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  #1061  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 3:09 PM
mattshoe mattshoe is offline
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While I tend to agree with most of what is said about the Thompson Center here, I do think it would be a loss to tear it down over renovating it. There are not many buildings like that around and I hope there is a way to save it.

Its ugly as sin on the outside, but looking up from the food court is an incredible view that would be a shame to lose.
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  #1062  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 3:30 PM
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seems like it would be pretty expensive to demo
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  #1063  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 3:46 PM
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^During his press conference, Rauner was quoted as saying "It should be real easy to demo- it's basically just glass and steel." Ha Ha. He made it pretty clear yesterday that saving the structure is plan B.
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  #1064  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 3:58 PM
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Why don't we advocate for landmarking the Thompson Center? Wouldn't that be the best way to ensure it's saved?
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  #1065  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattshoe View Post
While I tend to agree with most of what is said about the Thompson Center here, I do think it would be a loss to tear it down over renovating it. There are not many buildings like that around and I hope there is a way to save it.

Its ugly as sin on the outside, but looking up from the food court is an incredible view that would be a shame to lose.
An aesthetically distinct building by a Chicago architect that's been plagued by maintenance/use issues and derided by its tenant as unsavable, its architectural significance undermined by the fact that the movement it represents (postmodernism) heretofore has been maligned by the general public – can anyone explain to me why this should feel any different than Prentice?

It makes me wonder how the general public felt about the Stock Exchange leading up to its demolition...
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  #1066  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:17 PM
VKChaz VKChaz is offline
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
I'm not convinced that redevelopment here would suck projects away from elsewhere.
But it is basic supply/demand. This won't happen, but let's say for sake of argument that 2 million sq ft of office space is built on this site. That is 2 mil sq ft that won't be needed somewhere else. Similarly with hotel tax revenue, a large hotel here means someone else doesn't get funding to build a hotel (it also does nothing to add visitors to fill the rooms to get the revenue). Obviously this is an oversimplification; the world doesn't work in an exact 1:1 way, but the point is that developers are not building just for the sake of building - the supply and demand have to stay in some kind of balance.
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  #1067  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:19 PM
VKChaz VKChaz is offline
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Originally Posted by eaguir3 View Post
I work at the attorney general's office and the building is a complete waste of space. The carpets are disgusting. Tear this piece of crap down!
I hope we are not planning to tear down everything with bad carpeting.
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  #1068  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:33 PM
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I hope we are not planning to tear down everything with bad carpeting.
My hardwood floors are scuffed, I'm moving.
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  #1069  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:35 PM
k1052 k1052 is offline
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Originally Posted by VKChaz View Post
But it is basic supply/demand. This won't happen, but let's say for sake of argument that 2 million sq ft of office space is built on this site. That is 2 mil sq ft that won't be needed somewhere else. Similarly with hotel tax revenue, a large hotel here means someone else doesn't get funding to build a hotel (it also does nothing to add visitors to fill the rooms to get the revenue). Obviously this is an oversimplification; the world doesn't work in an exact 1:1 way, but the point is that developers are not building just for the sake of building - the supply and demand have to stay in some kind of balance.
Since the likely delivery of any project that would be going here would be near or past the end of the decade I'm not particularly swayed by the argument that it would cannibalize other development (which largely hasn't been planned yet for that time frame). Regardless, a new dense development would represent the highest and best use for a prime downtown block so well connected to transportation.

Preservation should be an option but I'd think that the state might exempt the structure from the landmark ordinance to attain the maximum sale price. So realistically I'm not sure there is an avenue for that.
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  #1070  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:38 PM
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Originally Posted by VKChaz View Post
But it is basic supply/demand. This won't happen, but let's say for sake of argument that 2 million sq ft of office space is built on this site. That is 2 mil sq ft that won't be needed somewhere else. Similarly with hotel tax revenue, a large hotel here means someone else doesn't get funding to build a hotel (it also does nothing to add visitors to fill the rooms to get the revenue). Obviously this is an oversimplification; the world doesn't work in an exact 1:1 way, but the point is that developers are not building just for the sake of building - the supply and demand have to stay in some kind of balance.
The "somewhere else" doesn't necessarily mean nearby. Unique locations, particularly in global cities, can incentivize entities to move to them when they become available. That may not happen here, but it is a fairly unique site by American standards and even by global standards. Unlike any other recent Loop project other than Block 37, it's a full square block and across the street from Chicago's center of government, it's literally on top of a major city transit hub, it's not a bad walk from at least two, and depending on your tolerance for walking, as many as four commuter rail stations, it's blocks from Chicago's largest entertainment district, within Chicago's large-production theatre district, blocks from Millennium Park, blocks from State Street. That could conceivably draw from more than just existing local demand to get used. The location would *easily* support a mixed-use super-tall with global draw.
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  #1071  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 4:45 PM
chrisvfr800i chrisvfr800i is online now
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Maybe they could build a transit super-station below this site with express service to O'ha....oh, wait...that's been tried already.
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  #1072  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 5:01 PM
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the state of Illinois wanting to tear down a building meant to symbolize government transparency


weird
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  #1073  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 5:25 PM
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Preservation should be an option but I'd think that the state might exempt the structure from the landmark ordinance to attain the maximum sale price. So realistically I'm not sure there is an avenue for that.
Is it possible for the state to upzone the land it before they sell it, to further increase the value?
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  #1074  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 5:26 PM
VKChaz VKChaz is offline
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Originally Posted by emathias View Post
That could conceivably draw from more than just existing local demand to get used. The location would *easily* support a mixed-use super-tall with global draw.
If you are suggesting that a property is so unique that it will actually expand the market beyond what was possible, that I can appreciate. Spire was an example in attempting to draw buyers from overseas. Perhaps Wanda to some degree now. But I think it would have to be quite outstanding to not simply supplant some other property.
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  #1075  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 5:26 PM
Near North Resident Near North Resident is online now
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heh "transparency" in government is a relative term
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  #1076  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 5:45 PM
SamInTheLoop SamInTheLoop is offline
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Originally Posted by VKChaz View Post
If you are suggesting that a property is so unique that it will actually expand the market beyond what was possible, that I can appreciate. Spire was an example in attempting to draw buyers from overseas. Perhaps Wanda to some degree now. But I think it would have to be quite outstanding to not simply supplant some other property.


Yeah, interesting debate, but I'm definitely more with you on this one. Chicago is not a supply-constrained market overall, and even for prime sites, Chicago is not THAT supply-constrained - certainly not relative to peer US cities. The net new tax boost claim is one where for the most part the market would need to be facing supply-side constraints, which is not the case - even for very high quality development sites. Now, to your point, if something very - unusually - compelling were proposed here to the point where it actually induces net new demand (this can and sometimes does happen).....but, that's not the typical development.....
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  #1077  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 6:04 PM
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Radical(ly stupid?) idea: Move the MCA into the Thompson Center, after a Renzo Piano-led renovation. (Particularly since the interiors echo the Pompidou, and the firm has become so heralded for their recent work in art institutions, which are not without their own issues.)

Not sure how the program of the building would fit for art exhibitions, or what would go in the current MCA building, which is great itself but sometimes seems to constrain the MCA with limited space?
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  #1078  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 8:05 PM
deebirch deebirch is offline
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Originally Posted by jc5680 View Post
I am quite familiar with the area
Perfect, you're surely aware of the gas station that is on the opposite corner. Which caters to, hmm.......

And the nearby West Marine store is definitely a walk in type of establishment...

The reality is this area has plenty of space to easily accommodate a surface parking lot with ample space for many cars and rightly so. This is not an area that can thrive off of pedestrian traffic and needs to make sure it is accessible by car.
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  #1079  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 9:25 PM
VKChaz VKChaz is offline
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Originally Posted by ithakas View Post
the current MCA building, which is great itself but sometimes seems to constrain the MCA with limited space?
No idea if MCA is looking to move, but I also get the sense it is space constrained. Not to cloud the immediate issue, but last year a DNAinfo article suggested McCormick Place East as a landing spot for Lucas. If MPE is ever up for grabs, perhaps it would be an option for cultural use like an MCA.
Thompson is located in the Loop Theatre District so if you are seeking radical ideas, maybe someone could devise a way to incorporate a performing arts space. I don't know how, but thinking radically...
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  #1080  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2015, 11:01 PM
Ned.B Ned.B is offline
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Discussion of aesthetics aside, and flawed though it may be, an awful lot of design thought and resources went into creating the Thompson Center, and it would be a shame and a waste to just throw it all away 30 years after it's completion. Personally I think it's atrium is one of the most impressive publicly accessible interior spaces in a city that doesn't really offer that many.

If anyone looks back at preservation history, most of the arguments made now, are the same ones that brought down many buildings in the 1960s and 70s that we wish we still had today. When the Old Federal Building was demolished in 1965 at an age of only 60, it was considered outdated, inefficient, costly to maintain and worn out. But if it had managed to hold out for another 15 years, it would probably still be here.
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