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  #101  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 5:08 PM
Dr. Taco Dr. Taco is offline
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thank you, pointspecial, for that very reasonable analysis. But you are forgetting one very important thing. Wind turbines out on the lake in greater numbers produces a lot more power, sure. But nobody would be able to see the turbines (or at least not nearly as well), so nobody would be able to think or or say "wow, we have greeeen energy. we are SO conscientious!". The whole point of the green movement is to make people feel better about themselves, cost and waste reduction be damned

but yeah, one other thing, 750 grand a pop probably doesn't factor in a bulk rate, but i'm not sure...
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  #102  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 7:31 PM
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Yeah. . . what did they do with that silly wind-turbine that was on display outside the Field Museum along Lakeshore Drive?

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  #103  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 8:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PointSpecial View Post
I'm talking about the beauty of the lake, not the lakefront. Placing these turbines would obstruct views of the lake and horizon (albeit FROM the man made lake shore... but that already exists).

And as I researched more and more, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to create something at this cost when there are other options (i.e. in the MIDDLE of the lake) where the wind blows harder and more frequently than on the shore of Chicago, especially when this would take away from the natural beauty of the lake in what is likely the place where most visitors will see it.

I mean, it very well could be very neat to have this path stretching out into the lake. I'm not necessarily saying that I think this portion of the plan should be nixed. After all, it was an original part of the 1909 Plan. But creating what will amount to a novelty in terms of impact on the power grid, at quadruple the price of creating said land bridge would be a travesty and simply shouldn't be done.

And even though much of the lakefront is "man made," it created, by and large, a showcase of nature in an urban setting. We think of Chicago in our current 21st century context, but think about a 19th century context. Grant Park was a green space, granted without the trees we think of today as late as the 1920's, but from its inception in 1835, the land east of Michigan Avenue, dubbed Lake Park in 1847, was "public ground forever to remain vacant of buildings." It DID expand with the landfill from the Chicago Fire, and didn't initially become "Grant Park" until 1901, but even so, "Chicago's front yard" implies a green space, i.e. natural.

I mean, if you really want to get technical, think about the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The great majority of what we believe to be "natural" has been logged and replanted since the 19th century. Technically, it is largely in its present state due to the influence of man. But that really gets away from the main point... Nature is seen as plants, wild animals and water. It's not artificial. By and large it's growing without human care. We can mess around with the definition (by the second half of that definition, a garden wouldn't be nature, I suppose), but by and large, it's green space.

It would be in contrast to the brick and mortar, steel, cement and rebar buildings that certainly are not natural.

And it isn't to say that I don't find Chicago's skyline to be beautiful. I do. But one of Chi-town's great qualities IS this great contrast between man made and natural. The buildings stretch skyward against the flat lake, the whites, grays, and blacks of the buildings contrast against the blue sky. I'm all for more human creations. But this one doesn't make sense. It doesn't begin to achieve what it appears to intend to, and it comes at far to great a cost, both financially, and to the natural beauty found in the lake itself that will be tainted.
there are over 20 miles of lakeshore, you can go there.

as for the lake being obstructed as well as the horizon, this eco-bridge would be accessible to the public, so you could go out there to enjoy the "natural beauty:. besides, the sail boats already somewhat clutter the harbr.

building these out in the middle of the lake might seem to make sence from an aesthetic standpoint by those who think it would mar the lakefront, but it would be much more costly because of the deepness of the water and the face that it could possible be in the way of navigation, and it would be more difficult to repair if that were needed.

yes, it would be expensive. i remember all the bitching and moaning people did on the cost of millenium park, but that has ended up being an economic boon for the downtown area in terms of tourism and construction.
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  #104  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2008, 11:27 PM
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I am really getting tired of posting this, but here I go again. WIND TURBINE DESIGN DOES NOT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE THE BIG THREE BLADE FAN ON A POLE. There have been many diffrent creations as of late that make wind turbines just as functional but much more descrete in apprence. Such as the wind turbines on top of the new Jahn designed SRO at Clyborn and Divison, and they are far cheaper than the quoted amount of $750K a pop. The bill becker designed Aero-turbines also produce electricty at lower wind speeds than the traditional 3 blade design.

http://www.aerotecture.com












I am not saying this is what has to be used in such a proposal, but rather making the point that a creative design could and likely will come out of it. Keep in mind that Smill+Gill have worked a few proposals with building intergrated turbines. Lets not throw out the baby with bath water. We have not even seen a real rendering yet, just a conceptual idea.
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  #105  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2008, 3:43 AM
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See, now this last idea makes much more sense... especially if the price tag isn't as high as the $750k I've seen quoted (per the company that installed the wind farm by US 41 in Wisconsin I mentioned before). It is unobtrusive, and could be implemented on plenty of places where it would get lots of use... on the tops of buildings!

I read a story in the Trib yesterday (well, Oct 8th) about the Sears Tower trying to cut energy costs by 10%. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/

One of the ideas is to put wind turbines on the top. The ones shown by ChicagoShawn make a lot more sense than freestanding "three blade on a pole" model. For one, these "collectors" if you will, won't need to be placed any higher... they're already way the heck up there! IF they're going to do this (big if), why not utilize the upper atmosphere of Chicago's buildings to make electricity?
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  #106  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2008, 6:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PointSpecial View Post
See, now this last idea makes much more sense... especially if the price tag isn't as high as the $750k I've seen quoted (per the company that installed the wind farm by US 41 in Wisconsin I mentioned before). It is unobtrusive, and could be implemented on plenty of places where it would get lots of use... on the tops of buildings!

I read a story in the Trib yesterday (well, Oct 8th) about the Sears Tower trying to cut energy costs by 10%. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/theskyline/

One of the ideas is to put wind turbines on the top. The ones shown by ChicagoShawn make a lot more sense than freestanding "three blade on a pole" model. For one, these "collectors" if you will, won't need to be placed any higher... they're already way the heck up there! IF they're going to do this (big if), why not utilize the upper atmosphere of Chicago's buildings to make electricity?
sure, but the energy output is much less for those smaller energy devices. It would be good to see a price analysis of wind power device cost per kilowatt and the amount of space it would take to achieve the same energy output as the more traditional turbines. Also would be interesting to see how these compare to solar energy.

I've always thought that having some type of contraptions inbetween downtown buildings is the best place for storing up on wind energy. Obviously, that's where the highest wind speeds are obtained.
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  #107  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 8:16 PM
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so was there any talk on this at the meeting on wednesday?
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  #108  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 9:41 PM
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so was there any talk on this at the meeting on wednesday?
yes, the architect gave a great presentation with a few new renders (nothing new, just new angles of the same view). I left right before the Q&A, so I don't know if costs were discussed.
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  #109  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 10:02 PM
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there are over 20 miles of lakeshore, you can go there.

as for the lake being obstructed as well as the horizon, this eco-bridge would be accessible to the public, so you could go out there to enjoy the "natural beauty:. besides, the sail boats already somewhat clutter the harbr.

building these out in the middle of the lake might seem to make sence from an aesthetic standpoint by those who think it would mar the lakefront, but it would be much more costly because of the deepness of the water and the face that it could possible be in the way of navigation, and it would be more difficult to repair if that were needed.

yes, it would be expensive. i remember all the bitching and moaning people did on the cost of millenium park, but that has ended up being an economic boon for the downtown area in terms of tourism and construction.
Sorry, but there are over 20 miles of lakefront, put your stupid turbines there and not smack dab in the middle of downtown lakefront. Comparing permanent structures to sailboats is completely laughable. Its constantly concerning to me that the people here who often whine about a three story building being torn down and who understand the importance of urban fabric and environment want to constantly rape our lakefront.

Seriously...we are sitting here in a collapsing economy with skyrocketing crime and deteriorating transportation, trying to host an Olympics, and we're trying to build a multi-million dollar bridge to nowhere? This isn't Millennium Park, going on a multi-mile walk through a windfarm isn't really a tourist attraction. How much energy are these glorious wind tubines going to provide anyway? 0.000001% of the cities energy use? (seriously, I don't know the number). Its a publicity stunt.

What a horrible waste of money.
What a horrible betrayal of Chicago prinicples.
And Vic what a horrible list of false comparisons in an attempt to justify this.

The fact that this thing is even being discussed is just absolutely disgusting to me.
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  #110  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2008, 11:43 PM
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I agree that it isn't viable at the moment, but that doesn't mean this can't be discussed. It is also supposed to be funded privately, so it has nothing to do with taxpayer $$$.
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  #111  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 4:35 AM
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Regardless. Why nto try to get private funding for the Olympics? For a O'Hare express train? There are a billion projects this city could be working on that would actually be valuable to the urban fabric and not be detrimental to the idea of Chicago.

I know people have said "well this is just like the Burnham plan with a modern twist." I'm sure thats what one of the reasons this is being discussed now. If Burnham was alive today, he would be supporting the development of an organized and functional city, regardless of weather Chicago has Dubai envy or matches an antique blueprint. To reduce the Burnham plan to a series of physical manefestaions is a great diservice. We have so much to work on in this city...and we're pushing this?
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  #112  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 2:00 PM
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This is not being touted for its energy production. The energy production alone will be used to sustain the power on the bridge itself. I believe this will be a huge tourist draw, much like Mil Park is.

Last edited by cbotnyse; Nov 21, 2008 at 3:25 PM.
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  #113  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 3:16 PM
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^ As well as PR for Chicago's green credentials.
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  #114  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 5:19 PM
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I was at the presentation on Wednesday. I will admit I was somewhat ambivalent toward this project up to that point, however after seeing Gill's presentation I have a much better understanding of this project and a positive attitude toward it. It would be designed to serve a number of functional purposes as well as more nebulous aesthetic functions. Some of the functional purposes would be to create a more substantial breakwater that would increase the harbor size and yield more boat slips and revenue. There is currently a tremendous shortage of slips relative to demand and the city is embarking on various plans to expand these. The revenue generated form the increase in slips could be used to help pay for the eco-bridge. Another function would be to provide habitat and refuge for some of the threatened native fish species in Lake Michigan. Many of these species are being decimated by lager invasive species that have been introduced into the Lake Michigan ecosystem. The underside of the bridge would be made up of recycled steel slag form the mills in the area. This slag is porous and would offer habitat and refuge for the small, native fish species helping to restore the Lake ecosystem. The bridge would also offer expanded educational and recreational opportunities. There would be hiking and biking paths, kayak launches, openings for boats to enter and exit, a possible freshwater museum opposite the Planetarium, and native plants, wildlife and beaches all along the bridge. It would greatly increase habitat for native plants, wildlife, and migratory birds. The wind turbines would be small in scale and could be uniquely designed by artists. They would be designed to be unobtrusive works of art, that would be bird friendly (they would be designed not to harm migratory birds), that would generate enough energy to sustain the bridge. The turbines (about 220 of them) could each also hold the flags of the nations that participate in the 2016 Olympics. The tower would be an observation tower that could also house the Olympic flame. The entire bridge would offer a great vantage point to view the boating events taking place in the harbor. So this bridge would be very much connected to the 2016 Olympics and help offer that WOW! factor and legacy that many of us have wanted from the plans.

I don't see how this is at all "detrimental to the idea of Chicago". I don't even really know what that means. To me this seems like a plan that is visionary, aesthetically bold and pleasing, is a show piece as well as practical demonstration of Chicago's green initiatives and eco-friendly design, offers unparalleled recreational and educational opportunities for the citizens and visitors of Chicago, and it would be a major tourist draw. I don't see how this goes against the Burnham plan or the idea of Chicago being a "city in a garden". I think it would only enhance both concepts.

The only real issue I see is the money especially in today's economic climate. Of course you can always find a cause more worthy or in need of money. If you want to improve our transportation infrastructure you can always find someone who is starving who needs more tangible and immediate help. This is not justification in my mind not to do something (because it is expensive and there are more pressing needs). With that attitude nothing would get done except we would try and find the greatest need in the world and fix it, but by the time we found it there would be an even greater need, so we would have to stop and work on the new need. We would be always chacing our tails.

If this can be funded then I say build it. I don't know where all the money will come from, but some can come from increased boat slip revinue, increased tourism, the freshwater museum revenue, and revenue generated by the observation tower.

One last thing, this would not block any views of the Lake from Michigan Avenue. You already can't see Lake Michigan from Michigan Ave. because of the raised elevation of Grant Park.
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  #115  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 5:52 PM
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well said.
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  #116  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2008, 6:04 PM
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Some of the functional purposes would be to create a more substantial breakwater that would increase the harbor size and yield more boat slips and revenue. There is currently a tremendous shortage of slips relative to demand and the city is embarking on various plans to expand these. The revenue generated form the increase in slips could be used to help pay for the eco-bridge.
There is a shortage of boat slips, not a shortage of mooring cans. Monroe harbor is tied for the cheapest rates in the Chicago Harbor system (with Jackson Park outer harbor). Yes, the location is excellent, but there is a significant inconvenience in getting to your boat once you are at the harbor.

Take a look at the multi-year waiting list (you can download it from the Chicago Harbors website). People are waiting for boat slips; they aren't waiting for mooring cans. If you are willing to "settle" for a mooring can, you'll have one in the spring no problem.

The Parks Department is doing the correct type of expansion right now - building a harbor with boat slips at 31st street and adding boat slips near Navy Pier.

This project can't pay for itself from harbor revenue. If they doubled the number of mooring cans at Monroe Harbor they'd have to lower rates just to fill them up, and it wouldn't do anything to help the waiting list. This is like advocating building a tower consisting of nothing but studio apartments to solve a problem of not enough apartments for families with children.


Now, what I could see them doing is to build the expanded breakwater and move all the existing mooring cans into the new space and then building boat slips into the newly vacated space close to the shoreline. This might actually work well if you want to bring in new revenue. But as far as I can tell, this is not their plan.
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  #117  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 3:05 AM
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I do not know if anything is new in the piece but it was published today.





http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/...aspx?id=113569



Local architects plan an eco-bridge to complete Burnham's plan

by Lisa Jacobson

Jan 29, 2009




One hundred years after its inception, the vision of Daniel Burnham has inspired two Chicago architects to create an eco-bridge they hope will be completed with the help of a 2016 Olympic bid.

Burnham “defined the character of Chicago as a place of visionary pragmatists,” said Paul O’Connor, director of communications and marketing for the Burnham Plan Centennial. “The inspiration and intimidation of Burnham and [his assistant Edward] Bennett" have encouraged later generations to do more and to do better, leading architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill to revive the plan 100 years later.

The eco-bridge is a two-mile footbridge that would connect opposite ends of the city center and Grant Park. It would serve as a breakwater in Monroe Harbor and create recreational space for residents and visitors.

“The bridge is a good example of eco-friendly design,” said Bob O’Neill, president of Grant Park Conservatory. “I think it is ambitious and wonderful and what the people and Chicago need."

Burnham can be attributed with the creation of the Magnificent Mile, Wacker Drive and the concept, taken from the Dutch, of filling that turned gritty rail yards into 26 miles of lakefront beaches.

Burnham thought big. He “defined that Chicago would always be driven by a quest to be the greatest city in the world,” O’Connor said.

“We are trying to encourage people to make bold plans in practical ways,” O’Connor said. These bold plans are what have drawn Gill to create a bridge with no financial backers -- as of yet.

It would be great to integrate [the bridge] into the Olympic bid, said O’Neill, “it would truly be a lasting legacy from the Olympics.

“The most beautiful place to have a boat in Chicago is Grant Park because of the skyline,” said O’Neill. The creation of the eco-bridge would allow the general public to enjoy the view and be out on the water with the boaters.
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  #118  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 7:43 AM
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^ They're a bit late to the scene...
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  #119  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 8:35 AM
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any one who supports wind power should only be allowed to use energy when the wind is blowing. have fun in oppresive July
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  #120  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 7:25 PM
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^^^ That is so irrational its not even funny. Wind isn't supposed to be the only source of power, wind is supposed to be supplementary so we aren't running our fossil fuel and Nuclear plants full blast all the time. And guess what, the windiest times of day are the afternoon and early evening when there is almost always wind along the lake, it also happens to be the peak time for power demand. Also, these turbines aren't supposed to drain into the grid are they? I thought they were just there to power the lights and other needs of the eco bridge...
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