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Old February 2nd, 2007, 05:45 PM   #481
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i agree with this. it'll make the downtown look more professional. the visual part is very important.
Yes good idea. The urban areas around the state need to have the Maryland flag much more frequently hanging from flag poles (and balitmore flag in Baltimores case). I love it! It shows commitment and state pride.

I also don't like to see the state flag hanging from a pole a step down from a corporations or beneath some other entitys flag.

It should go in this order, Country, State, and City or other jurisdictions than corporation or whatever, or just all flags at the same level.

[/craziness off]
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:04 PM   #482
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If the reatail is supposed to be 40,000 sf, it probably will be distributed over the first two floors of the building. It doesn't sound bad at all. I still think it would be cool to have an Under Armour headquarters store there, perhaps with an indoor climbing wall or something. What a draw that would be!

I would prefer a design similar to what has been proposed for Buffalo, NY, albeit with cleaner lines and less visual fragmentation. This is a mixed-use, 40-floor tower proposed for downtown Buffalo that all the Buff fans are talking about on their thread. The building will have 400k of office, the rest distributed between retail, hotel, and condominiums. Check out their site to see the design. I like it mostly because it allows for a slender peak that builds well from the lower buildings that surround the proposed development. Kind of like 250 W. Pratt, but a much more dramatic and modern. Apprently, parts of the Buffalo tower will have a John Hancock effect, with lots of exposed structural elements covered with glass curtain. Hopefully, they'll keep the glass on this one...
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:13 PM   #483
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if i were you, i wouldn't have even responded to harlem saying this, baltimoreisbest. it's not worth the time nor the effort.
You're so right! I don't even bother reading his posts.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:39 PM   #484
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I think there is an intentional architectural precedent set to avoid having "peak" type tops or roofs on buildings fronting the Inner Harbor.
Remember, the intent was not to have very tall buildings on the Harbor and there are guidelines that "prevent" that. I tend to agree with that. The WTC was an intentional exception.

I believe the height limit for frontage on Pratt St is 145 ft if I'm not mistaken. So to make a taller building, the design must be weighted with the space toward the Lombard side of the lot. And, I think this design, like the last, does that.

Nevertheless, I still think we can have something other than the hat.

Nate
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 09:24 PM   #485
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I think there is an intentional architectural precedent set to avoid having "peak" type tops or roofs on buildings fronting the Inner Harbor.
Remember, the intent was not to have very tall buildings on the Harbor and there are guidelines that "prevent" that. I tend to agree with that. The WTC was an intentional exception.

I believe the height limit for frontage on Pratt St is 145 ft if I'm not mistaken. So to make a taller building, the design must be weighted with the space toward the Lombard side of the lot. And, I think this design, like the last, does that.

Nevertheless, I still think we can have something other than the hat.

Nate
i agree with you 100%.

i think the presence of the 300 east pratt street tower smack dead in the harbor is actually going to compliment 10IH. i think it'll keep 10IH from looking so "out of place". now, if one light street turns out to be nearly as tall as these two projects (which i think it will be), we will truly have a complete skyline.

Last edited by MasonsInquiries; February 2nd, 2007 at 09:46 PM.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:05 PM   #486
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Any word on One Light St.? There is also a large parking lot on Fayette St. just east of Calvert that I really wish someone would build something on. Does anyone know the one I'm reffering to and has there been any development intrest?
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:30 PM   #487
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Any word on One Light St.? There is also a large parking lot on Fayette St. just east of Calvert that I really wish someone would build something on. Does anyone know the one I'm reffering to and has there been any development intrest?
Oh I think were all familier with Clarke and One Light!
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:16 PM   #488
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Sad News. The Dime Museum, perhaps Baltimore's most unique and unheralded gem is closing for financial reasons and the museums contents are beings auctioned off. Iím not sure if this is old news or not but I just found out. Woe is me.

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Old February 2nd, 2007, 11:46 PM   #489
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That is sad.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:33 AM   #490
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I don't understand why we can't have crowns on our buildings along the Harbor. That really doesn't make any sense to me. Why settle for less than spectacular building designs?
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 12:57 AM   #491
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Thanks for the Lockwood Place numbers Jpav. I think there will be two floors of retail at 300 Pratt. My guess is that they will have a covered first floor drop off point for the hotel similar to what the hotel component of the Gallery has. Also, they will have to accomodate two ground floor lobbies on the first floor, one the hotel and one for condo.

My bet is that they will put the hotel restaurants/bar on floor 2 and leased retail will be on floor 1.

I hope the hotel is a W. That's my favorite brand and it would compliment the Intercontinental very nicely.

It would be great if the blue portion of the base of the building was a huge Jumbotron so we could all watch TV at the harbor! It would be visible from the walkway when walking from the Science Center all the way to Harborplace.

BTW all, my house in PA is now under contract after 2 weeks on the market. WHEW!!!!! The occupancy date for Water Street for me has been moved up from Nov. to Sept. They are ahead of schedule due to the "mild weather". It's going down to 7 degrees next week at night. Mild indeed.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:07 AM   #492
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This was simply an aesthetic, urban design choice at the time; done to not create a wall of towers around the harbor but create a clustered, mountain effect toward the core of the old downtown financial district(Baltimore and Light). This way, taller buildings would rise above the harbor buildings and be visible from the harbor and vice/versa. I think they more or less managed to do that, and I kinda like the concept. I don't think they pick the best (or better) design or architecture in about half the cases, but the general massing works for me.

The twilight skyline from Federal Hill has a very bizarre, serene, almost alien nature to it, like from Star Trek or something. It does have its elegance, if not shear skyscraping "might".

If one wants crowns, I say One Light St's gotta have one, no matter what. Anything less would be a travesty. Maybe we can get a sorta crown out of the old Tower building lot, too, but not too acute.

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:17 AM   #493
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Oh I think were all familier with Clarke and One Light!
No, I think jpav is refering to the old Tower Building lot, which we discussed quite a bit a few months back. I've read articles about development plans for mixed use, but they demolished some not-to-historically significant buildings for more parking there; mostly on Baltimore St and one or two on Calvert. They intentially kept the old (RR?) building on the corner, thankfully.

Clearly, it was more valuable as valet parking spaces than outdated 1-2 story buildings. Mixed-use for that I hear (of course). I'm sure someone's got more info, but I think it's awhile off. Too much now in the virtual pipeline.

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 01:27 AM   #494
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Okay, so back to Legg....

Hey, I'm too ill right now to do anything else but post!

Baltimoreisbest seems confident about the office space absorbtion rate in this town....

Well, maybe Legg wants to move, but stay downtown with more space they can expand into, but not have to compete for parking. (How many spaces does the Legg Mason (USF&G) Tower have anyway. I know there are 4 levels beneath. For that matter, what is the SF of the tower itself?)

Perhaps they can increase their potential office supply and parking ratio by being the new lead tenant at an as yet unbuilt One Light St type location!

Maybe this is fanciful, but if the Class "A" market is tightening, than the Charles St building should fill back rather easily and leave Legg with control of more parking at One Light. Perhaps One Light could be a mix of office and hotel. Hotels need less parking anyway, so there they would have less competition and we'd still get a 50+ story building there, right, RIGHT?!

Time for more drugs to numb the pain.....

Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 02:02 AM   #495
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I don't understand why we can't have crowns on our buildings along the Harbor. That really doesn't make any sense to me. Why settle for less than spectacular building designs?
What type of crown do you expect them to put on such a narrow constrained site? The problem with that parcel is that it's a narrow rectangle. The length is much longer than the width. Probably the reason it's taken so long to develop. If a crown was tacked on top it wouldn't be much of a crown. Consider the utilities that have to go on top too, that is the reason fro the “hat” look. The only things they can really do is round off the top or slice the top portion of building diagonally in the shape of a crystal or knife edge which would be sweet imo. Instead it looks like they want to maximize space and I don’t really blame them at that site. The building still looks nice, but yeah it’s not as great as the previous.

This is a very preliminary model only to show massing not detail. All the blue DOES represent glass. The bottom portion is probably some large retail window, either a spa, gym, or anchor entrance for the building. And trust me the “hat” design is not unique to Baltimore, just look at White Flint Crossing.

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Old February 3rd, 2007, 03:09 AM   #496
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ok... my friday night rants

-getontrac is right regarding height limits for buildings facing the harbor on pratt street. the exceptions have been for privately held land and for corporations who've blackmailed the city into letting them build their towers or leave town (legg mason and ibm. ibm built their monstosity and left anyway). a great view is from pratt and president street looking west down pratt towards the harbor. you can really see the height limit in effect.

-as for flags... i did a senior thesis on the sembiotic nature of banners and flags. i cringe every time i see a md flag displayed UPSIDE DOWN! LIKE THE TIME I HAD JURY DUTY AND THE MITCHELL COURTHOUSE FLEW IT UPSIDE DOWN!!!! i told the judge that i wsa personally offended by it. for the record folks....the gold and black diamond field should be above the red and white cross at the staff side of the flag. we have EASILY the coolest state flag in the country, yet we can't figure out how to fly it. now that you know the rules, you're cursed to forever be pissed off when you see it upsidae down! sorry 'bout that.

-lighten up harlem. this is a great group of people that don't always agree, but always seem to stay civil or at least remove themselves from the conversation and call a truce. be active in our group. but be civil.

-highways create sprawl. its a plain and simple fact. their very being practically wiped out cities as we know them. they were never created as commuter roads. they were designed and created for military and evacuation routes. yet the result was the mass exodus from the city centers (sprawl). sprawl is not a problem we can pave our way out of.

-fell better nate.

-cool to hear the updated finish dates wada. can't wait to see your photos from the top of waterstreet.

-legg may not need more sq. feet; but the trend in corporate is to try and get the most contiguous sq. feet possible in order to keep your departments from being spread across multiple floors of a building. this is bad news for
b-more as our blocks have very small footprints compared to other cities and therefor can only offer "x" sq feet per floor.

- i think 40000 sq feet of retail is a good number for 300 pratt. especially with the gallery right next door and harbor place across the street. what it needs though is retail not geared towards tourists. we need a drugstore, not another "baltimore" store.

-i liked the original 'stepped back' design rendering of 300 pratt MUCH better than the current design.

-can someone tell me where the prototype rubber sidewalk is installed? i want to go and take a walk!!

thanks for letting me rant. be well.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 04:19 AM   #497
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^According to some sources that I've talked with, the main reason for the interstate highway system was for trucking. It was determined to marketly faster ship freight by truck to backwater locations faster by auto than by rail.

It was sold to the American people as a fast and convenient way to travel across country or inter-city, thereby gaining support for the necessary tax gas increases needed to raise the appropriate revenue. IIRC, adjusting for inflation, gas was about at its cheapest in the 1950s when the program started, so taxing gas a bit might not have been perceived that abhorent to the populace, esp. since a large proportion of Americans were transit dependent. However, that quickly changed by the 60s.

At the time, I don't think highways were envisioned for urban areas (forget my sources here, sorry). Even planners then deemed them unfit. Mostly, they were designed to be bypasses, so that commuters or truckers didn't have to go through a city that was not their destination. But, of course, the politicians, thought highways would do wonders for the city as far as commerce and redevelopment were concerned--and there's nothing like bringing home the federal bacon to say you've accomplished something and put the feather in your cap! I can't blame Willie Don singularly, it was the mentality of the time. At least while he was mayor, he championed the subway and we got that baby built.

DC eshewed highways for the Metro and it is all the better for it. Boston was almost as lucky save the monstrosity downtown. Other old cities that built lots of highways bit the dust (Bronx, Detroit). New cities that did are sprawl fests with horrible traffic (Atlanta) and/or deemed inhospitable by many (like LA).

I think Baltimore was almost lucky, had we not built the Ditch we would have fully bypassed the highway craze. West Baltimore was always the nicest section of the old city outside the wealthy areas. The destruction there caused massive destabilization in Park Heights and the rest is history.

The silver lining is that we have essentially a FREE one-mile right-of-way for rapid transit. Then we can fill in the Ditch and re-cement W. Baltimore.

(One of the people who told me about the trucking aspect of highways, was one of the lead members of the group who STOPPED I-70 35+ years ago from tearing through Gwynns Falls Park--where I work. Thank God)
Nate
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 05:06 AM   #498
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DC eshewed highways for the Metro and it is all the better for it. Boston was almost as lucky save the monstrosity downtown. Other old cities that built lots of highways bit the dust (Bronx, Detroit). New cities that did are sprawl fests with horrible traffic (Atlanta) and/or deemed inhospitable by many (like LA).
As a resident of both, I can tell you that BalWash's traffic is much worse than Atlanta's. What they have down here is small potatoes.
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 05:13 AM   #499
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Hey, I'm too ill right now to do anything else but post!

Baltimoreisbest seems confident about the office space absorbtion rate in this town....

Well, maybe Legg wants to move, but stay downtown with more space they can expand into, but not have to compete for parking. (How many spaces does the Legg Mason (USF&G) Tower have anyway. I know there are 4 levels beneath. For that matter, what is the SF of the tower itself?)

Perhaps they can increase their potential office supply and parking ratio by being the new lead tenant at an as yet unbuilt One Light St type location!

Maybe this is fanciful, but if the Class "A" market is tightening, than the Charles St building should fill back rather easily and leave Legg with control of more parking at One Light. Perhaps One Light could be a mix of office and hotel. Hotels need less parking anyway, so there they would have less competition and we'd still get a 50+ story building there, right, RIGHT?!

Time for more drugs to numb the pain.....

Nate
Nate, this is what I know...

The Legg Mason tower is about 600,000 square feet--17,000 feet per floor over 35 floors, the lower floor being the only non-office space in the building. Legg Mason and, now SmithBarney/Citigroup, occupy floors 15-35. Citigroup has 5-6 floors, and according to news reports, is looking for new space for its brokers. Citigroup has several hundred brokers, and legg mason about 1,200 employees. Stifel Nicolaus Capital Markets is moving out of the building soon, so that will free up two floors or so. Legg Mason has plenty of space to expand in that building.

One Light Street would offer few advantages over the current site. Although it is better situated w/respect to transit connections, the building would lose waterfront views that executives like (all the executive offices face the harbor in the LM building), and wouldn't offer much greater floorplate space. Perhaps you could get 20,000 sf/floor at One Light, but that's not a distinct advantage. Buildings like the new Bank of America Tower in New York -- which, by the way, will be the second tallest structure in the midtown skyline, coming in close to the Empire State Building's height -- will have trading floors of 30-40k sf each. Finally, there won't be enough positive absorption in the office market to take an additional 1,000,000 or so square feet. Remember that the Montgomery Building has about 400k sf available, and downtown has other chunks of unused space. From an investment standpoint, a new building is questionable. Baltimore just doesn't expand that quickly.

Eric
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Old February 3rd, 2007, 06:04 AM   #500
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Sad News. The Dime Museum, perhaps Baltimore's most unique and unheralded gem is closing for financial reasons and the museums contents are beings auctioned off. Iím not sure if this is old news or not but I just found out. Woe is me.

Unfortunately, the guy behind the dime museum burned out a couple years ago and left. It has been on life support for several years.
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