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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 2:48 AM
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Wow. All the grace of Presidential towers...with the urban planning of of a exuburban mall and the architectural originality of white bread. If only Mr. Davies could conceptualize something worth building, let alone something feasible.
re: Presidential Towers, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Just because something is huge doesn't make it bold or visionary. What you have here, for example, is something mundane that's elevated to the level of ridiculous/absurd/out-of-touch because of its size. The project is entirely based (literally and figuratively) on retail. Has he not read the news about Roosevelt Collection? Block 37? Trump Tower's retail component? The demand for what he's proposing simply does not exist, and even if (or when) it were to there's clearly already enough space in the established shopping districts to absorb it all.

There's an opportunity to do something really exciting with the site-- you have the river and the city's front entrance (Congress) right there. But this proposal doesn't appear to engage it in any way-- it does the opposite, really: with those huge walls of "retail" (and parking, no doubt), it cloisters itself off from these potentially amazing assets-- not to mention the rest of the city.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 3:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G View Post
re: Presidential Towers, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Just because something is huge doesn't make it bold or visionary. What you have here, for example, is something mundane that's elevated to the level of ridiculous/absurd/out-of-touch because of its size. The project is entirely based (literally and figuratively) on retail. Has he not read the news about Roosevelt Collection? Block 37? Trump Tower's retail component? The demand for what he's proposing simply does not exist, and even if (or when) it were to there's clearly already enough space in the established shopping districts to absorb it all.

There's an opportunity to do something really exciting with the site-- you have the river and the city's front entrance (Congress) right there. But this proposal doesn't appear to engage it in any way-- it does the opposite, really: with those huge walls of "retail" (and parking, no doubt), it cloisters itself off from these potentially amazing assets-- not to mention the rest of the city.
I'm hoping that the render was simply a generic plotting diagram, and not an actual representation of how they envision the individual buildings to look.

That said, if you get rid of some of the more fanciful things, such as the retail "bridge" over the river, you actually have the potential for some interesting results. For example, the positioning of the tall tower seems to have been selected to form a capstone to the view down the south branch of the river from the Apparel Mart and from the Riverside Plaza areas.

If you removed the retail between the shorter tower on the NE corner of the Post Office plot and the largest tower, you'd end up with an arrangement that would still show off the art deco Post Office, but enhance the sensation of driving through something. And we don't really know if they've ignored the river or not because they don't show any details about how the buildings would meet it. It's not as though the city and river there are already beautifully matched there - it would be very difficult to make any sort of ideal river/city meld in that area that didn't end up feeling forced and out of place. After all, Congress is essentially a highway there, and it kind of divides off that part of the river from any hope of being an extension of Riverside Plaza and across the river, the Wacker extension and interface with Congress destroys the usability on that side, too. And I think you're not really facing reality if you think that a park surrounded by a highway, a train yard and across the river from a boring, pretty ugly new post office processing facility would be popular or beautiful or usable or in any way add to Chicago. The big parcel south of Roosevelt Rd is really the best bet for creating an interface between the City and the River. That's across from a railyard, but it's a much bigger drawing board and thus has more flexible possibilities.

I'm not defending the drawing as it is, but I am saying that the core layout is at least has the potential for merit. As for your counter-examples, they're all too small. Roosevelt Collection is hard to get to for neighborhood residents on foot, and just isn't big enough to draw people from anywhere else. Even Block 37 should either have gone bigger or simply not been a mall. If it wasn't on State Street, it would have no hope at that size and even being on State Street, it barely even holds its own as far as generating critical mass. I think the Trump thing will work, eventually, they just have to figure out how it's supposed to work during the winter when nobody in their right mind would walk along that section of the river.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 4:24 AM
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I crave something though with more mixed heights and density. There is no reason for mega towers with mega podia separated by vast vacant greenspaces. And certainly no reason to build these gigantic clone towers 10 feet from one another, let alone on these Asian-scale shopping malls.

LSE, even Smith's Franklin Point plan or South River City were much more integrated plans that (at least attempted to) create neighborhoods. I don't get the sense at all that this would be any more fun to live in than the currently sterile corner of the Loop it already is.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 4:53 AM
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Exactly. This whole plan is just horrible and way too much for that area. The only component that seems reasonable is the 2mil sqft of office space. Anyway, I would prefer for the east side of the post office, facing the river, to be turned into open space like the space proposed for River Point. Then they should put about three towers, at various heights, to the west where the Holiday Inn is. 90, 80 and 60 or 70 fl towers would be nice.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 1:51 PM
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...The only component that seems reasonable is the 2mil sqft of office space...
Disagree. The residential will work. I don't know if you've noticed, but all those new apartment towers in the near West Loop are filling up quickly and every condo that is priced reasonably sells quickly. Downtown living is in demand.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 5:03 PM
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This whole plan is pretty ridiculous. It seems like he is basically hoping to create a condensed Michigan ave for the suburbs. "Come on down folks, bring your cars to Chicago. Dont worry about actually walking the streets and experiencing what Chicago has to offer, look at the pretty buildings and river from our 10 story bridge.. You'll love having almost experienced Chicago! Now go and drive your 12,000 cars back to the burbs..." I can appreciate that he is willing to invest in Chicago, and I love seeing buildings being built as much as the next guy, but this idea really is absurd.. He's not building a neighborhood by any means, he's building a tourist trap.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 5:46 PM
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Models are out from DinoVabec on SSC:







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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 5:59 PM
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
I'm not defending the drawing as it is, but I am saying that the core layout is at least has the potential for merit. As for your counter-examples, they're all too small. Roosevelt Collection is hard to get to for neighborhood residents on foot, and just isn't big enough to draw people from anywhere else. Even Block 37 should either have gone bigger or simply not been a mall. If it wasn't on State Street, it would have no hope at that size and even being on State Street, it barely even holds its own as far as generating critical mass. I think the Trump thing will work, eventually, they just have to figure out how it's supposed to work during the winter when nobody in their right mind would walk along that section of the river.
Weather/design isn't the issue. The issue is that Trump is seeking the same rent levels of street-level property on Oak, and even Oak has lots of vacancy these days. Why would super-luxury retailers deal with Donald Trump and take a chance on an untested location when they can avoid the Trump baggage and get a space that's actually ON the city's premier retail street?

Maybe if Trump had gotten the global elite buyers he wanted, there would be a built-in market for the goods of luxury retailers. Instead, Trump's units are merely going to well-paid Chicago executives, who probably don't have the desire to shop at Hermes or YSL on a regular basis (there's that Midwestern conservatism again!)

From a design perspective, it would help Trump out a lot if the Wrigley Building plaza is converted into a retail arcade with a glass roof. It's much wider than European arcades, but they can mitigate that somewhat by encouraging the retailers to spill out into the plaza like a bazaar. That would in turn lure people from Pioneer Plaza down into Trump's area.
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Last edited by ardecila; Jul 22, 2011 at 6:13 PM.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 6:38 PM
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if it is not already obvious to us all.



http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2...-will-fail.php

1,001 Reasons That Bill Davies' Post Office Pipe Dream Will Fail

Friday, July 22, 2011, by Mark Boyer

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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 6:40 PM
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I think its fair to give the guy a chance, at least he has vision.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 6:54 PM
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 7:27 PM
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I think this is the start of something possibly great. Almost never does a project of this scale retain it's original concept. It'll most likely change and grow into something more people will agree with. I say build build build! Until we can't build no more!
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 7:56 PM
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It's nice that people still think big when it comes to Chicago but of course this or anything like it will never be reality. As for the parking, any development that intends to poach people away from suburban shopping malls is gonna need it.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:00 PM
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Some more, the entire complex this time. DinoVabec







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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:16 PM
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Wow. . . that's just awful. . .

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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:41 PM
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CHICAGO | Old Post Office Redevelopment | 2000 FT / 600 M | 120 FLOORS

Skyscrapers, retail part of massive Old Post Office plan

By: Alby Gallun July 21, 2011

(Crain's) — The owner of the Old Main Post Office has unveiled an audacious plan to transform the hulking structure and surrounding properties into a massive complex spanning the Chicago River that would include a shopping center, hotels, more than 1,000 residential units and the tallest skyscraper in North America.

The 120-story tower is the centerpiece of a $3.5-billion, 16-million-square-foot development proposed by Bill Davies, the Englishman who paid $24 million two years ago for the post office, an empty landmark structure that straddles the Congress Parkway on the west side of the river.

Read more http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...#ixzz1SmBhasi3
Stay up-to-date on Chicago real estate with our free, daily e-newsletter

A link to the PDF plans: http://204.248.60.17/wp-content/uplo...oth-Hansen.pdf

Renderings from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...8&postcount=78 at SSC.







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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:44 PM
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I created a new thread in the proposed supertall/highrise section http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=192697 for the benefit of those who may not frequent Chicago threads. This is after all a major super tall proposal of potential worldwide interest, pipe dream or not.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:55 PM
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I first heard of this project last night on Chicago tonight hearing only brief snippets about a 2,000 foot skyscraper at the Old Post Office site and was like WTF?! I immediately came on SSP and the project has been already discussed a bit on this thread: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...48#post5355748.

My initial reaction is that a project of this insane scale seems like it belongs more in Dubai than Chicago. I like the concept of a mega project that has a tower that will top the Sears Tower (how many times have we heard that though with Chicago Spire, etc.) but it is really just a pipe dream. The ideas have a lot of potential to create a huge mixed use development that could bring vibrancy to that corner of the West Loop but there are also disturbing ideas like 12,000 parking spaces to lure in suburban shoppers. From a pragmatic standpoint maybe having 12K parking spots will lessen NIMBY opposition and the local Alderman Bob Fioretti who is known to pander to NIMBYs at times is apparently for the project (I assume he knows about the 2,000 foot skyscraper proposal and its not just a generic Old Post Office building remodel). The architecture as rendered is also quite ugly but might be very preliminary and could evolve to something better. It is also not clear if the 2,000 feet is with or without those proposed spires/antennas, 120 floors to me implies that the spires would be included in the height but I don't get the impression they have really worked or even thought out details like that yet.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2011, 11:56 PM
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Put this plan in your pipe and smoke it.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2011, 12:08 AM
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See my reaction is actually completely the opposite (no disrespect of course). I was never too fond of Chicago Spire because I felt like it was ridiculously showy and belonged in a place like Las Vegas or Dubai. It didn't feel like industrial, structual, matter-of-fact Chicago. This tower on the other hand (I understand that the rendering is conceptual), if it's executed correctly, could be completely fantastic for this city and really fit the Chicago skyline.

Everyone from New York who denounced the Chicago Spire got thoroughly chastised and the NY vs. CHI debate was incited once again, but personally, and I love my city equally to Chicago, but I would not complain about ceding the nations-tallest title to Chicago for this building. Let's get it BUILT.
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