization" reeks of pathetic envy, and a subtle desire to copy NY. As we all know, that just isn't possible. Thankfully, Chicago has its own unique beauty and charm.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 10:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgolch
Again, not that I want to make a big deal of it, but the term is mildly annoying. There is only one manhattan. As cities develop, they will be unique, and entirely different from NY. Using the term "Manhattanization" reeks of pathetic envy, and a subtle desire to copy NY. As we all know, that just isn't possible. Thankfully, Chicago has its own unique beauty and charm.
Oh of course. I personally am so sick of the comparisons to New York. Like for example when people say Chicago is just a midwestern New York. How about we just use the word "densification" instead of "manhattanization"?
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Old October 31st, 2005, 10:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanSophist
Well, perhaps not architecture, but surely buildings. The reason for that is simply that 'manhattanization' implies density. In this case, density=highrises.
Exactly. They say the same thing in San Francisco, often referred out there as the "Manhattanization" of San Francisco, which describes the high density development of their central business district.

"Manhattanization" as a word is annoying, and yes as some have pointed out, reeks of envy. It just means super dense development, which the Loop has always had, but the Near North Side has only recently attained.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 10:36 PM   #15
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Thank you. Nice to see I'm not the only one. I'm sure New Yorkers always smirk when people use that term. I have seen that term used for so many cities, even small ones that are very far off from significant urban density.

Last edited by rgolch; October 31st, 2005 at 11:26 PM.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:21 PM   #16
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What's next, Michigan Avenue becoming Wall Street?
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:31 PM   #17
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Though to be honest, I wouldn't mind the "parisization" of some parts of the city.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by effer
What's next, Michigan Avenue becoming Wall Street?
Yeah, it is annoying. Earlier this year there was that article in the Trib about Michigan Ave. becoming the "Park Avenue of Chicago". It's like "the man" won't allow Chicago to have its own identity...


haha. The doorbell just rang and I opened it to find a pirate and a sailor. I forgot it was halloween...
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JB_Gold Coast
Exactly. They say the same thing in San Francisco, often referred out there as the "Manhattanization" of San Francisco, which describes the high density development of their central business district.

"Manhattanization" as a word is annoying, and yes as some have pointed out, reeks of envy. It just means super dense development, which the Loop has always had, but the Near North Side has only recently attained.
Actually, I think the term is pretty well known. I think it has been used in Paris and London (and not always in positive lights).
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Old October 31st, 2005, 11:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotrequired
Manhattanization? I had no idea Chicago was turning into an island.
Oh, its already two islands.
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