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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:25 PM   #1161
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Originally Posted by Maudibjr View Post
Thanks for typing out the proposals guys.

I guess I am in the minority, but I think downtown traffic flows reletively well.

I guess I was looking to see smaller scale athestic changes. Livining up mckeldin and the legg mason plaza, removing the berms. I don't think the inner harbor pavilons are going to be removed anytime soon, so I consider that idea pie in the sky.

I do like the idea of a seperated bike trail parrelling Pratt However.
I agree 100%
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:37 PM   #1162
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As far as the Pavillions are concerned. What will replace the light street pavillion?? IF its removed with nothing in its place the Science Center will be completely cut off from the rest of the Harbor (as if it isnt cut off enough as it is.. and think back to what happened to the defunct Columbus Center, now UMBI).

I believe the Harbor is more geared towards outside tourists and families and the flow of foot traffic has sustained the promenade.

Pratt street can be geared towards toursists but I think primarily it should be a center for the citizens of the greater Baltimore metro area and new residents downtown. Think about it. More downtown buildings are being converted towards residences so I think Baltimore can definitely sustain the two. I think it can make a good transition from family (harbor promenade), to urbania (pratt street), to nightlife (power plant live).
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:44 PM   #1163
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I understand the reasoning for getting rid of the pavilions, but it just seems kinda counterproductive to me. We have this flourishing area around the Harbor but we want to take all the retail there and get rid of it by moving it to Pratt St., where it may or may not be as successful. So then we have a successful Pratt Street but a dead Inner Harbor that won't attract any tourists around the water. That just confuses me a bit. Why can't we keep what we have at the Harbor WHILE enhancing Pratt Street? We have already begun doing so with Lockwood place retail.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:48 PM   #1164
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the harbor pavilions are critical elements that define the edge of the inner harbor. great spaces have definition and if the defined edge of the harbor is pushed to the northern edge of pratt street, the spatial feel of the promenade would be diminished.

IMHO.

i think that pratt needs to be its own unique environment, while the harbor is its own unique environment. the two can compliment each other in uses and amenities, but still have seperate roles---harbor = tourists, pratt= citizens/residents.

taking the retail away from the waterfront will kill the harbor experience. it's waht brings people to the water and animates the experience!
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:06 PM   #1165
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To me there is not much of anything in the pavilions as far as retail goes. The restaraunts and stores in the pavilions aren't the only stores in the world. That being said I think there is plenty of options retail, eating, and entertainment wise for Pratt. I believe that the sides of the pavilions not facing the water need to be more pedestrian friendly. So the store fronts on the Pratt St. side of the pavilion should look just as good and inviting as the waterfornt side.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:10 PM   #1166
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Why settle for just one proposal?

Some of the ideas that sound very interested to me are: sondheim plaza is envisioned as Baltimore's Rockefeller center, Jones Falls/Fallswalk, Bike Lanes, Adding Fountains, LED video wall , 'Arts Grove/Performance Area', Bay Center @ Constellation Plaza,a glass facade and walkway connect the old and new parts of the convention center.
It would be great if the city implemented the best parts of each of the four proposals instead of being limited to just one winner. Unfortunately that won't happen
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:19 PM   #1167
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The Inner Harbor is arguably Baltimore's signature tourist attraction. Getting rid of the pavilions would be a massive error. For many people, HarborPlace IS downtown Baltimore. And while that sort of thinking is a hinderance towards getting them to explore other areas of downtown, it's up to the city to make those other areas more accessible and welcoming to the fairweather tourists that make the trek to HarborPlace one or twice a year.

An improved Pratt Street which flows easily into and out of the Harbor is a great start. Much of the foot traffic in the Gallery branches off from HarborPlace. If we expand retail and dining options on Pratt, open up the sidewalks and allow people to see other exciting and fun things to do, all the way up and down the street, then they're more likely to stay longer, do more, and spend more.

HarborPlace will get them here, it always has. It's up to the design team and the city to get them to see Baltimore's bigger picture. It would be a very sad day if HarborPlace ceased to exist.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:23 PM   #1168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balmurfan View Post
Some of the ideas that sound very interested to me are: sondheim plaza is envisioned as Baltimore's Rockefeller center, Jones Falls/Fallswalk, Bike Lanes, Adding Fountains, LED video wall , 'Arts Grove/Performance Area', Bay Center @ Constellation Plaza,a glass facade and walkway connect the old and new parts of the convention center.
It would be great if the city implemented the best parts of each of the four proposals instead of being limited to just one winner. Unfortunately that won't happen
Why do you think that won't happen? I was under the impression the reason they offered $25K to each of the 4 finalist was to get this range of great ideas. Maybe I'm giving the bdc too much credit, but I think they are going to discuss all of the ideas they do like, select the group that seems to have the best handle on the direction they want to go and then work on subsequent drafts of the design that incorporate some of the better ideas from the other groups. I figure thats only fair since they are actually paying for those ideas... And I really hope they do that because there are a lot of great ideas from all the groups. To pick one and finalize things the way they were initially proposed would be pretty stupid in my opinion. Even though it seems all groups did a great job, they can still all learn from each other.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:26 PM   #1169
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In my opinion the things I'd like to see most out of all of these proposals are as follows:

1. wipe the berms from existence.
2. a large influx of new storefront mid-high end retail and dining that pushes out further toward the edge of the street.
3. the addition of a giant LED board somewhere on Pratt. that just screams "big city" to me.
4. something new and useful done with Legg Mason plaza.
5. classy fountains/monuments at the top and bottom of Pratt.
6. the ice rink/pond in Sondheim Plaza.
7. bike lanes.
8. elimination of the skywalks.
9. a boat house.
10. improved sidewalks, lighting and signage.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 09:45 PM   #1170
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How long will this project take to become in effect?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:01 PM   #1171
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Well, the good thing about redeveloping Pratt Street is none of the plans will be implemented in its entirety. Hopefully the best bits and pieces will be assembled over the coming years.

However, the pavilion question may end up being the most thought provocative element of this charette! Perhaps the retail solution is a combination of moving some Harborplace retail to new store fronts on Pratt Street, and keeping some of the food establishments at the pavilions? As more residential is developed in downtown, maybe Harborplace can revert back to its original self -- back in the day the Light Street Pavilion was centered more on a marketplace concept -- complete with grocery stalls. While it could still attract tourists, via limited retail and restaurants, it could provide groceries and food items to downtown residents, while still providing a central gathering place.

Of course, the downside is cost: if the pavilions are abolished, who pays General Growth Properties the hefty price? The city? Reduce retailing, how do you make-up for lost revenue? Go to a market-grocery concept, who's willing to buy a tomatoes that will cost ten bucks at a stall located on prime downtown real estate? Does the city outright purchase both pavilions, and run the complex via Baltimore Municipal Markets?

Interesting questions...
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:16 PM   #1172
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Does anyone know if the Barnyc group was on any of the teams to do the LED artwork?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:24 PM   #1173
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Quote:
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Does anyone know if the Barnyc group was on any of the teams to do the LED artwork?
all of the LED work was simply conceptual and it made it into all of the plans in one way or another.

it looks like it would take at a minimum of 6 years to implement each of the plans, but certain elements could be done NOW!
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:30 PM   #1174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxsoccer View Post
Why do you think that won't happen? I was under the impression the reason they offered $25K to each of the 4 finalist was to get this range of great ideas. Maybe I'm giving the bdc too much credit, but I think they are going to discuss all of the ideas they do like, select the group that seems to have the best handle on the direction they want to go and then work on subsequent drafts of the design that incorporate some of the better ideas from the other groups. I figure thats only fair since they are actually paying for those ideas... And I really hope they do that because there are a lot of great ideas from all the groups. To pick one and finalize things the way they were initially proposed would be pretty stupid in my opinion. Even though it seems all groups did a great job, they can still all learn from each other.
The award of $25,000 is small money as far as I'm concerned. The competition never articulated that the winning design will ever be constructed or even implemented. The winning team will work under the direction of BDC and city agencies along with the public and private sector to finalize designs and create more formalized plans and a phased implementation program.

Such design competitions are normally intended to foster new ideas; possibilities that may otherwise go unnoticed. That's why I think the true value of the charette wasn't necessarily the suggestion of making Pratt Street a two-way thoroughfare, or adding retail, but rather an assessment of what do we have there now... For what the city paid, it got a bargain in terms of new ideas.

While I don't want to place my focus too much on Harborplace, my question is does anyone know how it rates comparatively to other similar marketplaces? Not too long ago, Harborplace earnings (revenue) per square foot were greater than South Street Seaport in New York, or even the "original" Harborplace template -- Faneuil Hall Market Place -- up in Boston. Is this still true? How are the other marketplaces doing in comparison?

...and I agree with the earlier question: if you get rid of the pavilions, what takes its place?
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:02 PM   #1175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folsomfanatic View Post
all of the LED work was simply conceptual and it made it into all of the plans in one way or another.

it looks like it would take at a minimum of 6 years to implement each of the plans, but certain elements could be done NOW!
We included the barnycz group on our rash field team submittal. He did the crown fountain at millenium and has his office in canton, so I figured he would show up on a few of the pratt street teams.

www.barnyczgroup.com
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:18 PM   #1176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffbaltimore View Post
We included the barnycz group on our rash field team submittal. He did the crown fountain at millenium and has his office in canton, so I figured he would show up on a few of the pratt street teams.

www.barnyczgroup.com
thanks for the link. i'll look them up. who do you work for??
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:34 PM   #1177
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Firms unveil grand plans for Pratt Street
Designs feature trees, two-way traffic

By Laura McCandlish
sun reporter
Originally published February 21, 2007
Visions of a transformed Pratt Street nearly as grand as the Champs Elysees in Paris and Chicago's Michigan Avenue danced on a projector screen last night at the Baltimore Convention Center.

In a public forum, four architectural teams unveiled their proposals for overhauling a 16-block stretch of the critical artery that carries traffic past the Inner Harbor.





Their visions of grandeur included gateway monuments and fountains at each end of the stretch -- at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the west and President Street on the east -- and "green" rooftops for buildings, rain gardens in plazas, solar-powered streetlights and a tree canopy.

"It's not about Pratt Street as much as the whole city, making connectivity east to west and west to east," Adam Gross, design principal at Ayers Saint Gross of Baltimore, said during his firm's presentation.

The Baltimore Development Corp., Downtown Partnership of Baltimore and the city departments of planning and transportation awarded $25,000 grants in December to the four finalists in a design contest. Within a few weeks, city officials are expected to choose a winning team for the project, which could take years to complete.

Also competing are EDSA of Columbia, Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects of Washington, and Hargreaves Associates of Cambridge, Mass.

Creating a unified corridor with distinct districts, possibly two directions for traffic, environmental features and a better view of the Inner Harbor were features stressed by most of the teams.

All agreed to remove the grassy mounds, called berms, that disrupt the street's urban character, proposing to replace them with widened sidewalks, more trees and planters, and outdoor retail space.

Carving out a cleaner view of the waterfront is also essential, because it is now almost invisible from Pratt Street, said Bob Gorman, representing Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects. He mentioned creating fountains and reflecting pools at Sondheim Plaza adjacent to the World Trade Center, which could be frozen for ice-skating and drained for festivals.

Constructing a kayaking boathouse at the Jones Falls could be another asset, he said.

"We want to create a place that opens up a window to the water," Gorman said.

The plans would create a pedestrian-friendly Pratt Street that still allows for heavy vehicle traffic. Proposals from Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn and Ayers Saint Gross to implement two-way traffic on both Pratt and Lombard streets generated applause.

"I can't think of any great urban street ... without traffic going in both directions," Gorman said.

Gross' team members said they would take it one step further by adding two-way traffic on Charles, Light and Calvert streets.

EDSA's design to create a shared bike and bus lane, as exists in many foreign cities, also drew attention. Other teams envisioned connections to bike trails along the Jones Falls and Gwynn Falls. Transforming McKeldin Plaza at Light Street into a more modern space, complete with LED screens that could televise sports games and video installation art, was also stressed. EDSA's presenters would create a green performance lawn, with food kiosks and Internet access, resembling Bryant Park in New York City.

"We've got to program these spaces to really bring them to life," said Henry M. Alinger, associate principal of EDSA.

All the presenters recommended several distinct districts heading west to east along Pratt, including a campus area around the University of Maryland complex, a civic zone at the Convention Center, an enhanced Inner Harbor and an arts and cultural section near the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture at President Street.

[email protected]
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Old February 21st, 2007, 11:38 PM   #1178
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Update on "10 INNER HARBOR"

I e-mailed Mr. Wheeler yesterday.
Here it is:

Hello, Mr. Wheeler. I've a question for you.

Since you're redeveloping Baltimore's B&O building into a "10" brand hotel in Baltimore, does that mean the "10 Inner Harbor" tower will not be getting a "10" hotel now?

Very curious as to how that will effect the final scale/design of the project as well. Thank you.



Steve

Here is his relatively quick response:

Hi Steve:



10 Inner Harbor will have a “statement hotel” not a boutique like the B&O Building. We should be announcing program on 10 Inner Harbor within 3 weeks. Thanks Hal

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

Well? Sounds good to me. 3 weeks and counting.......
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 12:02 AM   #1179
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Awesome work Steven. You and your emails really help to break some new developments around here.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 12:18 AM   #1180
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Awesome work Steven. You and your emails really help to break some new developments around here.
"Awe, shucks!" "Twernt nuthin'!" "Nope, nope, nope!"
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