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  #101  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2011, 3:59 AM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by PITairport View Post
They should have put at least part of the parking underground, and included a hotel tower.
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
I also don't understand why they couldn't have put the parking underground. It's not like there was anything else blocking it -- the extension of the T will be elevated, if it's ever extended beyond Allegheny Station. If this is due to some rediculous zoning law, then zoning should be re-worked so that future development can actually make sense and actually contribute to the "future" of the Golden Triangle. The way such regulations are, the future for some parts is not exactly what I'd call "golden..."
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Originally Posted by glowrock View Post
While I'm not exactly a huge fan of the casino garage, do you REALLY think you could build that amount of parking underground without it costing a minimum of $100 million JUST for the parking facility? That garage is enormous, and justifiably so, for it's full or nearly full all weekend, along with a number of weeknight evenings. The place makes an absolute fortune for the State, and I thus have no real issues with it.
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Originally Posted by Jonboy1983 View Post
As others as well as myself have said, it should have been built underground.

There's another parking garage just down the street from that, right in between the ramps for the Ft. Duquesne Bridge. At least that one has street-level retail and T access built into it.
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Originally Posted by PITairport View Post
If it was required for the winning bidder to sink at least half the garage, I believe there still would have been bidders. Just MHO.
I'm not a civil engineer but I wonder what extra costs would need to be incurred to make something like that even feasible. What you're proposing is to make a multi sub-level parking garage... right on the Ohio River. Besides the fact that it would be mostly below the water line, what would have to be done to ensure that when the rivers flood, like they do a couple times a year, that it doesn't start filling up the garage? Not to mention the Pittsburgh Aquifer is there as well. I suppose it could be a zoning thing, but I would bet that when it came down to it, putting the garage underground was extremely cost prohibitive. As glowrock mentioned, it would first of all have to be immense, but additionally there are a lot of other things they'd probably have to worry about.
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  #102  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2011, 1:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TBone7281 View Post
I'm not a civil engineer but I wonder what extra costs would need to be incurred to make something like that even feasible. What you're proposing is to make a multi sub-level parking garage... right on the Ohio River. Besides the fact that it would be mostly below the water line, what would have to be done to ensure that when the rivers flood, like they do a couple times a year, that it doesn't start filling up the garage? Not to mention the Pittsburgh Aquifer is there as well. I suppose it could be a zoning thing, but I would bet that when it came down to it, putting the garage underground was extremely cost prohibitive. As glowrock mentioned, it would first of all have to be immense, but additionally there are a lot of other things they'd probably have to worry about.
The problem with many people here on SSP is that they don't consider the COSTS of what they propose, for instance an insistance on underground parking next to a major river with an aquifer located not far below ground level with a capacity of 5,000+ vehicles...

My guess would be a minimum of $100 million for that kind of underground parking capacity, perhaps even higher.

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  #103  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2011, 2:35 PM
Private Dick Private Dick is offline
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I don't have a problem with an above-ground parking garage at the location. I have a problem with the "design". It's pretty awful, and one would think that they could have done much better.
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  #104  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2011, 3:22 PM
themaguffin themaguffin is offline
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To a degree, we may take cost too lightly.

However, the city and the parties involved took everything, but cost too lightly.

All of it is ugly and a wast of an incredible location.

I am not opposed to a casino, but there are different dynamics at play.

Additionally, a major flaw of all of the states that want a supposed cash cow of a casino is that (besides not giving a shit about appearance and impact on location etc) is that there is NO incentive for the owner to give a shit if he is the only game in town.

There should be at least 2 casinos. No I'm not suggesting much more than that, but there should be competition and also by having to in one designated area, it could look more like a district of sorts rather than a big ugly building.

How low is the incentive? Well, "Rivers casino" Why even include Rivers in the name? How fucking cheap and lazy on all fronts.
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  #105  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2011, 8:37 PM
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Why not paint over it with something like the mural they tore down in 1997:

http://www.reocities.com/morasports/mural1.gif
http://www.reocities.com/morasports/RCmural.htm


Might be fantastic to have something really unique for the ESPN and ABC/NBC/CBS sports crews to shoot during time outs, and great to look out when your traveling down Ohio River Blvd.

Also since I've thought about murals, is there any way to paint up that Soviet style architecture that slaps you in the face everytime you leave the Fort Pitt Tunnel, otherwise known as the Hilton/Subhb/Wyndham. I love the building but in a modern 21st century skyline it really just screams Cherynobal or Leningrad. Since there is hundreds of windows that you couldn't paint over maybe just a South Pacific sunrise or something, no specific shapes. Just very vibrant, hot, extreme colors blended together to compliment the surrounding buildings and the skyscrapers behind it, something that would look great in the gray winters and still fit in a sunny summer sky.

Last edited by pghusa; Dec 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM. Reason: crediting
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  #106  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2011, 9:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themaguffin View Post
To a degree, we may take cost too lightly.

However, the city and the parties involved took everything, but cost too lightly.

All of it is ugly and a wast of an incredible location.

I am not opposed to a casino, but there are different dynamics at play.

Additionally, a major flaw of all of the states that want a supposed cash cow of a casino is that (besides not giving a shit about appearance and impact on location etc) is that there is NO incentive for the owner to give a shit if he is the only game in town.

There should be at least 2 casinos. No I'm not suggesting much more than that, but there should be competition and also by having to in one designated area, it could look more like a district of sorts rather than a big ugly building.

How low is the incentive? Well, "Rivers casino" Why even include Rivers in the name? How fucking cheap and lazy on all fronts.
That's my take on it. I do admit that cost is something I don't consider; nothing is cheap to begin with, but I guess whatever is the cheapest is what goes up. I also didn't even think about the aquifer being down there. Oops...

Ok, so cost is an issue, but does that necessarily mean that low cost should yield low quality of aesthetics or architectural design? There's something that's low-cost, and then there's something that looks like cutting corners...

About the casino, what about the Meadows Casino just north of Washington? I believe that's less than an hour away if that. I'm not sure if I know of any others in Western PA. Those two casinos are already competing against Wheeling as well as each other.
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  #107  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2011, 12:47 AM
Johnland Johnland is offline
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Originally Posted by glowrock View Post
The problem with many people here on SSP is that they don't consider the COSTS of what they propose, for instance an insistance on underground parking next to a major river with an aquifer located not far below ground level with a capacity of 5,000+ vehicles...

My guess would be a minimum of $100 million for that kind of underground parking capacity, perhaps even higher.

Aaron (Glowrock)
You seem to think that the city had to either build the most basic, sterile, bland concrete garage possible or not build at all. What I and other posters are saying is there should've been better (as in at least good) design for such a visibly prominent spot on the river shore. You know, use imagination, design, art, skill, savvy, finese, style...I mean something for crying out loud.
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  #108  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2011, 1:43 AM
BrianTH BrianTH is offline
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I'm not sure I have all the details right, but as I recall, Don Barden's original design did indeed contemplate some of the parking being underground. But of course after construction started, Barden went bust, construction was halted, and they eventually got Bluhm's group to take over the project, infuse a bunch of new money, and restart construction.

Edit: Doing a little research, it looks like the garage plan was changed by Barden before the ownership was transferred:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09079/956947-53.stm
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  #109  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2011, 2:43 AM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by pghusa View Post
Also since I've thought about murals, is there any way to paint up that Soviet style architecture that slaps you in the face everytime you leave the Fort Pitt Tunnel, otherwise known as the Hilton/Subhb/Wyndham. I love the building but in a modern 21st century skyline it really just screams Cherynobal or Leningrad.
I was just down there yesterday and they are doing some welding and other construction to add something to the base of the building, I assume to make it more Wyndham-ish. Overall, it doesn't seem like it will do much to improve the overall look and feel of the building, but I guess we'll see when it's done. I'll post a pic or two when I have a minute.

Last edited by TBone7281; Dec 30, 2011 at 3:18 AM. Reason: Wyndham, not Wynn.
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  #110  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2011, 3:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnland View Post
You seem to think that the city had to either build the most basic, sterile, bland concrete garage possible or not build at all. What I and other posters are saying is there should've been better (as in at least good) design for such a visibly prominent spot on the river shore. You know, use imagination, design, art, skill, savvy, finese, style...I mean something for crying out loud.
I said nothing of the sort, Johnland. I said that those who advocated putting all or part of the garage underground weren't paying any attention to a little thing called COST. I never once said that the design shouldn't have been at least a little different.

Don't put words in my mouth. Thank you.

Aaron (Glowrock)
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  #111  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 4:24 AM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Just a couple pics from my walk the other day.

Wyndham Grand. Notice the addition they're putting on the bottom to make it look more... Grand.



Civic Arena deconstruction.






Work they're doing for beautification over by 3 PNC

Last edited by TBone7281; Jan 2, 2012 at 3:22 PM. Reason: Changing over from photobucket to flickr.
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  #112  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 5:07 PM
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Originally Posted by TBone7281 View Post
I was just down there yesterday and they are doing some welding and other construction to add something to the base of the building, I assume to make it more Wyndham-ish. Overall, it doesn't seem like it will do much to improve the overall look and feel of the building, but I guess we'll see when it's done. I'll post a pic or two when I have a minute.
If you're talking about the curved first floor addition to the right side of the entrance-way? That was started years ago but then has been stalled for a long time while the money issues from the previous owner were worked out. Have they finally re-started work on it?
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  #113  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 5:11 PM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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If you're talking about the curved first floor addition to the right side of the entrance-way? That was started years ago but then has been stalled for a long time while the money issues from the previous owner were worked out. Have they finally re-started work on it?
Yeah, it looks maybe half complete, with the other half started but still just a frame, really. Definitely some people there working on it though.
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  #114  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 8:26 PM
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I never thought that new addition looked very appropriate to the style of the building but I'd rather it be finished instead of rusting away half-done. It's way too curvy and swoopy for a very angular building.
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  #115  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2011, 10:45 PM
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Even before I read the last few posts, my intention for posting was to ask if anyone out there knew what was going on with the building next to Three PNC that used to house the infamous Powerball billboard. I see TBone7281 has taken a picture of this building a few posts prior. It looks like a restoration project with a new facade to be constructed. Score one for the preservationists. In my brief Google search, I haven't come across anything yet. Details anyone?
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  #116  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2012, 1:20 AM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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Originally Posted by Gilamonster View Post
Even before I read the last few posts, my intention for posting was to ask if anyone out there knew what was going on with the building next to Three PNC that used to house the infamous Powerball billboard. I see TBone7281 has taken a picture of this building a few posts prior. It looks like a restoration project with a new facade to be constructed. Score one for the preservationists. In my brief Google search, I haven't come across anything yet. Details anyone?
I posted it thinking it was mentioned in this thread before. It was actually in this thread: Night riding through Pittsburgh

And the response to what is going on was also from PA Pride:


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Originally Posted by PA Pride View Post
Good question Steve. This was a very unsightly little triangle building that had the ugliest lottery billboard on it's roof at all times. I did a google search and oddly enough the only picture i could find of it was one that I took a couple years ago that shows the top of the billboard.




And here is an article about what they are doing there:

PNC proposes further development on Liberty





Wednesday, April 07, 2010
By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With its sparkling 23-story office tower on Fifth Avenue virtually complete, PNC Financial Services Group is turning its attention to a companion block of Downtown.

The financial giant is interested in redeveloping two publicly owned properties at 600 and 604 Liberty Ave., adjacent to its new Three PNC Plaza building, to "further enhance the neighborhood."

City Urban Redevelopment Authority board members are expected to consider a proposal Thursday to give PNC 90 days to come up with a redevelopment plan for the properties and negotiate a final purchase.

Both are located at the intersection of Liberty and Sixth Street adjacent to the entrance to the just-opened Fairmont Pittsburgh hotel in Three PNC Plaza and a small park PNC built as part of the development.

The buildings, separated by a privately owned structure that houses a convenience store, also sit across the street from Heinz Hall and can be seen by those coming into Downtown on Sixth.

A corner building, 600 Liberty, now houses Liberty Travel, while 604 Liberty is vacant.

URA executive director Rob Stephany said PNC wants to "renovate and reposition" the properties in an effort to make them more of a welcoming point.

"They don't have proposed tenants or reuses yet, but I think the notion is they're in the heart of that investment zone and they want to try to clean up things around them," he said.

He said that part of Liberty "has become a little dark corner of what otherwise is a really bright spot of Downtown."

Mr. Stephany said the "big ideas" that have been kicked around for the properties include the use of one as a welcoming center for visitors or maybe even as a police mini-station.

PNC also is toying with the idea of making the three-story building at 604 Liberty into very exclusive housing space that could be used by entertainers performing in the cultural district or perhaps even as an extension of the Fairmont, Mr. Stephany said.

The bank also is proposing to remove two billboards attached to 600 Liberty.

Fred Solomon, a PNC spokesman, declined to discuss specific reuses for the buildings until plans are approved by the URA. He would only say PNC expects to acquire them for a "business purpose and to further enhance the neighborhood."

Mike Edwards, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership president and CEO, wrote a letter in support of the venture.

"PNC has made a major contribution to the Golden Triangle, and we feel comfortable that having them as the owner of 600 and 604 Liberty Avenue means we will have a quality building and a quality tenant," he wrote.

PNC was one of two firms to respond to a request for proposals in December. The other dropped out.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.
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  #117  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2012, 4:07 AM
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thanks for keeping us updated T-Bone
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  #118  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2012, 4:28 AM
TBone7281 TBone7281 is offline
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thanks for keeping us updated T-Bone
Only giving credit where credit is due.

Happy New Years, Pittsburgh!
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  #119  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2012, 6:09 PM
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Austinlee Austinlee is offline
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Only giving credit where credit is due.

Happy New Years, Pittsburgh!
Thanks.
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  #120  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2012, 7:22 PM
Gilamonster Gilamonster is offline
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Happy 2012 to all! Let's look forward to the big projects in the city getting underway. The buildings on the Tower at PNC Plaza footprint are supposed to begin asbestos abatement this month and demolition to follow beginning in March. The Millcraft Gardens building is to begin in the spring. Maybe there will be some movement on the One Grandview project as well. And of course there is the big, ongoing deconstruction project of the clearing and grading of the old Civic Arena site. I think the only other sizable development on the board is the Burns and Scalo building proposed for the Blvd of the Allies. I am confident they will will ultimately move on it, but am not so sure it will be this year.
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