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Old April 20th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #61
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http://www.pioneerlocal.com/skylinen...907-s1.article

Demolition looming for historic Athletic Club

April 19, 2007
By FELICIA DECHTER Staff Writer


Preservationists and community members are launching a petition drive urging the city to landmark the vintage Lake Shore Center, formerly the Lake Shore Athletic Club, 850 N. Lake Shore Dr.

Currently owned by Northwestern University, the property is under contract to be sold to Fifield Realty, according to Alan Cubbage, vice president for university relations. However, that contract is contingent on Fifield's ability to erect a new building.

That very thought is enraging preservationists.

"This project ignores the will of the residents of the 42nd Ward to have developments in their area reviewed by Alderman-elect Reilly," said Michael Moran, vice president of Preservation Chicago. "This is the typical Chicago-style process for ramming a development through. It's as though the city is saying, 'Who cares what the people think? We are going to approve the project anyway.' "

Brendan Reilly defeated Burt Natarus in the Feb. 27 aldermanic election, and will take over as 42nd Ward alderman on May 21.

Moran said the groups intentionally did not address the petition to Natarus as, "Natarus should have no authority over the future of this building or over any new projects in these final days of his tenure."

Alderman-elect Reilly was unavailable for comment.

According to Lisa DiChiera, director of advocacy at Landmarks Illinois, Fifield applied for a demolition permit on April 15. The building is not landmarked, but is rated orange--the second highest listing--on the city's Historical Resources Survey, subjecting it to a 90-day demolition hold while the city reviews the proposed project.

DiChiera said the organization insists that the full 90-day demo delay be exercised to give individual residents and condo boards the opportunity to express concern.

Preservation Chicago is planning the campaign to save the building in conjunction with the Lake Shore Preservation Group, neighborhood residents also opposed to the demolition.

Moran added that Preservation Chicago has repeatedly asked the city's Department of Planning and Development to begin the landmarking process for the building that the group says has considerable historic merit. Moran said the club's large swimming pool and the striking mural overhead formed the site of 1928 Olympic trials, and a number of Olympic swimmers over the years trained at the club.

Designed by architect Jarvis Hunt and built in 1927, the building is not landmarked, and therefore is not protected from demolition.

Originally built as both a private club and apartment building, it was acquired by Northwestern University in the 1970s. Renamed the Lake Shore Center by Northwestern, the building was used for student housing until 2005.

The university put out a Request for Proposals for the building last year and, "This proposal was the one we liked best," said Cubbage, who declined to disclose the price agreed upon in the contract. Cubbage said Northwestern will still own and operate the garage just west of the property on Chestnut Street.

According to an April 9 letter from Fifield's senior vice president Alan Schachtman to Landmarks Illinois' President David Bahlman, Fifield will demolish the existing structure, as the company says it is not feasible for use due to the amount of useable square footage; the inability to create efficient floor plans; the short floor-to-ceiling heights; and the relatively small window openings.

The new, Lucien Lagrange-designed property will stay within the use, height limits, setbacks and square-footage already approved in a 1999 Planned Development, and Fifield will not seek any zoning changes.

Schachtman did not return Skyline's calls.

Bahlman--whose organization listed the site on its 2006 watch list of endangered buildings said a developer would have free hand above the fourth or fifth floor, and the rest of the building could feasibly be rehabbed. Bahlman also thinks any decisions should be held off on until Reilly takes office May 21.

"This is far too important an issue for it to be run through before the alderman leaves office," Bahlman said. "It's an incredible building by Jarvis Hunt. I don't know why anyone would have any questions whether the building is worth saving."

According to information from the Lake Shore Preservation Group, the first five stories of the Lake Shore Center's Georgian exterior are faced in terra cotta, "exhibiting eye-catching ornamentation that stands in striking contrast to the neighboring Mies Van Der Rohe buildings."

"It's just a lovely old building, quite wonderful on the inside," said Pam Jameson, coordinator of the Lake Shore Preservation Group. "We'd like to see it preserved. I'm not saying we should save everything, but with that much history..."

The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, or SOAR, has not yet taken a stance, although the group is planning to meet with board members of neighboring condominium and co-op associations, as well as Landmarks Illinois and Preservation Chicago, before convening the SOAR Board to discuss/take a position, the group's president, Gail Spreen said.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 05:54 AM   #62
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http://blogs.chicagoreader.com/polit...-shore-center/

Death to the Lake Shore Center?
by Ben Joravsky on May 29th


Being 42nd Ward alderman must have looked pretty easy to Brendan Reilly after he handedly defeated longtime incumbent Burt Natarus.

But now the rookie legislator's facing his first tough decision.

The issue is a proposal by developer Steven Fifield to demolish the Lake Shore Center, 850 N. Lake Shore Drive. Fifield has a contract to buy the building from Northwestern University, provided the city gives him a permit to demolish it.

The building is rated orange in the city's Chicago Historical Resources Survey of property, which means the city has to wait 90 days before issuing a demolition permit. That delay gives the city's Landmark Protection Commission an opportunity to save the building by designating it as a landmark.

Gold Coast residents and activists from Preservation Chicago are fighting to save the building (they'll hold a rally at 850 N. Lake Shore Drive Sunday, June 3, at 1 PM.) Of course, the commission generally follows the lead of the local alderman, not preservationists, on such matters. If the alderman's for preservation, the commission will preserve it. If not, the building's a goner, no matter what the preservationists say.

So what's Reilly's stand? No one's sure yet. "We briefed him [Reilly] about the building's value," says Jonathan Fine, Preservation Chicago's cofounder. "He listened carefully but he didn't indicate his position."

Reilly didn't return calls for comment.

The 90-day hold period expires July 15.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 07:56 PM   #63
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Protest rally this Sunday, June 3rd at 1:00 PM

To those of you who are interested in the Lake Shore Athletic Club building, please come to the rally this Sunday, June 3rd, at 1:00 PM. There will some news coverage and some fun things. It's a perfect Sunday afternoon---a protest rally followed by a stroll around downtown!

Protest rally for Athletic Club

May 31, 2007
By FELICIA DECHTER Staff Writer
Calling for the immediate landmarking of the Lake Shore Athletic Club, preservationists will stage an on-site rally to protest the proposed demolition of the property, 850 N. Lake Shore Drive, at 1 p.m., June 3.

"Preservation Chicago is staging the protest rally to send a message to the new alderman, and to the city, that the destruction of historically significant and beautiful buildings will not be tolerated," said Jonathan Fine, president of Preservation Chicago, which is holding the rally with the Lake Shore Preservation Group. "In a city that prides itself on its historic architecture, it is shameless that a building of such stature would be allowed to be demolished."

A demolition permit for the property was applied for on April 16. Because the building is not landmarked, it is not protected from demolition. Is it rated orange, the second highest designation on the city's Historical Resources Survey, which means it is subject to a 90-day demolition hold to allow for city review.

Athletically-clad protesters--led by a torch-bearing runner--will be out in full force, highlighting the club as not only a "stunning example of Chicago's architectural might," but a site where many Olympic swimmers, such as Johnny "Tarzan" Weissmuller, have trained, and where the U. S. Olympic trials for swimming were held in 1928.

The groups say that only Chicagoans, "strut our architectural prowess," in front of the International Olympic Committee then allow the wrecking ball to deliver a "sucker punch," to an architectural heavyweight and Olympic legacy such as the club. But it is not going down without a fight, they say.

"The Lakeshore Athletic Club can be easily adapted for a variety of uses, including a boutique hotel or luxury senior housing," Fine said. "To replace a building as stately and as elegant as the Lakeshore Athletic Club with another 'ersatz,' Beaux Arts knock-off is a travesty of the highest order.

"The architecture of Jarvis Hunt cannot be duplicated. Therefore, we should preserve what little of his work we have left."

2007 Skyline
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Old June 1st, 2007, 08:32 PM   #64
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Serious Question - Lucien Lagrange-

Is it a coincidence or common denominator that Lucien Lagrange is constantly picking (or being picked?) projects that defy or contend with conservation or character goals? Looking at some of his recent proposals, they all seem seeped in preservation controversy surrounding the project, such as this Lake Shore Athletic Club project , Ritz Hotel @ 645 N. Michigan, the plopping of 45 story X/O in the Prairie District, etc. Is this his typical MO or consistent with his architectural history? It seems he is adept publically at using his "old man European folksy charm" to deflect focus from the actual project or design at hand....just my two cents.
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Old June 1st, 2007, 10:07 PM   #65
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Old June 1st, 2007, 10:51 PM   #66
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^That's terrible, and untrue, some of us (unlike Johnson, or apparently LaGrange) care deeply about preservation, great design and how all of it serves the public good. The problem isn't architects as a whole, it's money, and when you have mega-millions like the Fiefield shitbags, you can afford to tear down anything that stands in your way, and pay-off anyone you want, even in the "untouchable" realm of City Hall. The fact that LaGrange is doing this type of shite for snakes like Fiefield should make him a prime candidate for ridicule; where the hell is Blair Kamin's acidic tongue when you need it?!?!
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Old June 1st, 2007, 11:59 PM   #67
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 03:39 AM   #68
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Sorry but while I agree with some of what you say, it's a gross over-simplification of my profession; granted I have worked at places where sacrifices are made to appease a client, but it is MY duty, when working for a client to offer suggestions, other proposals if I feel that what my client wants to do is stupid or something that they might potentially regret in the future. And quite frankly, architects are not WHORES, BAD architects are, and trust me there are plenty of those in the profession to go around (if you can't read between the lines, let me be blunt: with regard to the LSD Athletic Club building, Lucien LaGrange is a bad architect).
If a client came to my firm with a large bag of money (simplistic but you get the idea), which by the way NEVER happens to an architect, unless you're Gehry, asking me to design something that kinda/sorta looked like another building, but meant that I needed to tear something down in order for that client to build my design, it rests on my shoulders to try and dissuade them from spending the money to demolish the existing building, hire the consulting engineers to provide MEP/S drawings of the building based on my "new" design, bid out to a contractor that might be the lowest bidder but that I might not know anything about their work PROVIDED that they might have not considered that it might be easier and more cost-effective to work with the building that they currently have; factor in rising construction costs which will not subside anytime in the near future and you get the idea. Believe it or not Loopy there are architects out there such as yours truly who have feel they have a strong ethical responsibility and just simply enjoy looking at/experiencing/fighting for the preservation of historical buildings, and surprise, just like in any profession with some modicum of ethical standards, there are some of us in my line of work who would say "screw history, screw old shitty buildings";
Just keep in mind it isn't always a black and white issue, regardless of what you choose to believe.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 04:00 AM   #69
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 07:47 AM   #70
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Loopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy View Post
I did not intend to insult the profession or imply that architects don't care about preservation. In fact, I was defending architects.

The Phillip Johnson quote was a reply to ErmDiego's assertion that this is all somehow Lucien Lagrange's fault. That is ridiculous. It is Northwestern's fault and the fault of a broken civic committment to save Chicago's heritage structures.
I never asserted as such, even implying he could be the one being picked and told what to do, but I find that hard to believe in his case. I was simply pointing out the irony of the recent preservation battles seem to include LaGrange quite frequently. But, to now blame Northwestern??? 'I doubt to many clients get to tell Mr. LaGrange what to do, or what not to do (likely a condition of securing him). I am sure there is plenty of ego to go around on that one
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 06:27 PM   #71
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I'm afraid that the developer would have no trouble finding a hungry firm to take over the demolition/rebuild project should LaGrange pull out...As for NW, I'm finding it increasingly unconscionable that they, as an institution of some scholarship & renown, are dumping these buildings so cavalierly onto the market...I hate to think of how they'll be handling the sale of Golberg's Prentice.

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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:00 AM   #72
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Rally tomorrow should be a fun time

The rally tomorrow, Sunday, at 1:00 PM in front of the Lake Shore Athletic Club will be pretty funny. The history of the club as it relates to the Olympics will be one of the themes of the rally. The building served as the site of the 1928 Olympic swimming trials and a number of Olympic athletes trained there, including Johnny Weismuller, later of Tarzan fame.

Also, there is some irony in the fact that we are tearing down an Olympic-related building when we are trying to land the Olympic games.

Come to the rally to get a kick out of the other sports-related things that will be at the rally, including a runner with an Olympic torch, a kayaker, complete with kayak and paddle, and a bunch of other surprises. Every person possible is needed, so please give an hour of your time. The rally starts at 1:00 PM but please be there by 12:45 PM. Thanks!
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 10:28 PM   #73
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I like the idea - kinda like the "flappers-and-model-T's" rally that was thrown for the old Merc. It brings more people in than those who would normally come, and it makes the preservationists seems like the fun, exciting people over the greedy, bitchy developer, whereas if you just started picketing, people would consider you obsessed with the past, irrational, etc.
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Old June 4th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #74
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Lake Shore Athletic Club

Preservationists try to save Lake Shore Drive landmark
By Andrew L. Wang
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 4, 2007


They didn't have all the pieces at first -- the exclamation point was missing, as was a very important "s."

But when each person with a letter or punctuation mark inked on their shirt lined up in the proper spot, the message was clear: "SAVE LAKE SHORE ATHLETIC CLUB!"

Chants echoing and colorful signs aloft, about 70 protesters crowded the sidewalk outside the 80-year-old club Sunday to save it from the wrecking ball.

This year, a developer signed a contract with Northwestern University, the current owner, to buy the venerable edifice at 850 N. Lake Shore Drive. If the deal is completed, Fifield Realty plans to knock down the club and construct a condominium building.

"It's a beautiful building," said Judy Thomson, a member of Preservation Chicago, which organized the protest. "To see it needlessly taken away when it could be creatively reused is not a good thing."

Like Thomson, who wore a pith helmet, a few participants wore historical or athletic clothing to emphasize the club's heritage. One woman wore an old-fashioned bathing suit made of black wool.

Fifield signed the contract to buy the building March 16 under the condition that it could knock it down and erect another building in its place, said Jonathan Fine, president of Preservation Chicago.

The company applied to the city for a demolition permit a month later, but because the athletic club is categorized "orange" by the Chicago Historic Resources Survey, a 90-day delay period was triggered when the Chicago Historic Resources Survey categorized the athletic club "orange."

"It's sort of a cooling-off period, so buildings like this won't be demolished willy-nilly without a public process," Fine said.

The city's 9,600 orange properties "possess some architectural feature or historical association that made them potentially significant in the context of the surrounding community," according to the survey's Web site. The orange designation is one step below "red," the category for the city's 300 most architecturally and historically significant structures.

The Lake Shore Athletic Club was designed by architect Jarvis Hunt in 1924 and opened about three years later. The club's indoor pool played host to Olympic trials for the 1928 Games. More recently, the building's 444 bedrooms and suites served as graduate housing for Northwestern.

The university stopped placing students there in 2005, and the club has sat empty ever since.

Fine said Sunday's protest was aimed at the City Council -- specifically newly elected Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) -- to persuade members to designate the club a historic landmark and prevent the club's destruction.

"It's to put him on notice," he said of Reilly. "If historic buildings are under threat, we're here to show they won't go down without a fight."

Reilly, who attended the protest and spoke to participants, said he is holding off judgment on the demolition and new construction until he has all the facts on the project.

"My job is not to help the developer [complete this project]," he said. "My job is to look at the options and make the right decision for the neighborhood."

Among the issues he is exploring is whether Fifield's proposed building would abide by zoning rules.

For example, the new construction must fit within certain height, street-setback and square-footage limitations and can be used only for residential or student housing.

A Fifield spokesman said the developer explored various scenarios for reusing the existing structure but couldn't find one that met the city's zoning requirements in a financially feasible way.

"There were no solid proposals that met the legal standard," Dan Shoman said.

In a letter to Preservation Chicago in April, Alan Schachtman, Fifield's senior vice president, wrote: "The aspects of the existing structure that make it infeasible are the amount of usable square footage that can be created, the inability to create efficient floor plans, the short floor-to-ceiling heights and the relatively small window openings."

Shoman said the new building would "preserve the integrity of the buildings in the area" and have dedicated community areas and green spaces.

He said the demolition moratorium ends July 17, by which time the council is expected to decide to grant the demolition permit or designate the building as a landmark.

-------------

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Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
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Old June 5th, 2007, 08:53 AM   #75
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sounds like the developer paid more money so they could kill the building

because if the building were to be reused or HAD to be reused it wouldve sold for less, its just economics, but I say screw the developer.

in the movies who cries for the developer?
maybe i should write a movie where we do cry for the developer?

anyways, it ofcourse doesnt make sense to knock a building down and build the same size building except modern UNLESS the structure is unsafe and a wooden piece of shit shack,

this is definitely a what the?

In NewYorkCIty a building of this size would be demolished for something atleast 50 stories otherwise please dont waste my time.
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Old June 5th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammed wong View Post

in the movies who cries for the developer?
maybe i should write a movie where we do cry for the developer?
I will help with your movie if it is about Draper & Kramer, the developer who got screwed when Natarus pandered to NIMBY's by downzoning the lot at Banks and Lake Shore Drive.
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Old June 11th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #77
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This is the replacement (image from the Tribune)


The developers are saying it is only a filler image and the design will likely change.

versus this
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Old June 11th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #78
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Sorry this whole devolopment is sooo stupid the only thing I can do is laugh.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #79
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http://chicagorealestatedaily.com/cg...ws.pl?id=25480

Developer planning luxury Streeterville apartment tower
By Thomas A. Corfman


A Houston developer is planning an apartment tower on a prominent site in Streeterville, hoping to stand out from an increasingly crowded field of rival projects with a luxury high-rise that would offer top-quality units and charge top-of-the-market rents.

Hanover Co. has an agreement to buy a parcel of roughly three-quarters of an acre across the street from the AMC River East 21 movie house, 322 E. Illinois St., about two blocks east of Michigan Avenue, sources say.

The site is part of a larger, 2.3-acre site that extends south from Illinois Street to the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 301 E. North Water St.

John Garibaldi, an executive vice-president with Hanover, declines to comment.

The deal with Hanover would be a big boost to the plans for the rest of the site by two well-known Chicago developers, Christopher Carley and Michael Reschke.

Yet they are now sparring with each other.

Mr. Carley, CEO of Chicago-based Fordham Co., says of Mr. Reschke’s role, “There is nothing there, no agreements or anything.”

Mr. Reschke, chairman and CEO of privately held Chicago-based Prime Group Inc., counters: “We do have a venture agreement; he’s acknowledged it.”

They both decline further comment.

Mr. Carley, with or without Mr. Reschke, has a contract to buy the entire site, now a parking lot, from the St. Louis parent company of the Adam's Mark Hotels, for more than $60 million. Proceeds from a sale to Hanover would help finance the development of a ritzy hotel-condo building on the southern portion of the site.

Hanover, founded in 1982, has grown rapidly in recent years, with a national pipeline of projects in cities ranging from Boston to Seattle.

In Chicago, some rival developers are wary of ultra-luxury rental projects, fearful that rents still are not rising fast enough to offset the higher cost of building larger units and adding more expensive finishes, like premier kitchen appliances.

But Ron DeVries, a vice-president with Chicago-based residential consulting firm Appraisal Research Counselors, says “there could be some potential for a very high-end rental product downtown, but I think it would have to be more of a boutiquey building.”

In the downtown market, 2,150 rental units are scheduled to be completed next year, nearly three times the annual average of 775 units between 2002 and 2006, according to a first-quarter report from Appraisal Research.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #80
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Wrong section
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