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-   -   CHICAGO | General Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=105764)

denizen467 Oct 10, 2012 11:44 AM

The PBS Newshour show yesterday had a long piece on Chicago's various measures in countering the urban heat island effect. One tangential tidbit I hadn't really been aware of: Chicago supposedly has more alleys than any city in the country -- 1,900 miles' worth.

Mr Downtown, cartographer extraordinaire, is this accurate? This says a lot about our urban layout, city beauty (garbage and garages and utility poles in rear, not in front), as well as land use (in-)efficiency -- for example, Los Angeles has significantly more land area and population than Chicago. Naturally that goes even more for NY, but presumably there even the outer boroughs were pretty much all laid out before the a-car-for-each-family era?

Transcript - http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/clima...ate_10-09.html

Mr Downtown Oct 10, 2012 2:08 PM

^Probably correct, though we should give props to Dallas, which has maintained the tradition of alleys all the way into the modern suburban era. Even in still-building suburbs out on the fringes, the mark of an upscale subdivision is that front-loaded garages are prohibited by deed restriction.

Vlajos Oct 10, 2012 3:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 5861606)
^Probably correct, though we should give props to Dallas, which has maintained the tradition of alleys all the way into the modern suburban era. Even in still-building suburbs out on the fringes, the mark of an upscale subdivision is that front-loaded garages are prohibited by deed restriction.

I have always despised front load garages. Good for Dallas.

ardecila Oct 11, 2012 3:07 AM

Interesting. Suburbs get a bad rap but many of the newer subdivisions around Dallas and certainly out west are built at a density level only a bit lower than the Bungalow Belt, on 75x75 lots. If the interstitial spaces weren't so horrendous, and they used solutions like Dallas' alleys, they might be decent places for pedestrianism and transit.

Of course, you could argue that even the Bungalow Belt is too low-density and the transit ridership is high because of low incomes. :shrug:

Mr Downtown Oct 11, 2012 2:40 PM

I'm certainly not citing the Dallas/Ft Worth Metroplex as an exemplar of urban development. Those new houses out in Allen or Mansfield are on large lots on unwalkable streets with no sidewalks, far from any shopping and really far from any big employers. The vast majority of the houses are ordinary suburban schlock. But because of local aesthetic preferences, the most exclusive subdivisions don't allow front-loaded garages, which means they still build alleys.

The "Disney streets" of North Dallas, developed in the 1970s:

http://i45.tinypic.com/2v1rp5c.jpg

A Plano subdivision from the 1990s:

http://i45.tinypic.com/2vvrih0.jpg

Brand new houses in McKinney, 30 miles from downtown Dallas:

http://i47.tinypic.com/ju6z2d.jpg

ardecila Oct 11, 2012 6:38 PM

Right, and I don't see any difference on the block level between that and a typical neighborhood in the bungalow belt, other than the stylistic ones. You have shallower/wider lots, of course. But really, all the differences are macro planning issues... street layout, continuity of sidewalks, zoning/land-use plans.

There's been a lot of hand-wringing about McMansions, but it seems like the average middle-class suburbanite is living on a lot that's not much larger than the lot they would have occupied in 1952. Maybe I'm seeing things?

the urban politician Oct 11, 2012 6:43 PM

^ Why don't you guys discuss that further in the "Dallas suburban residential development trends of the 20th and 21st century" thread?

Thanks

ardecila Oct 11, 2012 6:47 PM

The discussion could just as easily apply to Merrillville, Oswego or McHenry, but I see your point.

a chicago bearcat Oct 11, 2012 7:19 PM

A great example of why density does not equal walkability. Without businesses or civic institutions to walk to from these denser suburbs, the neighborhood remains car dependent, and the streets remain devoid of all but the social pedestrian. It might be possible to retrofit these suburbs, as many scholars have proposed, but until that becomes more than a few examples, I will continue to hitch my wagon to full fledged urban neighborhoods like those that make up the majority of the city of Chicago.

paytonc Oct 11, 2012 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 5859494)
TUP, you should become a member of the East Village Association given your property interest in the community. Their dues are fairly cheap and you can help promote the neighborhood becoming an even better and more active part of our urban fabric.

If not, the West Town Chamber of Commerce certainly welcomes non-resident members, and it also runs an SSA for properties along Chicago Avenue. You might as well have some input about how your property tax dollars get spent.

i_am_hydrogen Oct 11, 2012 9:57 PM

Lynn Becker's review of the Logan Center for the Arts at U of C's campus:

http://www.lynnbecker.com/repeat/log...r_the_Arts.htm

Rizzo Oct 12, 2012 4:04 AM

A good read, but it's about time something else requires a design critique...just saying.

Mr Downtown Oct 12, 2012 2:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5863350)
it seems like the average middle-class suburbanite is living on a lot that's not much larger than the lot they would have occupied in 1952. Maybe I'm seeing things?

Take a closer look at the lot sizes for suburban homes using Zillow or a county assessor's website. They're typically 11,000 to 14,000 sq. ft., four times the size of Chicago lots.

Even a bungalow belt neighborhood falls well under the density needed for transit service, unless it's sprinkled generously with small apartment buildings, garage apartments, and the like.

ardecila Oct 12, 2012 3:19 PM

Ah, I see... I was assuming unconsciously that street width was the same, which gave me a false point of reference.

denizen467 Oct 12, 2012 10:53 PM

Scaffolding is up at the church at Armitage & Dayton. I forget, can we expect another cookie cutter Walgreen's, with all the design charm of an aspirin bottle?

the urban politician Oct 12, 2012 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by denizen467 (Post 5864921)
Scaffolding is up at the church at Armitage & Dayton. I forget, can we expect another cookie cutter Walgreen's, with all the design charm of an aspirin bottle?

^ A 2 level Walgreens with no parking and no drive thru.

But still, it will never compare architecturally to the church that's there now...

ardecila Oct 13, 2012 9:15 AM

Wasn't this just announced a few weeks ago? These Walgreens guys don't mess around.

Chicago Shawn Oct 13, 2012 5:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 5863350)
Right, and I don't see any difference on the block level between that and a typical neighborhood in the bungalow belt, other than the stylistic ones. You have shallower/wider lots, of course. But really, all the differences are macro planning issues... street layout, continuity of sidewalks, zoning/land-use plans.

There's been a lot of hand-wringing about McMansions, but it seems like the average middle-class suburbanite is living on a lot that's not much larger than the lot they would have occupied in 1952. Maybe I'm seeing things?

I am always admired this aspect of DFW sprawl. The homes look so much better without garages facing the street. I really wish our suburbs would resurrect the concept.

I really doubt that alleys in general contribute that much more to the urban heat island effect, because if you have front loaded garages, the street needs to be wider to allow for vehicles to have a turning radius. There's not much difference in total paved areas, especially if the garages are right alongside the alley right of way.

untitledreality Oct 13, 2012 8:49 PM

Quote:

Bulls plan practice facility near United Center

(Crain's) — The Bulls plan to move their practice facility from north suburban Deerfield to a parking lot east of the United Center, according to a person familiar with the team's plans.

The NBA team wants to build a 55,000-square-foot structure with a practice gym on Lot J, a parcel on the east side of Wood Street between Madison and Monroe streets, the person said. The proposed facility, which would open in 2015 or 2016, would be just east of a 260,000-square-foot retail complex the United Center's owners want to build next to the arena.

Read more: http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...#ixzz29DKasugL
Great news... looks like we could see two United Center surface lots bite the dust in the next 3-4 years. Combine that with Malcom X College building on its massive surface lot this entire area could actually begin to resemble something.

Mr Downtown Oct 13, 2012 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago Shawn (Post 5865622)
I really wish our suburbs would resurrect the concept [of alleys].

They don't have to snowplow as often in North Texas.


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