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-   -   SAN ANTONIO │ Official Alamo Plaza Redevelopment Thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=227831)

AwesomeSAView Apr 12, 2017 2:55 AM

SAN ANTONIO │ Official Alamo Plaza Redevelopment Thread
 
This is the official Alamo Plaza Redevelopment Thread.

Runner Apr 12, 2017 3:34 AM

One word. UGLY!

jaga185 Apr 12, 2017 3:28 PM

I'm all for it. I love the glass covering the old walls and being able to look down at it. The museum moved into those tourist traps. The old Plaza being made to look like how it did 200 years ago. The closing of alamo st from Commerce to Houston. I feel it's going to be a beautiful pedestrian space.

jaga185 Apr 12, 2017 3:32 PM

All images taken from The Rivard Report Article

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...Vision_Day.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...ision_Dusk.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...ftop_after.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...nade_after.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...sure_after.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...pace_after.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...laza_after.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...rrival_Day.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...ival_Night.jpg

https://therivardreport.com/wp-conte...lock_after.jpg

Sigaven Apr 12, 2017 4:56 PM

Yikes. I'm all for the redevelopment of Alamo Plaza but this is some pretty tacky looking stuff.

The huge glass "gate" is horrid, in my opinion. Cheesy attempt at trying to recreate the entrance or an entrance to the plaza. I think it encloses the plaza too much. It needs to be open in my opinion. Allow the breezes to go through. I know the original Alamo was walled off but the wall is gone now and I don't think it should be rebuilt in any way. I like the idea of at least honoring the fact that there was a wall originally, but I think it should be done in a much more subtle way. Maybe a low bench wall with landscaping inside all along where the original walls were.

Secondly trying to rebuild the creek that ran through the Alamo. I think this could be done in a much more elegant way than cheesy landscaping in front of the museums. I think there's something charming about the wide limestone sidewalks in front of the buildings right now, openly facing rest of the plaza without obstruction. Perhaps building a purposefully man-made looking canal, maybe a 3-ft wide channel with modern design and clean lines throughout and minimal landscaping - is enough to honor the original creek without trying to directly reconstruct it. I think trying to reproduce anything exactly as the original with the context of the 20th century cityscape all around just looks terrible.

Not sure how I feel about the big trees along the north side of the plaza either - kind of makes it feel too enclosed again. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe we love trees, i dont know.

Fourthly are they really proposing for the paving to just be dirt? No brick or stonework like the plaza is currently? I think that's a mistake too. A grand plaza should't be paved in dirt!

My three cents...I think the idea of this design is honorable but the execution is horrible and needs some big changes.

Oh and lastly - trees on the roof? Really!? When's the last time you've seen a beautiful rendering of a building with plants and trees all over the roof and they actually did that when they built the building. The answer is almost never. Another silly attempt at over-designing this rendering.

All said this honestly looks like a freshman architecture student's attempt at a design project, someone who clearly has never visited the Alamo and has no understanding of the urban context or history of the place.

AwesomeSAView Apr 12, 2017 7:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaga185 (Post 7770691)
I'm all for it. I love the glass covering the old walls and being able to look down at it. The museum moved into those tourist traps. The old Plaza being made to look like how it did 200 years ago. The closing of alamo st from Commerce to Houston. I feel it's going to be a beautiful pedestrian space.


I think this is a beautiful design!:tup:
Green spaces, no more tourist stores around the perimeter, love the museum and garden rooftop overlooking the whole plaza, beautiful trees, and perfect eating and drinking spaces.....:cheers:
The design is EXCELLENT and BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Again, this IS SAN ANTONIO......Historical, mysterious, unique, and diverse:yes:
Not how many highrises it has, how many young people it has, and how many direct flights it has....:slob:

A skyline does NOT make a city!:cheers:


So to sum this design in one word:


FANTASTIC!!!!!


And GO SPURS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

adtobias Apr 12, 2017 8:46 PM

Are they getting rid of those amusement places like Ripleys ect across the street?

jaga185 Apr 12, 2017 9:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by adtobias (Post 7771238)
Are they getting rid of those amusement places like Ripleys ect across the street?

Yep. Turning them into a museum.

Fireoutofclay Apr 12, 2017 9:22 PM

Worst design ever!! :slob:

Spoiler Apr 12, 2017 10:01 PM

It took a few minutes for this plan to grow on me, but I like it. I think making the below-ground remnants of the plaza walls visible is the most authentic way to create a sense of the original plaza. The glass walls might be a bit much, I'll have to wait and see how it looks in person. I do think the plaza should be open to the public 24 hours, and I do think pedestrian traffic should be able to enter from the north (the plans say only exiting the plaza to Houston Street is allowed), this is in the middle of a city, for crying out loud, people need to walk places. But best of all about this plan is that nothing about it has to be permanent. If something needs to change, it would be easy to do so.

PDG91 Apr 13, 2017 8:20 PM

I hardly post any comments on here but I felt the need to log in to say that i'm ok with this project except for the glass wall. A glass wall just doesn't make any sense. As someone mentioned in this thread, the plaza should be open without any glass barriers. I also want to add that it looks like they're getting rid of that little street that runs from the side to front of the menger...might bring an inconvenience to hotel visitors who are trying to load/unload their belongings from their vehicle at the front entrance. Now the more I am writing about this, the more I think they should go back to the drawing board.

jaga185 Apr 13, 2017 8:28 PM

I agree, it could do without the glass wall. But they are still keeping the street next to the Menger open on the northern side. Cars would just turn around in there. I think it could work. They have the valet station on that side anyway.

AwesomeSAView Apr 13, 2017 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaga185 (Post 7772413)
I agree, it could do without the glass wall. But they are still keeping the street next to the Menger open on the northern side. Cars would just turn around in there. I think it could work. They have the valet station on that side anyway.

I believe the glass wall is to emulate the actual "wall enclosure" around the Alamo mission back in the day. It is supposed to give visitors the "feel" of the enclosed wall around the mission. I believe it is exactly the same height as the "enclosure wall" back then. So, it is kind of an interesting concept IMO.:yes:
Anyhow, I think the glass enclosure will look beautiful at night, when lit up with the ground lights.

KevinFromTexas Apr 14, 2017 2:07 AM

I like the trees on the roof. We live in Texas. Trees are good. That rooftop deck is going to be a very popular viewing spot of the Alamo. The view of it at night should be especially beautiful.

I do agree about the sand in the plaza. I'd mostly be thinking of mud when it rains and the possible dust issue in the dead of summer from all the foot traffic. Do they really want that getting inside the Alamo? I don't.

I don't know what to think of the glass wall. I can't say I'm a fan. I'd rather see the walls rebuilt with stone as original as possible if they're going for historical accuracy, or as Sigaven suggested, design a low wall for a seating area under the shade of the trees on the perimeter. Also, I worry the glass wall will become dirty from fingerprints/smudges and also the dust. I can't stand the glass they put up on the Tower of the Americas observation deck. It pretty much ruined the view because it's always covered in fingerprints and snot. I always tell myself I'm going to bring a bottle of windex and a roll of paper towels the next time I visit it. I also think it would be lost on a lot of people the significance of the glass wall - that it's intended to be a replica of the original stone wall. Most people will likely just assume it's a modern wall made of glass. They no doubt chose glass because it's cheaper and has a modern twist, but it also serves to increase the visibility of one of Texas' most important landmarks, and as a consequence, a major tourist destination.

JACKinBeantown Apr 14, 2017 2:14 PM

Overall I like it. They cleaned it up, got rid of the touristy crap, etc. But I agree with others that the glass wall is a yuuuge mistake. It separates people for no reason, blocks the breeze in a city that consistently reaches 100º throughout the summer months, it will get dirty and look yucky. So many reasons to not have it. Otherwise a nice improvement though.

One last thing. Without the memorial cenotaph, Ozzy will have to pee out in the open in the middle of the plaza.

lzppjb Apr 14, 2017 4:35 PM

I like it. The glass wall is fine with me. It appears to only be on the one side. That's not going to really block wind all that much.

This will help with the transplants and Texans who didn't pay attention in school to realize the men didn't fight inside the chapel the whole time. I've heard that question so many times.

car2004 Apr 14, 2017 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AwesomeSAView (Post 7771149)
I think this is a beautiful design!:tup:
Green spaces, no more tourist stores around the perimeter, love the museum and garden rooftop overlooking the whole plaza, beautiful trees, and perfect eating and drinking spaces.....:cheers:
The design is EXCELLENT and BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Again, this IS SAN ANTONIO......Historical, mysterious, unique, and diverse:yes:
Not how many highrises it has, how many young people it has, and how many direct flights it has....:slob:

A skyline does NOT make a city!:cheers:


So to sum this design in one word:


FANTASTIC!!!!!


And GO SPURS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is naïve to think cities are not defined by their skylines. When I drive to Houston, I see a prominent skyline 30 miles before even arriving in the city's urban core. Looking at Houston downtown, my initial thoughts are: "powerful, economically viable, progressive, and architecturally mastered". Arriving in San Antonio, after having been in Houston (a simple example of how close more diversified cityscapes can be, not a comparison of the cities) I see a "backward thinking and architecturally stunted city". Hopefully, however, this will change in two- 3 years time, and comments by people going to the hysterical council meetings should be considered, not taken at full merit in the decisionmaking process of whether a high rise is approved. Comments such as, "I worry this new high rise will increase traffic" - you mean "growth and development and success?" or "There is too much glass! We need to have grey and brown" - you mean you want to "degrade the architectural significance of the few uniquely build structures that still stand by making them most similar to other buildings, resulting in a much more ubiquitous cityscape?" only emanate ignorance, backward thinking, selfish, narcissistic perspectives. Because the only way to more forward is to NOT embrace the past but lean on it. A great city of architectural significance always embraces the past by moving forward in their architecture, as once did in those historical structures, thereby creating a more diversified cityscape of prominent and unique structures (i.e., Chicago, New York City, and Austin).
-CDM

Restless 1 Apr 14, 2017 11:51 PM

The "opinion" police will be coming for you
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by car2004 (Post 7773674)
It is naïve to think cities are not defined by their skylines. When I drive to Houston, I see a prominent skyline 30 miles before even arriving in the city's urban core. Looking at Houston downtown, my initial thoughts are: "powerful, economically viable, progressive, and architecturally mastered". Arriving in San Antonio, after having been in Houston (a simple example of how close more diversified cityscapes can be, not a comparison of the cities) I see a "backward thinking and architecturally stunted city". Hopefully, however, this will change in two- 3 years time, and comments by people going to the hysterical council meetings should be considered, not taken at full merit in the decisionmaking process of whether a high rise is approved. Comments such as, "I worry this new high rise will increase traffic" - you mean "growth and development and success?" or "There is too much glass! We need to have grey and brown" - you mean you want to "degrade the architectural significance of the few uniquely build structures that still stand by making them most similar to other building, resulting in a much more ubiquitous cityscape?" only emanate ignorance, backward thinking, selfish, narcissistic perspectives. Because the only way to more forward is to NOT embrace the past but lean on it. A great city of architectural significance always embraces the past by moving toward in their architecture, as once did in those historical structures, thereby creating a more diversified cityscape of prominent and unique structures (i.e., Chicago, New York City, and Austin).
-CDM

I sense the stench of opinion in your post. Seek refuge.

Seriously, I agree with you, although "defines a city", is a stretch. It surely identifies a city, but defining a city is much more broad than the buildings that make up the urban core.

If AwesomeSAVeiw, or whatever his name is, would be less rude, and more willing to honestly engage with the other posters here, he might find we, (all of us), have more in common than not.

car2004 Apr 15, 2017 1:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Restless 1 (Post 7773703)
I sense the stench of opinion in your post. Seek refuge.

Seriously, I agree with you, although "defines a city", is a stretch. It surely identifies a city, but defining a city is much more broad than the buildings that make up the urban core.

If AwesomeSAVeiw, or whatever his name is, would be less rude, and more willing to honestly engage with the other posters here, he might find we, (all of us), have more in common than not.

Right, because every silhouette photo of San Antonio (both as recognition of city, tourist attraction, and news sources) never uses that damn UFO restaurant that, was only built for one single event, has become platitudinal. Every other city used their world fair tribute to brace a better skyline, not limit its potential.
-CDM

*If I sound confrontational, I don't mean to be. I am just frustrated. And when I speak (write) about San Antonio's downtown and it's potential, my frustration can be strongly illustrated. I have lived here for a third of my life and, what, one building over a significant height has been built, longer for others. It's sad.

Restless 1 Apr 15, 2017 1:34 AM

Again, I don't disagree with you.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by car2004 (Post 7773765)
Right, because every silhouette photo of San Antonio (both as recognition of city, tourist attraction, and news sources) never uses that damn UFO restaurant that, was only built for one single event, has become platitudinal. Every other city used their world fair tribute to brace a better skyline, not limit its potential.
-CDM

*If I sound confrontational, I don't mean to be. I am just frustrated. And when I speak (write) about San Antonio's downtown and it's potential, my frustration can be strongly illustrated. I have lived here for a third of my life and, what, one building over a significant height has been built, longer for others. It's sad.

I still don't believe buildings "define" a city, but rather identify it. It is a first impression, but those can be false impressions much of the time.

I share your frustration, as do many here, that it's been 25 years since an office building of any importance has been built, but it's not solely a problem of urban core planning. It extends beyond that, to levels of education, the amount of prominent businesses headquartered/operating here, the amount of money those that are here are willing to spend and many other things.

The hope is, that with the Frost Tower, while not as tall as many hoped, will spur a more modern thinking in building design here. Time will tell.


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