Originally Posted by john_mclark
kevin i'm hoping to become a developer in abilene and i was hoping if this actually works in gettimg an idea across.
Well, I think it does. I'm not sure of the exact scale of my models, but I do know they are to scale. I researched the street width information from the City of Austin. Most downtown streets in Austin are 80 feet wide, that includes 44 feet of lanes, (curb to curb), the rest is sidewalks. For the block sizes I've measured those with GoogleEarth. I'm also an editor at Emporis which is a website that catalogs skyscrapers from around the world. I work on most of Texas there. I collect building heights as a hobby so the heights of the buildings are correct. Most of the heights have come straight from the building's blueprints. In collecting the heights I also ask for building widths which further help in modeling them. To do the model I use GoogleEarth for images, Live Local Search, various other aerial photographs where I can find them. I also use books, magazines, calendars, postcards, and of course my own pictures. I also go downtown and sketch out the block that I'm planning on modeling. So when I do it I've got images of that block from all angles and levels.
I include everything in the model. Not just the skyscrapers, but also all the smaller older buildings. All the little 2-story historic buildings from as far back as the 1850s. Austin also has what we call "Moonlight Towers", these are 165 foot light towers that were bought and installed by the City of Austin back in 1895. They're national historic landmarks. There's 17 of them remaining out of 31 original towers. These are all over downtown and Central Austin, Central South Austin and Central East Austin, (near downtown). I include those to help with the realism. I'm also planning on adding light rail once it comes to downtown. Those will just show up as small "slats" on the street. Since the trains are fairly large, about ~10 to 12 feet tall and ~ 60 feet long, I want to include them.
A developer in Austin contacted me about using Legos as a visual reference for their project. He wanted to show people how the building would appear on the skyline in that area of downtown compared to other nearby highrises, and others that are also being planned nearby. The project is a 390 to 400 foot condominium tower that is planned for an area of downtown that is bounded to the north by old historic homes, (from the 1860s to 1880s), that have been restored and reused as light commercial space. Mostly law firms and other small office space. To the south and west there are a lot of restaurants and other small offices. To the east and southeast there are 2 taller towers planned by another developer, and to the east the main bulk of Austin's downtown skyline. There was some controversy about this project because area business owners, (just a handful), didn't like the height. They said it didn't fit the neighborhood and they wanted it scaled back to 120 feet. That would have meant a mid-rise tower that would have covered half the block, instead of 1/4. It also meant that a very popular restaurant, (Ranch 616), would have been demolished to make room for the tower. So the developer contacted me about doing the model for them. I agreed, and he purchased the Legos, dropped them off at my house, and I worked on the model for 4 1/2 days straight to get it done. He came and photographed it, and I got to keep the Legos. I'll also get a tour of the building during construction.
The important part is that the photos were used in the developer's presentation before city council, (the images were also on the city's tv station). The tower was approved at 400 feet tall on the 2nd & 3rd reading. They plan to break ground in 5 months after they have their permits and demolition of the site is complete.
The developer, Rick Hardin, seemed to be very pleased with the job I did on the model. He told me that I should get it put on display somewhere possibly at city hall or at a museum.
I can put you in touch with him if you'd like. He can give you his thoughts on how effective the model was.
I'm curious, is your project a highrise for Abilene's downtown area? Or elsewhere? I have a bunch more photos of the model, atleast over 200 of them. Let me know what kind of angles you're looking for, and I'll post a few more if need be.
I hope this helps.