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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you see a time when Chicago's North Side (I'm thinking principally areas on the lakefront as far north as Addison and generally east of the Kennedy, except also including Wicker Pk and Bucktown) will function in Chicago like areas such as the Upper East Side and Upper West Sides do in Manhattan?

Chicago differs from New York in the sense that it has no Manhattan, a large enough place that allows its function to be spread out in a non-centralized area. Totally centralized Chicago operates with a downtown core that when it peters out north at North Ave, south at McCormick Place, and west to around the UC leaves you in the neighorhoods.

Because Manhattan itself serves as a core, areas outside the Midtown and Downtown high rises still have "full Manhattan status".

Could we come to time when the North Side from Lincoln Park on up to Lakeview and west to Bucktown are similiar to the Manhattan example: really the heart of the city along with the CBD, fully working in tandem with the core?
 

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born again cyclist
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i doubt it. the "manhattan effect" you're speaking of is dictated by geography, chicago has no such comparable geography, hence chicago will remain a core & neighborhood city for the foreseeable future.
 

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I could see the north side neighborhoods on the lake increasing in density so that they are comparable to Manhattan in that reguard, but I don't think they'd ever be part of the "core".
 

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I know we have different views on what constitutes Chicago's "core", but I would include Old Town, Lincoln, and Halsted a little past Fullerton in the "Manhattan like core" at least the Greenwich Village/Soho/Tribeca functions. You will never see high rises directly on the Lake in this area because of Lincoln park(thank G-d) but I think high rises in Lincoln Park West all the way to Wrigleyville and Uptown etc. are probably inevitable.
 

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Im not sure what you mean, in density or built up environment? I guess it doesnt matter though - that wont happen.

But to me these areas already do function like the UES and UWS of manhattan, just on a smaller scale- and will never approach their density. I remember back in skyscraper page someone came up with the densest 25sq miles of major US cities to compare (the size of manhattan), and chicago was a distant second at about 40% density of manhattan. Chicago's got a lot more room to build. Sure those northside areas are dense, and may become even more so; but I cant imagine these areas really resembling a manhattan.

Part of the whole thing with manhattan is, its stuck on an island and has a big park in the middle. Chicago will obviously never have that and will never be forced to build as dense. Plus, with nimbys in old town, lincoln park, lakeview, and west loop, you wont see many more tall thin buildings- so the physical makeup will never be that close either.

Anyway, as i said parts of lincoln park, gold coast, and lakeview are already sorta manhattan-like for chicago scale, and blend in well with the cbd as far as Im concerned. Throw in the south loop in a few years too and the area is stretching even farther. But to me, there's no need to follow manhattans model too closely, esp. when our geography is so different. I would like the west loop to wisen up though and start building tall too.
 

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Steely, I said all the way, that means fill in/all high rises. I know about some of the highrises there. Many of them were up in 1970.
 

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Chicago is layed out diffently than manhatten so the way buildings spread out in chicago varies more...with that said I absolutly believe that there are many areas of chicago during this boom that are begining to connect the skyline farther west, north , and south. I mean chicago will past 100 buildings that are over 500ft. 20 years ago NYC was at that number so downtown chicago and manhatten are very much alike in my opinion.
 

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There are certainly pockets of the north side along the lake that could easily fit into the Upper East or West sides with respect to density and even architectural character. However, I can't see those areas more than a few blocks west of the lake ever attaining quite that kind of density. There's not much available land left in these neighborhoods and I don't believe the neighborhoods and preservationists would stand for it.

Where I do see a real potential for mid and highrise development is along the north branch of the Chicago River (both sides). This is already occurring. These areas are prime for office, commercial and residential development. The abundance of land and the lack of population in this strip means there are more opportunities to build and there are fewer NIMBYs who will complain about the height. If the city plays its cards right, they will focus transit development on this region because any serious opposition will come from concerns about traffic congestion.

I also think this development trend will lead to a gradual decentralization of Chicago. I think this is healthy. For too long downtown has been somewhat unconnected from its neighborhoods by a ring of abandoned industrial infrastructure, vacant lots, surface parking, the rivers, freeways, housing projects, and rail lines. Finally downtown is starting to reach out and fill in these in-between areas.

I don't want to get off-topic here, but I actually think the south side is really where the future of highrise development is headed. Especially if the city gets the Olympics. There's less local opposition and more available land close to downtown.
 

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I don't want to get off-topic here, but I actually think the south side is really where the future of highrise development is headed. Especially if the city gets the Olympics. There's less local opposition and more available land close to downtown.
Haha, dont tell the PDNA that! The NIMBY groups are already assembling around the south loop too. Its amazing that people who just moved in the central area can be against skyscrapers, but there are.

But no, I agree, once the south loop and near south are connected to the loop skyline and gains more retail and foot traffic, it will blend in with the rest of downtown nicely.
 

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Steely, I said all the way, that means fill in/all high rises. I know about some of the highrises there. Many of them were up in 1970.
so you think it's inevitable that lincoln park/lakeview/uptown will be entirely filled-in with highrise structures? i can tell you right now that ain't never gonna happen, not in my lifetime anyway. the people who live in those hoods will simply never allow it. construction will be starting sometime in the next year or two on the first new highrise built in lincoln park in roughly two decades. it has taken them about 7 years to get the project approved. so one new highrise every 2 decades means that it will take several thousand years to completely fill-in lincoln park with highrises.
 

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so you think it's inevitable that lincoln park/lakeview/uptown will be entirely filled-in with highrise structures? i can tell you right now that ain't never gonna happen, not in my lifetime anyway. the people who live in those hoods will simply never allow it. construction will be starting sometime in the next year or two on the first new highrise built in lincoln park in roughly two decades. it has taken them about 7 years to get the project approved. so one new highrise every 2 decades means that it will take several thousand years to completely fill-in lincoln park with highrises.
Well, maybe you are right, but when Chicago developers and Chicago politicians get together on a plan, its been my experience that the neighborhood's opinions just don't matter than much. That's how the expressways, UIC, Carl Sandburg Village, the new Maxwell street projects etc. got built. That's how so many historic Adler and Sullivan buildings etc. were torn down. Over the years, I have heard lots of protests, but one of the things that makes Chicago what it is, is the ability to push these kinds of projects through. I do believe the near north side will be Manhattanized in your lifetime. I hope you are right and I am wrong.
 

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Streeterville IS already Manhattan, going west to Rush or so. West of that is the parking-lot-ridden River North, which is low-rise in character but has hellish traffic to match many parts of Manhattan. That whole densified area, I think, will fill in up to North Ave. and all the way west to the river. Since I started tracking River North's parking lots in 2003, I've seen proposals/construction on half of them. The others will fill in probably more slowly over the next 4/5 years.

I don't think Lincoln Park West will fill up with highrises, though. Further north along Marine Drive and Inner LSD, the highrises are packed tighter, but that's further away from downtown. There must be some reason why LPW isn't wall-to-wall highrises, and there is - low-rise buildings with astronomical property values and neighborhood opposition.
 

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. I do believe the near north side will be Manhattanized in your lifetime. I hope you are right and I am wrong.
that's a different issue. near north is streeterville, river north, gold coast, old town, etc. lincoln park, lakeviw, uptown, the areas you originally referenced, are not near north. near north will continue to fill in with highrises, though the penetration will never be total due to lowrise landmark districts within the area, but LP/LV/uptown will never be wall to wall highrises like manahattan, and no politician/developer alliance will ever change that. not even king richard II has the power to fill LP & LV with highrises. those hoods, like 90% of the city, are mostly zoned for structures no taller than 5 stories, and that zoning will not be changing anytime soon.

mark my words on this SVS, 50 years from now when i'll most likely be pushing up daisies, LP & LV will not be drastically different from the way they are today with regards to building heights.
 

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that's a different issue. near north is streeterville, river north, gold coast, old town, etc. lincoln park, lakeviw, uptown, the areas you originally referenced, are not near north. near north will continue to fill in with highrises, though the penetration will never be total due to lowrise landmark districts within the area, but LP/LV/uptown will never be wall to wall highrises like manahattan, and no politician/developer alliance will ever change that. not even king richard II has the power to fill LP & LV with highrises. those hoods, like 90% of the city, are mostly zoned for structures no taller than 5 stories, and that zoning will not be changing anytime soon.

mark my words on this SVS, 50 years from now when i'll most likely be pushing up daisies, LP & LV will not be drastically different from the way they are today with regards to building heights.

I grew up on the far north side so I tend to include LV and especially LP in my concept of "near north". I hope we are both around in 50 years, even 25 in my case to meet over a cool one and a deep dish pizza and see who was right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
to me (I don't know about others) the North Side starts at North Avenue. South of that, it's downtown.
 

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If by "Manhattan-like" you mean a central area of 9 mile by 2.5 miles full of skyscrapers and mid-rise density, Chicago already in my eyes is. From Rogers Park to the South Shore, the lakefront is filled with highrises. The Loop and the West Loop are about 3 miles wide. So we already have what Manhattan has in essence, just spread out a little more.

Now if we are talking "Manhattan-like" density, the Loop and Streeterville are the only places, I feel, in Chicago that represent that sort of density. Now in the future I feel we could better represent the "Manhattan-like" effect.

In my "future" (15+ years) for Chicago, I see LP staying quite the same with a low-rise character... LV and north of that may grow taller, but not by much height... mostly midrise. Uptown will be gentrified... many midrises built along Lawrence/Broadway. I see the South Loop turning out to be much like Streeterville; busy with many tall towers and urban density. The West Loop will be filled in with many office towers while further west of Halsted is growing with midrises and some highrises meeting up with Ashland. River North and West will be entirely covered in residential highrises, midrise "lofts", and a few office towers scattered within. North of Division will be lowrise and midrise buildings. Wicker Park will see it's first midrise, somewhere along Division/Ashland/Milwaukee. UIC/Pilsen/Little Italy will have a few midrises thrown around. North Lawndale will be the new 'hot' nabe with lots of lowrise condos built.

I'm not very familiar with the South Side so I have no comment. Anyone who is familiar, please respond to your idea of the future building/density growth of the South Side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From Rogers Park to the South Shore, the lakefront is filled with highrises. The Loop and the West Loop are about 3 miles wide. So we already have what Manhattan has in essence, just spread out a little more.
I don't totally disagree with you, urban, but I'd say it's more like from downtown to the North Side is solid highrises on the lakefront up to Edgewater. North of Devon in Rogers Park is hardly high rise country. South I would agree with South Shore, but it is more like South Shore and Hyde Park followed by a gap that picks up when it gets to McCormick Place and north.
 

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I think many of you are missing what "Manhattan Like" means. It does not simply mean high density and lots of skyscrapers. The key difference between Manhattan and Chicago is that, while there are certainly zoned districts in Manhattan, it generally has a much more disapated contrast of business and residential. In Chicago, business highrises are in the loop. In Manhattan, you can find business highrises all over. It's a work and living environment with less degrees of separation.
 

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^ from my experiences in manhattan, i certainly didn't "find business highrises all over", they seemed to be pretty much concentrated in lower and midtown manahttan. having two very signifcant CBDs does make manhattan a bit different from most others, but there are still pretty big chunks of the island that are mostly residential in nature (central park west, upper east side, the village, etc.), just like chicago, or any other big city.

what manhattan does do on a far more intense scale than anywhere in chicago is mix residential and commercial. manhattan's crazy population density means that just about every street is alive with commerce, which is far different from chicago's northside neighborhoods which exhibit a more familiar pattern of commercial arterials interspersed with residential side streets. this is because chicago's north side hoods have no where near the residential popualtion densities neccessary to support commerce on every street. if we replaced the all of the northside lakshore hoods with nothing but highises, that would most likely change (not that i believe any such situation is likely or even possible at this point).
 
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