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  #41  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 6:03 PM
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Whatever. The park is fine by me. It really isn't all that curvaceous and anti-urban when you look at it.

Besides, the only difference between a park and a plaza is the presence of grass. Really nothing to make a big deal about..
     
     
  #42  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 6:16 PM
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Am I alone in liking the park in front of 311 S Wacker? It's a great space come summertime and seems to attract a fair amount of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
A more useful site plan would be a "Daley Center West" style plaza that can be used as an assembly space for intense civic uses along the river. The city really can use another open assembly space in the West Loop for protests, farmers markets, celebrations, etc. instead of just relying solely on Daley Center.
Sounds great except this is a private development. I don't see an assembly place being a selling point to Fortune 500 companies or law /financial/professional service firms who might be a target of protest (Occupy, etc.).
     
     
  #43  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 6:32 PM
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No worries SpyGuy, i like that park at 311 also. I used to work in that building and ate at the park many times. Great place to relax and look up at the Sears..um i mean Willis Tower.
     
     
  #44  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2013, 4:49 AM
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Marshall Gerometta who maintains a massive building height list for Chicago and other cities told me the architect said this building will be 664 feet 6 inches from street level to the mechanical roof. The architect is Goettsch Partners.
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Last edited by KevinFromTexas; Dec 31, 2013 at 5:06 AM.
     
     
  #45  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2013, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Marshall Gerometta who maintains a massive building height list for Chicago and other cities told me the architect said this building will be 664 feet 6 inches from street level to the mechanical roof. The architect is Goettsch Partners.


Pretty sure its 749 feet according to the developer from their presentations.
     
     
  #46  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2013, 11:07 PM
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I think that towers with green space are wholly appropriate when they are close to (or in this case, right on) the river. I would have much more of a problem with this if it were at like, LaSalle and Madison or some other core intersection. The river is an INCREDIBLE asset, take it from someone who has lived in many land locked cities, and it should be cultivated, IMHO, in a unique way. Chicago has, and will continue to have and develop, wall to wall urbanity. I think it's ok to ratchet that credo down just a bit when it comes to the river. Urbs in horto.
     
     
  #47  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 12:41 AM
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Building Height

The stacking plan on page one shows a height to the mechanical roof that could be 664' - 6". It is hard to read. The same stacking plan shows a height to the top of the mechanical as 737' . Here's hoping it stays at over 700"
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  #48  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 12:45 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
664 feet 6 inches from street level to the mechanical roof. .
And there's your key word. It depends whether you are measuring the building from ground level or street level. In fact, there is probably going to be some discrepancies as to exactly what street level or ground level is since this site sits between two ramped streets to allow bridge clearance and a lower alley-type street not to mention the additional multilevel effect of the base as seen in some renderings. Also, the stacking plan shows a height of 737' so I would assume that there is some discrepancy there. Everything we've heard or seen so far and everything that has been announced has indicated a height significantly over 700'.
     
     
  #49  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 5:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
And there's your key word. It depends whether you are measuring the building from ground level or street level. In fact, there is probably going to be some discrepancies as to exactly what street level or ground level is since this site sits between two ramped streets to allow bridge clearance and a lower alley-type street not to mention the additional multilevel effect of the base as seen in some renderings. Also, the stacking plan shows a height of 737' so I would assume that there is some discrepancy there. Everything we've heard or seen so far and everything that has been announced has indicated a height significantly over 700'.
737' on the stacking plan is measured from the surface of the river, so it's definitely going to be shorter than that. The height to the "mechanical roof" is 696'-6" from the surface of the river according to the stacking plan on page one.

Then if I remember right, building height is measured from the lowest building entrance. Since there is no lower lever river walk or as far as I know, an entrance at the level of the conference center, it's height will probably be measured from the plaza or something similar. That would make the building 717', assuming that the website's stacking plan is current.
     
     
  #50  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 7:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned.B View Post
737' on the stacking plan is measured from the surface of the river, so it's definitely going to be shorter than that. The height to the "mechanical roof" is 696'-6" from the surface of the river according to the stacking plan on page one.

Then if I remember right, building height is measured from the lowest building entrance. Since there is no lower lever river walk or as far as I know, an entrance at the level of the conference center, it's height will probably be measured from the plaza or something similar. That would make the building 717', assuming that the website's stacking plan is current.
The elevation of buildings is measured to Chicago City Datum (CCD), where the river is -2' CCD and Lake Michigan is 0'0". Grade at this location is +2 CCD, and the building roof elevation is 737' CCD. That would put the height at 735 feet.
     
     
  #51  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 8:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilton View Post
All 3 of the "plazas" at the River have been continually described as "parks" by the developers. None will be anything more than green, sterile corporate plazas where the use will be for the tenants of the property. There will be very little lounging around by the public.

The only true park in the area where the public will feel comfortable will be the extended Riverwalk where the public will have unfettered access.
I've read both the River Point and 150 Riverside Planned Development Ordinance statements, and both properties are required by law to maintain permanent public access to their sites pursuant to Chicago Parks and Rec hours (even though both sites are private property maintained by the building owners).

The debate of "urban plaza vs park" is one being largely settled by Aldermanic privilege, as opposed to best practices for urban planning. "Green" gets votes and placates constituents, not because it is the best or most functional use of space in a Midwestern city, but because it SOUNDS environmentally conscious and "progressive".

The reality is that we can learn all we need to know about functional urban design from Paris, Rome etc....park space isn't implemented in 1 or 2 block tranches, they are done on a massive scale as actual "parks". Smaller open spaces in the urban fabric are largely comprised of hardscape, seating, food service, and functional assembly space. God forbid you point to a European piazza and say "I want to do this" when meeting with local interest groups - they aren't concerned with how people use space, they are solely concerned with the appearance of their suggestions, which have unfortunately become imbedded in the brains of local planning officials.
     
     
  #52  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 8:26 PM
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Yet in both examples of Rome and Paris their rivers are developed with all sorts of little parks near it and have tree lined paths along the entire length.
     
     
  #53  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 9:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Chi-Sky21 View Post
Yet in both examples of Rome and Paris their rivers are developed with all sorts of little parks near it and have tree lined paths along the entire length.
The Chicago riverwalk ordinance already institutes this practice. The parks that were foisted upon river point and 150 are separate public improvements that will unfortunately be less usable than if good urban design would have been allowed by the powers that be.
     
     
  #54  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 9:51 PM
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^^. For 150, the access to the seating area on the south comes from a walkway between the Randolph Bridge and the alley or from Lake St. You must first approach the building in order to approach the seating area.

For River Point, access to the "park" comes from an elevator south of the RR tracks or from the Lake St. Bridge. Access from the "park" to the public Riverwalk is solely from the Lake St. Bridge. For public use? lol!

For Wolf Point, the only access to the public Riverwalk is from Orleans or water via water taxi. There is no access from Kinzie to the public Riverwalk or the "park"/corporate plaza. IMO, an important "oversight" - not.

My point was that for a property to be a true park, access must be designed so that use is as easy for the general public as the tenants, workers and corporate clients. All 3 developments have green spaces, but they are hardly areas designed for much public use. They are to benefit the private use of the properties.
     
     
  #55  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 9:57 PM
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I think expecting them to be parks is folly. It's nice that they have to use park access hours but parks are parks and plazas are plazas. Anything better than "employees only" gates is a gift.
     
     
  #56  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2014, 11:54 PM
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^. In return for creating "parks" that are not designed to be used by the public, developers get FAR additions and credits for setback violations. It's all a kabuki act with the alderman taking credit for obtaining the "park for the people" while giving away the FAR and the setbacks to the developer.
     
     
  #57  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2014, 4:04 AM
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I'd trade park amenities for a simple contiguous riverwalk any day. I was glad to hear they'd be connecting 150N's to Boeing's under the bridge, now we just need to connect this guy to River Point's. Then a pedestrian bridge over to Wolf Point. Then bring back streetcars and overhaul Navy Pier and give cart vendors licenses to sell Chicago dogs on the street. I'm not asking for much.
     
     
  #58  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2014, 11:29 PM
Clarkkent2420 Clarkkent2420 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilton View Post
^. In return for creating "parks" that are not designed to be used by the public, developers get FAR additions and credits for setback violations. It's all a kabuki act with the alderman taking credit for obtaining the "park for the people" while giving away the FAR and the setbacks to the developer.
The 150 Riverside PD ordinance indicates it is being built to the underlying DX-16 ordinance - and it's riverwalk looks to be well beyond the 30-ft requirement.
     
     
  #59  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2014, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
FYI guys, Tom is not claiming it should be a "more urban" design or complaining about it being a "concrete plaza". He is actually advocating exactly the opposite. He is calling for MORE concrete/hard surfaces a la Daley Center:



Tom seems to absolutely love concrete/hardscape plazas and this is another case of it. I often disagree with this love affair, but in this case I agree. This building would be absolutely awesome with a Daley center style hardscape open plaza. We are already getting a nice grassy lawn at River Point so why do we need another here? A more useful site plan would be a "Daley Center West" style plaza that can be used as an assembly space for intense civic uses along the river. The city really can use another open assembly space in the West Loop for protests, farmers markets, celebrations, etc. instead of just relying solely on Daley Center.

Also having a wide open hardscape would further accent how freaking dope this design is and create a more sculptural base along the river. Having two huge new parks along the river will be awesome, but having a huge new park and a huge new plaza right next to each other along the river would be awesomer.
I disagree.

Here are a park and plaza right next to each other. You'll note that the plaza is a windswept monstrosity, barely if ever used, and that the park--despite its renown--is no great shakes, either. Another plaza just to the south is being rebuilt into a nicer park. Nearly everybody in the area agrees, however, that that f**king plaza has got to go.

Back to the topic of this proposal: Even a low retail shed, or park sculpting such that there is room for such a facility, on the Randolph Street side will reduce the proposal's tower-in-a-park tendency. That said, the fact that the site's south half was resold does imply placeholder status for the plaza, and hopefully another nice (but not overwhelming) proposal down the road.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2014, 1:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
I disagree.

Here are a park and plaza right next to each other. You'll note that the plaza is a windswept monstrosity, barely if ever used, and that the park--despite its renown--is no great shakes, either. Another plaza just to the south is being rebuilt into a nicer park. Nearly everybody in the area agrees, however, that that f**king plaza has got to go.

Back to the topic of this proposal: Even a low retail shed, or park sculpting such that there is room for such a facility, on the Randolph Street side will reduce the proposal's tower-in-a-park tendency. That said, the fact that the site's south half was resold does imply placeholder status for the plaza, and hopefully another nice (but not overwhelming) proposal down the road.
Completely anecdotal evidence. Are you suggesting that there is no way a park and plaza can exist side by side without the plaza being a "windswept monstrosity" or are you suggesting that hardscape plazas are always a failure? Either claim is pretty baseless.

Chicago has numerous successful hardscape plazas that are not, as you put it, "windswept monstrosities". Daley Plaza, for example, is almost featureless except for a piece of public art, a fountain, and an eternal flame with flagpoles, yet it is one of the most successful public spaces in the country, if not the world. Most plazas, like the one you pictured, that are stunted and useless are usually so due to failings in the design of the adjacent building or surrounding environment that discourage use by the public. In the case of Daley center, the building and the plaza function as a single unit and the plaza is therefore heavily used.

I imagine the same would be the case here since there are no real public open spaces along the river and the most direct route to all of the nearby commuter stations would be to the south through the plaza from this parkingless building. In other words, a properly designed plaza here would be plenty successful just from the traffic generated by the tenants of this building alone, not to mention pass-through traffic from River Point directly to the North headed to the train stations as well. In fact, this section of the river walk will probably be one of the most heavily traveled sections due to its location and might be a wholly inappropriate place for green space as a result. I can see the lawn getting tracked out by commuters taking the shortest route if the sidewalks are not laid out just right, for example. It won't be much of a "peaceful park" with thousands of commuters tromping through it all day long.
     
     
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