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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Welcom to Castle Land!!! This area of the city bound by Larabee, Willow, Halstead, and Armitage as seen explosive construction in the last decade. What has happened is countless modest single family homes and 3-5 flats have been destroyed to replace HUGE Mc-Mansion style single family homes taking up 6 lots! Because of this trend i've heard that the population of Lincoln park is expected to decrease this decade due to this influx of single family homes. This is what i call the suburbanization of the city. The homes they build here are gawdy, over the top, tacky, down right disgusting, and cost at least 2 million dollars and at most 10 million!! ( i heard seven lot parcel of land is on the market for 10.5 million). They usually have up to 7 bedrooms and are most likely have 3 car garages. The area is now crowded with porshe, mercedes, and BMW SUV's! and little white kids dressed in Quicksilver whizzing down the sidewalks on scooters followed by there mom's decked out in Channel pushing thier babies in 500$ plus strollers. Neighborhoods change, but this is just awful to see.


Here they are ...



The buildings on the right are just a taste of what use to be where all these castle homes are now.



WoW! the really picked the wrong architectural style here. Spanish renisance just doesn't work here. Especially when there's snow on the ground.











These are the modest sized homes dating back to the 19th century that are being replaced. This neighborhood is now filled with CEO's rather than workers that use to work in nearby factories.



This is possibly the only building in this area that holds any architectural value at all. This building also happens to be designed by the Architecture firm that i work for. The 2 upper floors (one of them isn't built yet) will be supported on tiny base in the center on the first floor so that there will be all glasss on every single exterior wall on the ground floor, an engineering marvel.







Wonder what's going to be built there? probably a 5 million dolllar, 6 bedroom, 4 car garage, 7,500 square foot home on three lots.


This isn't a castle home, it's a urban gated community more common in chicago than you would think.


Parked cars on driveways blocking the sidewalk, umm this reminds me of the suburbs.










Let's save the panthers, but destory the atomsphere and drill for oil in alaska. You gotta love it.




This House is just FUCKING HUGE! what is this like 6 or 5 lots. How could somebody ever need this much space! this has to be worth like 10 mil!








Boo hoo! another building destroyed on the block for yet another mega home.


JESUS!






HaHa, looks like the people living here just haven't learned to handle living in the city.






This is yet another picture that shows the quality of architecture and density that use to exist here.

 

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my only real problem on Burling there is the garages up front... but thats excuseable because there is no alley... why that is, however, im not too sure about. i dont like the houses taking up more than 2 or 3 city lots however, but its also reassuring to see this much wealth invested in the city...

dont worry. its is the exception, not the rule. a phenomenon that can only happen in Lincoln Park. it adds a little variety as it is. the quality being put into those buildings is amazing too... limestone! real damn limestone! :p
 

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:jk:

All the "castle" homes I see in chicago is..at 33rd +normal, Parnell(at bridgeport, across from a parking lot that belong to the white soxs).

Here some other castle houses that I found on internet from chicago,

 

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Besides the garages, what's wrong with these? They're built on standard-size lots:




And there's actually very few buildings going up on sidestreets that are wider than a standard lot; they're usually built on corners. I live in that neighborhood.
 

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I enjoyed seeing the pictures, but I am dumbfounded by the commentary. (1) Aesthetics: he aesthetics of these single-family home developments seem good to great. I like the aesthetics of the workman's homes too, and I hope that some are preserved, but the stonework and other detailing on these mansions is at least as good in quality as what's its replacing. (2) Urban fabric: It doesn't look like the urban fabric is compromised in many places here, with the exception of the houses with walled "postage stamp" yards in front. I hate those, because they present a blank wall to the street. But many of the townhouses and mega-townhouses you have shown here do not turn their backs to the street the way so much luxury housing in the '70s did. These houses present elegant facades with plenty of windows to the street. Garages in front are certainly preferable to garages in back, but from what I see here, the garages have been tastefully tucked slightly below ground-level, leaving the main facade at eye-level relatively unscathed. Of course, some of the stuff you have shown is bad--certainly--but not the most upscale stuff that you seem to detest most. I imagine some of these streets are interesting to walk down, or will be once construction is complete. I loved walking down some of the Gold Coast residential streets at night, because many of the magnificent homes would be lit up, and you could see some of the interiors which were often worthy of Architectural Digest. I imagine some of these streets yield the same views. (3) Class bias. How is being anti-rich people much better than anti-poor people? Houses over $5 million ! Oh no! People dressed in fancy clothes! Oh horrors! You speak of this as if it somehow violates the urban environment. I disagree: the great cities of the world often reveal the excesses of the rich, as well as the desperateness of the poor. Even if you find materialistic values repugnant, it is interesting to see all different types of people in the city, including the wealthy. Extreme wealth is certainly what contributes to NYC's interesting qualities. Then there are of course the indirect benefits. The cultural vitality of the city, including its surging theater industry, is reliant on the rich to a great degree. And, with every multi-million dollar house comes thousands of dollars a year in property taxes to the city's coffers. The city very desperately needs these people, especially in its current budget crisis.

(4) Density. You complain that new development is lower density than previous development. First of all, are you certain that every one of those buildings you photographed is single - family, not fancy 3 flats? There are 3 and 4-flats in Lakeview that look somewhat like single family homes in some cases. Also, the replacement of 3-flats with multi-million dollar mansions is certainly a pretty rare phenomenon. Many parts of Lincoln Park are plenty dense, in that the streets are vibrant. Quiet sidestreets with mansions does not detract from this. The many quiet mansion-filled sidestreets do not detract from an otherwise dense Village in New York, certainly one of the most vibrant, energizing urbanscapes in the country and the world. Why should they be a problem in Lincoln Park? As long as the city enforces certain requirements for the vast majority--front facing doors, minimization of blank walls, maintaining the street wall in general.

And how is an outside intercom system a symbol of urban fear? That is frankly odd to me.
 

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I read somewhere that the median home price for Single Family in LP and Old Town is now over a million. 60611 (Gold Coast-Mag Mile) is already 1.4 mill median home price, that even includes condos. The way this is going, Wicker Park/Bucktown or Lakeview will become the same.

I like it, its great investment for the city. Chicago has the best infill in the country, be it mansions or townhomes. They are big, but it seems that blend in to the neighborhood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
when i started this thread i thought the people in this forum had a somewhat of a sense of "good architecture", obviously you guys don't. Tell me are the McMansions they're building in Barrington as "tasteful" and "elegant" as these? This architecture is completely backward thinking and frankly in my opinion very bourgeious. These buildings are immitadors not innovators, and for that reason they aren't the gold coast and are more like subdivision housing. I laugh at this area actually, it's funny that wealth is expressed in the same architectural language as it was one hundred years ago. Chicagolover how about you throw your Architectural Digest in your Restoration Hardware Fireplace and light a condensed magic log from Costco to burn it. A city like Chicago is no place for this type of disgusting architecture. The whole place just looks like a giant themepark, that's how much of a joke it is. The bottom line is, this is only tasteful architecture to those who know nothing about architecture, those people obviously being many of you guys. If this shit is considered good architecure, then obviously you guys consider developers to be good architects because they are the people that usually shape the design of these buildings. The architecture of these buildings is designed so that they can be sold to those who know nothing about good architecture, because good architecture is different and people are scared of things being different! BOTTOMLINE all of these buildngs are shit!
 

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Oh com'on...aestetically some of those weren't bad at all. If it is completely out of character for the nabe, then that can be a bit disconcerting during the displacement period, as the two vastly different type of homes in the same area looks weird. I also don't think tearing down historically or architectually significant buildings should be allowed either if that is the case here.

Most look to be built using quality materials and workmanship...all new houses look "new"...let them age a little, and I'm sure they will be fine. I've seen a HELL of a lot worse cases of too much money and not enough taste.






KGB
 

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At least admit you are dichotomizing

ThirdCoast312 said:
Chicagolover how about you throw your Architectural Digest in your Restoration Hardware Fireplace and light a condensed magic log from Costco to burn it.
I found that quip to be funny, if somewhat inaccurate. I think you are dichotomizing too much here. I like innovative architecture too, and, my goodness, if I had as much as some of these residents of "Castleville" as you call it, I would not build the throwbacks they are building, but hire a talented architect known for innovation, and let him (yes since they usually are him) run wild. (I wouldn't hire a Tadao Ando, but someone not so completely opposed to the curved line.)

That said, these houses really aren't that bad. They're not amazing, as in topflight architecture, but they're solid infill. If you can get solid infill that generally maintains a pleasant streetscape, you're doing well.

Also, I think you may be conflating your politics with your aesthetic judgment here. How would you define bourgeosie, and how do these houses exemplify it?

Let's take an example of an outstanding building -- the Contemporaine in River North. I would be surprised if you didn't also think this to be an outstanding building. Well prices in that tower hover in the $600-700K range, as I understand it. Granted, the people living there probably, on average, have a more forward-looking aesthetic taste than those moving into these mansions, but are they going to be any less bourgeosie? They be lawyers, rather than CEOs. !?!?
 

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I should add that architecture people now applaud that has aquired a certain elan with age was not any more innovative at the time than it is today. Take the University of Chicago campus. Mitchell Tower and Hutchinson Commons at the corner of University and 57th is beautiful but also an almost exact replica of something in Oxford. ThirdCoast, do you dislike the UofC campus? In the 1890s when the campus was built, that Gothic style was of course nothing new, and the point of all of it *was* a throwback, a conscious attempt to make a brand new college look venerable. Just because something is a throwback doesn't make it "shit".
 

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ThirdCoast312 said:
when i started this thread i thought the people in this forum had a somewhat of a sense of "good architecture", obviously you guys don't. Tell me are the McMansions they're building in Barrington as "tasteful" and "elegant" as these? This architecture is completely backward thinking and frankly in my opinion very bourgeious. These buildings are immitadors not innovators, and for that reason they aren't the gold coast and are more like subdivision housing. I laugh at this area actually, it's funny that wealth is expressed in the same architectural language as it was one hundred years ago. Chicagolover how about you throw your Architectural Digest in your Restoration Hardware Fireplace and light a condensed magic log from Costco to burn it. A city like Chicago is no place for this type of disgusting architecture. The whole place just looks like a giant themepark, that's how much of a joke it is. The bottom line is, this is only tasteful architecture to those who know nothing about architecture, those people obviously being many of you guys. If this shit is considered good architecure, then obviously you guys consider developers to be good architects because they are the people that usually shape the design of these buildings. The architecture of these buildings is designed so that they can be sold to those who know nothing about good architecture, because good architecture is different and people are scared of things being different! BOTTOMLINE all of these buildngs are shit!

:weirdo: Ok, first of all you are way off base considering the houses that you showed as "subdivision housing" which I take to mean cookie cutter suburban housing. All the houses you showed, though a bit overdone at times, are quite beautiful in their own right. If you want to see some real ugly subdivision housing take a ride down Randall Road in Kane County some time. Perhaps then you will learn to appreciate what a good thing you have in Chicago if those are the ugliest new houses you can think of. Not every house can be a mind blowing architectural gem.
 

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i think i understand where he is coming from. i mean where you could easily have 3 to 4 families in a lot there is only one. so i think he's bringing up the issue of land-use policy. which i totally agree with that they should limit the number of one family unit housing. i mean serisously in manhattan how many people can you count in a one unit lot?

its ok if CEO's live in condos. they should realize that instead going for bragging rights for a brownstone.

let the flamming begin.
 

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Those houses look fine to me. I would love to take a stroll along those streets.

But here's what I don't get. Doesn't Chicago have some sort of ordinance against street facing garages (or at least STRONGLY discouraging them)? I ask this because, even though some houses like this are being built, most of the neighborhoods being developed in Chicago have rear alley/private drive facing garages away from the street.

So how does the city determine who is allowed a front-facing garage and who isn't?
 

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Why doesn't the city just rezone Lincoln Park? This junk can easily be fixed.

The City should ban all Lincoln Park side street curb cuts, put height and ground coverage limits on single family homes, and require all new homes line up with the street.

As for aesthetics, these homes all scream tacky nouveau riche. Who would live here when you could pay the same to get something spectacular on the Gold Coast? Compare Astor or North State to this garbage. Astor is like the best street between NY and Cali. This stuff looks like Naperville or Barrington. I bet you these new Lincoln Park homes are selling to tanned elderly doctors wearing Gucci loafers on their third wife with a home in Boca. Tacky!
 

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ChicagoLover said:
Crawford: I doubt these houses are as expensive, per square foot, as the houses on Astor or elsewhere in the Gold Coast.
I'm sure you're right, but who wouldn't take something smaller on Astor than a McMansion in Lincoln Park? If you're spending millions on these new homes in Lincoln Park, you can easily afford something in the Gold Coast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think that generally in this city new construction sells better than older buildings, even if older buildings do have more charm.
 

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Most of these buildings are great, ignoring the atrocious street-facing garages. I don't understand why some people think that every single new building that goes up--including single-family infill, for Christ's sake--has to be cutting-edge. I'm sorry, there's not that much edge to cut. Especially in a neighborhood whose main charm lies in its older architecture, it makes all the sense in the world to design new buildings that fit in, and that's exactly what these do. They're not cheap, they're not tacky--or if they are, so is everything else in that neighborhood, including the stuff built 100 years ago. Like someone said here, it's not like any of the great old rowhouses or flats in Lincoln Park, or anywhere else in Chicago, were cutting edge when they were built.

Can we take some futuristic-looking stuff every now and again? Sure, as long as it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. But instead of complaining about these (except, again, about the garages), I wish infill everywhere in the city was of this quality.
 
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