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  #7441  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 9:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Surely it's OK for the South Loop to begin transitioning south of Polk from a completely downtown character to something more like Streeterville, Lincoln Park or Edgewater, where highrise density is softened with plantings, setbacks, and even the evil driveways. Amli 900 isn't really all that different in site coverage or treatment from 860-880 and 900-910, or from Sandburg Village.

For the record, I'm not fan of those either.
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  #7442  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 9:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Surely it's OK for the South Loop to begin transitioning south of Polk from a completely downtown character to something more like Streeterville, Lincoln Park or Edgewater, where highrise density is softened with plantings, setbacks, and even the evil driveways. Amli 900 isn't really all that different in site coverage or treatment from 860-880 and 900-910, or from Sandburg Village.

Wow, well, I'm not gonna getting further involved in an "my opinion is illegitimate because evidence to support your counter claim exists in other parts of the city" argument other than to say this: the particular suburban character of this building annoys me greater than any other building that currently comes to mind, and it is comparable only to the immediate area. Why is Burnham Pointe so successfully urban in character whereas this is not?
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  #7443  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2012, 9:36 PM
Nowhereman1280 Nowhereman1280 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Surely it's OK for the South Loop to begin transitioning south of Polk from a completely downtown character to something more like Streeterville, Lincoln Park or Edgewater, where highrise density is softened with plantings, setbacks, and even the evil driveways. Amli 900 isn't really all that different in site coverage or treatment from 860-880 and 900-910, or from Sandburg Village.

Wait what? Are you trolling or did you really just lump in the site planning at 860-880 with AMLI 900 and Sandburg Village?

Let me highlight why what you just said is rediculous:

1. Sandburg Village and AMLI are radically car oriented and feature numerous curb cuts and driveways. Meanwhile 860-880 has one measly curb cut that immediately enters the under ground garage.

2. The green spaces and set backs at Sandburg and AMLI are useless. They don't serve a purpose other than to be like "oh hey look at the pretty open space". Meanwhile the entirety of 860-880 is lifted off the ground opening up what are not only stunning spaces, but essentially allowing the pedestrian to cross through and interact with the open space. That ain't happening in Sandburg village where it was specifically designed to keep pedestrians (i.e. Cabrini riff raff) from the West out.

3. 860-880 is sited along Lake Michigan. The setbacks are not just some modernist experiement gone wrong, but rather a very successful means of opening up the entire site to the lake views. There is absolutely no reason for AMLI or Sanburg to take a similar approach.

4. 860-880 is situated on what is a decidedly un-pedestrian and non-retail street. There never was and never will be a demand for retail in the base of these buildings because they front what is a one sided street. The point of building to the lot lines at a place like AMLI would be to re-energize the pedestrian feel of Clark. Yes it's already fucked up by dearborn park, but that is nowhere near the obsticle that the Lake is. Sandburg isn't even worth mentioning in this category because it is a complete atrocity. Dearborn Park only gets something of a pass because it was built in another era when a fortress was necessary for there to be any development at all. What AMLI has done is mimic a 40 year old piece of urban planning. That model is DEAD.


I could go on and on about the differences, but I think I made my point: It's complete heresy to compare AMLI and Sandburg to 860-880.
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  #7444  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 2:52 AM
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^Not trolling, but trying to engage in a discussion rather than an argument. Tom Servo may have some good points to make about Amli 900, so I hate to see him retreat into "well, that's my opinion."

Some of you seem to be suggesting that the only acceptable siting for a residential highrise is the "downtown" condition of completely filling the parcel, fronting the surrounding sidewalks with retail that comes right up to the lot line, as at Burnham Pointe. But we have many examples of highrises in Edgewater, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Streeterville, and even East Hyde Park that include landscaping, auto dropoffs, portes-cochere, small parking areas, patios, and even pools. I thought it was instructive to look at the site coverage of 900-910, which has a broad lawn and is set back behind landscaping on three sides. More recent examples that some of you might view favorably are Parkview East, the Streeter, or Kingsbury Plaza. What urban design aspects of Amli 900 make it so much inferior to those?
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  #7445  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 4:03 AM
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^^^
I'm not trying to argue, but I will address your points as best I can. The big difference between these and AMLI 900 is that AMLI 900 fits the lot lines like a house in the suburbs while these fit the lot lines like an urban house (except on a much bigger scale). AMLI 900 is far from the lot line in all directions. These buildings have a park on one or so sides, which means that there is essentially a small plaza. This creates an urban oasis of sorts. The building is not down a long driveway that feels unconnected to the pedestrian though; it still fronts the street directly. AMLI, when you walk past it, feels like you are in Naperville or at a suburban corporate park development. It is car-centric. Nowhereman did a pretty apt job of explaining the difference between Mies's master piece and AMLI 900, but I would add one more thing, saying that these work in the same way as the three towers you cited earlier. It is strange, yes, because the site plan looks so similar. But the feel is so different because the Mies design encourages you to interact with the environment - the boxes are raised and almost disappear to the visual plane making the area feel like a park - while the AMLI plan encourages pedestrians to stay off.
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  #7446  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 4:43 AM
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Mr. D, many of the examples you cite are rectilinear buildings that defer to one or more edges of the site, even if a setback exists on the other edges. At 860-880, the only edge with a variable setback is along Lake Shore Drive, which has the infinite expanse of Lake Michigan on the other side. Lake Shore Drive could never be a volume or "outdoor room" because buildings only exist on one side, so there's less need to define the inland edge rigorously. In fact, the 1920s buildings along the Drive seem pretty boring to me because they are so rigidly locked to the lot geometry.

AMLI 900, on the other hand, is on an inland site with a continuous (but low-rise) wall on the east side. Instead of defining the western edge, AMLI 900 pulls back from all 4 lot lines and the facade curves so it cannot reinforce Clark as a thoroughfare. It's designed to call attention to itself at the cost of the city's public space - it's no less of an object building than a Frank Gehry confection.

If the building had been designed in an opposite manner, as a box with curvilinear "scoops" eroded from it, it would feel far more urban while still allowing room for a dropoff zone and such. I actually like the facade composition, with colored lines and planes - it's the massing that's problematic.

Also, 1130 S. Michigan is a travesty, since it disregards a street edge that every other building on Grant Park's western edge respects.
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Last edited by ardecila; Apr 13, 2012 at 4:53 AM.
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  #7447  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Also, 1130 S. Michigan is a travesty, since it disregards a street edge that every other building on Grant Park's western edge respects.
1130 s. Michigan is a rather smart design because it allows a large percentage of homes to have lake views, and I understand why the developer did it (I believe it was Magellan) but the Mayor, Alderman, and historic preservationists should have stood up and said no. This stretch of Michigan Ave is a historic district and altering the plans would not have been too difficult, yet we ended up wit this "travesty" (I don't actually mind the building that much, just its relation to the site). In the situation of 1130 S michi, I don't think it would have been appropriate to even make a "scoop", as this would have disturbed the wall too much. But I still think that 1130 did a better job than AMLI 900 because it fills the lot (at the base at least) on the N/S axis so, while it may not fill the michigan ave "wall" from afar, it does so relatively to the pedestrian with a small pedestrian area and then retail.
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  #7448  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 2:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Some of you seem to be suggesting that the only acceptable siting for a residential highrise is the "downtown" condition of completely filling the parcel, fronting the surrounding sidewalks with retail that comes right up to the lot line, as at Burnham Pointe. But we have many examples of highrises in Edgewater, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Streeterville, and even East Hyde Park that include landscaping, auto dropoffs, portes-cochere, small parking areas, patios, and even pools. I thought it was instructive to look at the site coverage of 900-910, which has a broad lawn and is set back behind landscaping on three sides. More recent examples that some of you might view favorably are Parkview East, the Streeter, or Kingsbury Plaza. What urban design aspects of Amli 900 make it so much inferior to those?
But most of those buildings in Edgewater and Lakeview (less so in Lincoln Park) are also travesties. Basically everything from Hollywood to Devon on Sheridan, for example, is horrendous from an urban planning perspective which is why that stretch of road is a pedestrian's hell. This poor planning isn't as prevelent further south where the buildings actually front the lake instead of facing each other on Sheridan. For example, it makes perfect sense for the Weese twin towers at Addison and Inner Drive to have a turn around. Why is this? Because the building is facing the lake. The entire thing is designed to take advantage of and open up to the large park and endless expanse of the lake. There is a 0% chance of Inner Drive ever being a retail street because of this so it is perfectly appropriate to have a large sweeping lobby joining two towers and encompassing a turn around. Sheridan, on the other hand, is more akin to Clark near AMLI in that it CAN be a retail oriented pedestrian street, but AMLI (and Dearborn Park and the horrors on Sheridan) prevents it from ever achieving that.
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  #7449  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 4:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Tom Servo may have some good points to make about Amli 900, so I hate to see him retreat into "well, that's my opinion."
Sorry, I misunderstood the purpose of your post. It felt like a curt dismissal. So that's my mistake.

More to the point, I just don't really have to time to devote to an argument that requires attention. I visit SSP sporadically at best.

But yeah, I also realize and accept the parallels that you present between various projects, which poses similar characteristics. However, I disagree with any particular similarity between the three. Each one, I feel, should be judged individually and separate as the three exist in very distinct and different urban situations. In any event, the same criticism I have concerning AMLI900 could be applied to a fair amount of projects around town. My objections, as previously stated, are various and less severe than with AMLI 900.
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  #7450  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 4:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Some of you seem to be suggesting that the only acceptable siting for a residential highrise is the "downtown" condition of completely filling the parcel, fronting the surrounding sidewalks with retail that comes right up to the lot line, as at Burnham Pointe. But we have many examples of highrises in Edgewater, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Streeterville, and even East Hyde Park that include landscaping, auto dropoffs, portes-cochere, small parking areas, patios, and even pools. I thought it was instructive to look at the site coverage of 900-910, which has a broad lawn and is set back behind landscaping on three sides. More recent examples that some of you might view favorably are Parkview East, the Streeter, or Kingsbury Plaza. What urban design aspects of Amli 900 make it so much inferior to those?
Whereas there are many examples of this break from the "downtown" condition, I don't, personally, accept them. I personally have a strange aversion to landscaping in a general "downtown" sense. I view it as largely frivolous and unnecessary. And this is something I don't really think I can articulate further.

As for the other features described, I cannot say that I have any standard measure by which I make a judgment. It's an individual case kind of thing...

Parkview East, I don't care for. It's a clumsy building with a bizarre scale. The park is cheap feeling, and I'm not sure I see any necessary need for it. It is however, background noise; it isn't offensive. I could go on...

The Streeter buildings are strange. As Buildings, they're fine. They're just big glass skyscrapers that fade into the "downtown" landscape. I hate the forced landscape though. It feels like it was added to soften the "downtown" feel of the massive buildings. This is something that is inherently doomed to fail as the "downtown" feel is so dominate that any attempt to mitigate it is just silly. More to the point, I interpret this mitigation as a placation of the suburban transplant. I don't know... That's the best I can do for now... Oh yeah, the driveway. It has this very unapologetic feel to it. I can't currently describe why it doesn't offend me too much. Maybe it's because my familiarity with Streeterville is weak.

K Plaza? Can't bring this one to mind. I probably don't like it.
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  #7451  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 4:44 PM
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It's tough to top Marquee Michigan Avenue.
Yeah, it's pretty ugly. But it's a lot like the new Ritz building. It's not that bad. It fits well on its site and has no major deviation from standard form. It's just an ugly design. But there are plenty of those.
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  #7452  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 7:53 PM
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Whereas there are many examples of this break from the "downtown" condition, I don't, personally, accept them.
So landscaping and setbacks are never acceptable for highrises? Or are you just drawing the line in a different place than me for where "downtown" ends?

ChiPhi, 1130 was a Loewenberg & Loewenberg design from 1967. The idea of historic preservation was still a decade in the future. As evidenced by the construction of Hancock Center about the same time, certainly no one was thinking about contextual urban design. Maybe you were thinking of a different building?
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  #7453  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 9:26 PM
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^^^ I think everyone was simply agreeing that 1130 should have continued the streetwall if we were to consider it to be good urban planning. Those opinions/comments are outside the realm of whether it was acceptable at the time. It doesn't matter if they thought it was a good idea at the time because don't think it was now and this conversation is happening now.
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  #7454  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 10:44 PM
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ChiPhi, 1130 was a Loewenberg & Loewenberg design from 1967. The idea of historic preservation was still a decade in the future. As evidenced by the construction of Hancock Center about the same time, certainly no one was thinking about contextual urban design. Maybe you were thinking of a different building?
No, I just didn't realize how old that building is. Also, I said it was Magellan, but Magellan is a company that Lowenburg is now the CEO of, so I was confused about that. I always thought it was an anachronistic 80's building, though I have no idea why. I am surprised anyone was building skyscrapers in the sloop in the 60's...

Rgardless, the age probably predates the status of the area as a landmark.
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  #7455  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 12:06 AM
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  #7456  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 2:04 AM
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Thanks, I was waiting for a decent photo of this one. Beautiful. Feels very urban.
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 2:40 AM
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I dunno. The architecture is OK - i get that its a comparatively modest budget. I'm really not digging the fleshy paint color though. When was the last time you saw sand that color unless it was mixed with thousand island dressing?
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  #7458  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 4:22 AM
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^agreed. We don't give tan buildings a pass in River North. Why should Uptown be any different?
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  #7459  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 4:33 AM
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^agreed. We don't give tan buildings a pass in River North. Why should Uptown be any different?
I was looking at the picture on my iphone... didn't quite read the various colors.

The salmon color appears to be a nod to the Edgewater Beach Apartments. It's not unpleasant, and it's a nice contrast to the Miesian boxes and Tudor co-ops that line the Drive. It IS weird how the bands of brick sorta lap onto the pink part at left and then stop halfway along the wall.
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  #7460  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2012, 4:57 AM
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^The massing is its only redeeming quality. It's reminiscent of a series of fountains that gradually build upward, climaxing with a tall central column.
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