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  #15361  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2019, 9:16 PM
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Buckman821 Buckman821 is offline
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This discussion regarding the preservation or facadectomy of the eye-sore currently standing at 300 N Michigan has to be one of the most head-scratch inducing dialogues I've ever read on this forum and I say that as an ardent preservationist.

What is so uninviting about the new design? The lobby basically looks like an apple store. I'll take it. Pick your battles...
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  #15362  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2019, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop View Post
This building is residential as well. I believe roughly 300 apartment units.

The new (built within the last few years anyway) 200 North Michigan, similar scale and 1 block due south (perhaps only just marginally less attractive as a hotel location - perhaps) is all residential. This is clearly a prime mixed-use area. I think you are wrong in your assessment that hotels are a higher and better use than residential at the 300 N Michigan location. I assess them to be pretty equal at the top. This does go against the heard mentality/group-think posture of urban real estate in general, in which typically a single use comes to dominate a particular district - or if not quite dominate, then at least become the clear preferred usage in new developments/redevelopments. However, there are some areas that are just fundamentally roughly equally appealing among 2 or 3 uses. That's definitely the case for the Millennium Park to River strip.
Meh, IMO the calculus is a little different... a single-use hotel tower that maxed out the allowable zoning would be a big hotel indeed. Hotel operators at that scale probably want more amenities than they could conceivably squeeze onto this tight site, so Sterling Bay went with a mid-sized hotel and then residential to fill out the remainder of the building.

Also, remember that we're living in the age of Airbnb, so residential is often interchangeable for hotel.
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  #15363  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 3:26 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Originally Posted by dan ryan View Post
It's like what BrinChi said, the building now is pedestrian scale. How is an overwhelming pedestal more inviting or less cramped for the sidewalk?
I haven't read all the comments, so forgive me, but I don't think a 4 story building fronting a road with 6 lanes(if I am correct?) is good for pedestrians. Its simply too short for such a wide road. The only time I find areas around wide roads pleasant is if the buildings surrounding it help enclose the area for me as a pedestrian.
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  #15364  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 12:38 PM
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  #15365  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 4:46 PM
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BonoboZill4 BonoboZill4 is offline
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Originally Posted by BrinChi View Post
And that's why developers get away with it. The current building is in such disrepair that most people, even design-conscious individuals like those on this forum, have a difficult time imagining a renovation that cleans, restores, and builds off of what is salvageable. But it's like throwing away an antique because it's all dusty from sitting in the attic.
Can you explain why the building is historically relevant beyond it being old? This would be like defending the AMLI river north tower from demolition in 60 years because it's old, but even worse because the plot of land isn't being used efficiently. I know you are arguing also for facadectomy, but I find those to be in poor taste more times than not
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  #15366  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 5:31 PM
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Originally Posted by BonoboZill4 View Post
Can you explain why the building is historically relevant beyond it being old? This would be like defending the AMLI river north tower from demolition in 60 years because it's old, but even worse because the plot of land isn't being used efficiently. I know you are arguing also for facadectomy, but I find those to be in poor taste more times than not
Also not sure what a facadectomy would preserve other than a blank brick wall...
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  #15367  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 5:45 PM
BrinChi BrinChi is offline
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Originally Posted by BonoboZill4 View Post
Can you explain why the building is historically relevant beyond it being old? This would be like defending the AMLI river north tower from demolition in 60 years because it's old, but even worse because the plot of land isn't being used efficiently. I know you are arguing also for facadectomy, but I find those to be in poor taste more times than not
The building is historically relevant precisely because it is old. To construct a building using the same methods and materials would be prohibitively expensive today. It's the reason most people sigh and roll their eyes when they see a Lucien LaGrange proposal. I realize this seems a bit extreme and I'd like to reiterate that I actually like the modern replacement building for 300N Michigan. I'm challenging the notion that just because a building isn't significant enough to merit landmark status we should automatically be ok trashing it. Facadectomy design can be bad, but it can be done well and we should push developers to do it whenever possible imho.

What seems ugly today could be appreciated in 60 years. If our building methodologies and materials completely change in the coming decades, AMLI River north could turn out to be something worth saving.
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  #15368  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 5:51 PM
ChiPlanner ChiPlanner is offline
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Originally Posted by BrinChi View Post
The building is historically relevant precisely because it is old. To construct a building using the same methods and materials would be prohibitively expensive today. It's the reason most people sigh and roll their eyes when they see a Lucien LaGrange proposal. I realize this seems a bit extreme and I'd like to reiterate that I actually like the modern replacement building for 300N Michigan. I'm challenging the notion that just because a building isn't significant enough to merit landmark status we should automatically be ok trashing it. Facadectomy design can be bad, but it can be done well and we should push developers to do it whenever possible imho.

What seems ugly today could be appreciated in 60 years. If our building methodologies and materials completely change in the coming decades, AMLI River north could turn out to be something worth saving.
Pick and choose your battles with historic preservation. Save the interesting, unique, and contributing buildings.

From the Michigan/Wacker Historic District Nomination form from 1978:

Older structures of little or no significance
Commercial Building
300 North Michigan Avenue
Date and architect unknown
Height: under 5 stores
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  #15369  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 5:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BrinChi View Post
The building is historically relevant precisely because it is old. To construct a building using the same methods and materials would be prohibitively expensive today. It's the reason most people sigh and roll their eyes when they see a Lucien LaGrange proposal. I realize this seems a bit extreme and I'd like to reiterate that I actually like the modern replacement building for 300N Michigan. I'm challenging the notion that just because a building isn't significant enough to merit landmark status we should automatically be ok trashing it. Facadectomy design can be bad, but it can be done well and we should push developers to do it whenever possible imho.

What seems ugly today could be appreciated in 60 years. If our building methodologies and materials completely change in the coming decades, AMLI River north could turn out to be something worth saving.
So never tear anything down?
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  #15370  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 6:26 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by BrinChi View Post
AMLI River north could turn out to be something worth saving.


God help us.
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  #15371  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 6:29 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by ChiPlanner View Post
Pick and choose your battles with historic preservation. Save the interesting, unique, and contributing buildings.

From the Michigan/Wacker Historic District Nomination form from 1978:

Older structures of little or no significance
Commercial Building
300 North Michigan Avenue
Date and architect unknown
Height: under 5 stores

You and Buckman bring up an excellent point. There's a clear risk of being dismissed when there is a preservation effort that's really worth the battle, if preservationists press for too many old-but-not-truly-significant to be saved in whole or in part.
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  #15372  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 6:42 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Meh, IMO the calculus is a little different... a single-use hotel tower that maxed out the allowable zoning would be a big hotel indeed. Hotel operators at that scale probably want more amenities than they could conceivably squeeze onto this tight site, so Sterling Bay went with a mid-sized hotel and then residential to fill out the remainder of the building.

Also, remember that we're living in the age of Airbnb, so residential is often interchangeable for hotel.

I would not assume that the starting point for the tower was hotel (and then they decided to 'fill-out' the zoning with residential). Could have just as easily been the opposite. I just do not see the Central-East Loop (let's say from approx. Dearborn eastward as being any less prime for resi than for hotels. Whereas I think you do (I remember your comment on same re Georgetown site on State....which I hold as being absolutely as attractive for residential as it is for hotels). I think that it's a certain type of resident of course that would find the area highly desirable - those that put a real premium on convenience to a super wide array of neighborhood amenities, prize diversity and very importantly dense employment concentration - and who obviously don't mind very active street and pedestrian traffic, noise, etc. But....that's a large potential resident base (it's not me or many others, but that's okay). It's not for those seeking a neighborhood land usage that's more residential-dominated, or clearly the chic/trendy set......again, that's fine - but none of that defines the East Loop as being somehow fundamentally more prime for hotel use than residential.....again, I view them as being roughly on par with each other at the top.
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  #15373  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 6:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop View Post
You and Buckman bring up an excellent point. There's a clear risk of being dismissed when there is a preservation effort that's really worth the battle, if preservationists press for too many old-but-not-truly-significant to be saved in whole or in part.
I’d take any opportunity to preach for preservation, but salvaging the Michigan Ave building wouldn’t be appropriate. Along the spectrum of qualifying structures, it’s pretty minimal. We’ve lost countless valuable 19th century industrial and residential buildings with intact details and accommodating floor plans that should have been saved or incorporated into new development. At the same time, there’s plenty of just “old” non-vernacular, mundane buildings that seem to avoid redevelopment. Had the city enforced its survey and ban any construction or alteration to contributing structures, buyers would simply move on to the other 99.5% of eligible properties for replacement in the city.
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  #15374  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2019, 7:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
I’d take any opportunity to preach for preservation, but salvaging the Michigan Ave building wouldn’t be appropriate. Along the spectrum of qualifying structures, it’s pretty minimal. We’ve lost countless valuable 19th century industrial and residential buildings with intact details and accommodating floor plans that should have been saved or incorporated into new development. At the same time, there’s plenty of just “old” non-vernacular, mundane buildings that seem to avoid redevelopment. Had the city enforced its survey and ban any construction or alteration to contributing structures, buyers would simply move on to the other 99.5% of eligible properties for replacement in the city.
^This
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  #15375  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 12:19 AM
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The building is historically relevant precisely because it is old. To construct a building using the same methods and materials would be prohibitively expensive today.
The building is brick and concrete!
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  #15376  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 12:42 AM
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August 14, 2019





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  #15377  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 12:52 AM
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August 14, 2019



Assembling the tower crane.
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  #15378  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 2:12 AM
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The building is brick and concrete!
Exactly! When he said that I just started laughing. Anyone who sees my posts, is well aware how pro-preservation I am in 95% of cases. This one is one of those 5% unworthy cases... I love brick pre-war buildings, but the best ones that haven't been converted at this point are in the neighborhoods, not downtown. My heart hurts every day I'm driving around McKinley Park, Back of the Yards and other southwest side neighborhoods where we are letting these beauties crumble away. Those are the buildings we can point to your average person and go, "Look! That's our history dying, but we can turn it into something better and give it a new life if we don't ignore it!"

Just my two cents/rant
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  #15379  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 2:04 PM
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facadectomies also add a crap ton of cost that often isn't worth it in the end.
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  #15380  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2019, 2:52 PM
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That Office Max is right up there with the lot at Illinois/Wabash as urban enemy #1a/1b in my book. I HATE it.
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