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Old Posted Jun 29, 2006, 1:06 AM
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BVictor1 BVictor1 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,514
Originally Posted by honte
Fair enough. I haven't seen the inside, so I can't comment on that.

Don't get me wrong. I think this is nearly a perfect proposal as-is. What concerns me, however, is the co-opting of the landmark cause as a veil for NIMBYism, and also the facadectomy treatment as the "ideal" solution to development vs. preservation issues.

In this case, the lot is huge, the developer is clearly ready to build tall, and there doesn't seem to be too much to gain from keeping only the facade. So, keeping the whole building doesn't seem too difficult. The risks to this trend, obviously, are that 1) we end up with a bunch of Disneyland facade landmarks that are only skin-deep, with no real soul or occupyable space (this is certainly happening quite frequently already), and 2) that the precedent is set when a true "3-D Landmark" (e.g. NY Life) cannot be saved because it would be "discriminatory."

This is what I've found out from a source of mine about what will be done with the YWCA Building on Michigan...

"There would be active uses the entire width and height of the façade of the
YWCA. The main entrance to the project uses the center entry of the façade,
and the entire second floor along the façade is the upper lobby. Back on the
ground to the right of the lobby entrance would be the restaurant to the
left the spa. The Spa also takes the 3rd floor of the façade. The 4th floor
and above of the facade are residential units. Stepping back from the façade
above the cornice line are 2 more levels of units. These would not be
apparent along Michigan Ave. because of their step back nature. Only the
Façade will be kept and restored. The structure behind is in terrible
disrepair. The first floor would be dropped to the level of Michigan Ave. to
activate the sidewalk with access from the 3 uses - lobby, restaurant and
spa. Sidewalk dining is proposed. The original structure has the first floor
above the sidewalk level but the façade lends itself to the drop in first
floor level."