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  #14541  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 5:13 PM
Vlajos Vlajos is online now
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Navy Pier is a tourist trap and always will be, however I don't think that's a bad thing. I think it's worthwhile to make it a nicer, more functional, and more productive tourist trap for economic reasons. I know basically nobody in the city who ever expresses a desire to go to Navy Pier for anything except to visit the IMAX so I'm pretty dubious on any amount of success in attracting residents.
I agree, though we like to take our kids to the Childrens's Museum.
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  #14542  
Old Posted Jan 31, 2012, 5:18 PM
Rizzo Rizzo is offline
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What's wrong with Navy pier that they need to redesign it? I haven't been there in years (because I live in Chicago and have already been there numerous times), but I remember it being just fine the way it was. I never wanted to grab my trunks and go swimming while I was there so I think pool ideas are ridiculous. Also, the ramps seem kind of point less for a project like this. It's a flat pier where tourist go. Why would ramps make that more fun? The designs are definitely different, I'll give them that, but not different good. Overall, disappointed.
The pier needs some sort of baseline upgrade. Attendance has dipped a bit in the past few years...llikely due to the recession which reflects the number of out-of-state visits.

The food court areas suffer from a confusing layout and not enough seating. Midway concourses are undersized and cannot adequately accommodate enough retail and food kiosks.

Restooms have always been undersized, and have poor in-out circulation. The stage just before you get to the winter garden has always tended to be more of an obstruction than a benefit.

Of course, crowding is part of the excitement, but I think that's what makes it a turn off to local residents. Once you've seen it, you've done it. If you improve the experience, people will come back. I think the kids certain enjoy it, but I was a parent, the crowds would make me a bit nervous and I'd be worried my kids would get separated.

Further back in this thread, I pointed out that one of the benefits of Michigan Ave's continued success is that it's always changing. If I'm an out of state or international visitor, it's kind of nice to see a different street everytime I visit. It's something to look forward to. Navy Pier needs to be the same way. It should be able to support a rotation of attractions and vendors, and in such a way that it doesn't inhibit circulation and experience of the pier.

As far as permanent features, Millennium Park is always interesting and fun everytime I visit. It hasn't gotten old on me. Part of it has to do with the quality of the installations. However....they should be fun and engaging for all ages. They should stand up to some wear and tear so that they don't require a full staff of security to tell you how to use or when you can go near it.

I think the proposals are headed in the right direction. They are concepts with big ideas. I realize they will become refined and address the details and complexity of the pier as they move forward.



-------------------------------------------------

I went into the new Walgreen at State and Randolph. Very nice and definitely more of a marketplace vibe. I also stopped by the loft highrise renovation at Randolph and Wells. The facade is looking good all polished and cleaned up.

Last edited by Rizzo; Jan 31, 2012 at 7:05 PM.
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  #14543  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 1:15 AM
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@ACorrea33 is live tweeting the pier presentations right now - tons of good shots and commentary on the proposals





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  #14544  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 2:08 AM
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Now the bad: new rendering of the Kingsbury & Eastman project
And now they are already 'dozing the site. That was fast.
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  #14545  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 2:46 AM
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AMLI loft project at Clark & Polk:



Yes, that's corrugated metal in between "prefinished metal panels." The architect claims this design is "for the future." I think it's a leftover project from Seattle's Belltown. At any rate, it certainly doesn't belong to Chicago's South Loop.



Sorry for the photo quality; these were taken in a rather dark room.
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  #14546  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 2:50 AM
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Hmmm actually, it's not as bad as I thought it would have been. I mean, the parking still sucks, but what else would you put against the train tracks.
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  #14547  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 4:37 AM
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The architect claims this design is "for the future."
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  #14548  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 4:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
AMLI loft project at Clark & Polk:



Yes, that's corrugated metal in between "prefinished metal panels." The architect claims this design is "for the future." I think it's a leftover project from Seattle's Belltown. At any rate, it certainly doesn't belong to Chicago's South Loop.
I don’t know—the askew angles and overall coloration of that rendering remind me of Museum Park Place South, so I think it probably does belong in the South Loop after all.
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  #14549  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 5:01 AM
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Can AMLI build something that isn't totally goddamn hideous? The 900 isn't horrific so surely they could put a tiny bit more effort in.

As far as the parking...two blocks from the Red Line, three from the Blue and Metra, close to two major bus routes, and a Target two blocks away but there has to be a space for almost every unit. Sigh.
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  #14550  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 7:01 AM
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Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten View Post
Hmmm actually, it's not as bad as I thought it would have been. I mean, the parking still sucks, but what else would you put against the train tracks.
Buildings, which Chicago has done for over a century and to this day.

Parking aside the orientation of the L shaped buildings are strange They fail to address the street and do not maximize views for their residents. The shape of the building should follow the site perimeter and the driveway should be shared between buildings in a motor court to the back (or center) that also serves the parking
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  #14551  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 7:07 AM
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Originally Posted by k1052 View Post
Can AMLI build something that isn't totally goddamn hideous? The 900 isn't horrific so surely they could put a tiny bit more effort in.

As far as the parking...two blocks from the Red Line, three from the Blue and Metra, close to two major bus routes, and a Target two blocks away but there has to be a space for almost every unit. Sigh.
Less than a 1:1 ratio is actually great. Many new projects have far more parking than this. The main issue is simply the ridiculous site planning. It's incredibly wasteful of space, creating tons of little setbacks and green space that is virtually useless. Nobody will get their recreation there. Nobody will enjoy the lawns. They'll just cut through it to get to their car faster.

If the architect wanted to orient the towers around a lush central courtyard, that's a valid approach - but he shouldn't waste so much space with dropoff circles, setbacks, and loading dock approaches. I won't even talk about the aesthetics - I don't want it to seem like this is an issue of taste. It's just basic urban design, or lack thereof.
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  #14552  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 7:11 AM
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Mr. D, has there been any renewed discussion of the underpass at 9th? Obviously there's no need for it yet, but it might make sense to build it in the next couple of years before the staging room disappears. The south parking garage for this new AMLI project looks awfully close to the city's ROW for 9th St. It'll increase the city's eventual construction costs if the underpass project has to shore up the parking garage somehow.

It would increase accessibility for Roosevelt Collection as well - if I were McCaffery I'd be pushing the city hard.
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  #14553  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 7:16 AM
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I just don't get why they can't have the two buildings hold up the corners. They're already shaped right, but for some odd reason they're rotated.
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  #14554  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 8:14 AM
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The south tower is matching the setback of AMLI 900 to the south, creating a little plaza-like space between the two of them.

It's an awful idea, but I'm guessing that's the rationale.
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  #14555  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 2:27 PM
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...
But coming from someone that worked in a tourist restaurant in River North I don't want many of these people in my neighborhood. A huge number of tourists are quite closed minded, judgemental, not pleasant and also a huge number are just blah both physically and mentally. Sorry to say that as a conclusion. Tourists don't like people or things that don't fit their bubble and Chicago certainly from housing styles, lifestyles is most certainly 'different'

I view parts of River North and Navy Pier as containment, I would leave there after working thinking good glad I'm going.
Three things:

First, I think you forget that in actuality only a portion of the tourists who come to Chicago would even want to step foot in a "tourist restaurant." *Most* real tourists - not just suburban day-trippers - are tourists because they *want* to get out of their bubble. So your experience by working there is most definitely a limited experience that has left you at least somewhat closed-minded to the bigger picture. Those aren't the target audience to get into the neighborhoods. I've hosted about 80 visitors to Chicago from around the world and only about two of them were the sort of tourist you describe. Only a few have made the effort to get out into the neighborhoods on their own, but the majority would be happy to go visit other parts of the city if they had time and it was a straight-forward experience. From where I am, people go to Wicker Park, Lincoln Park/Lakeview and the Ukrainian Village. Only a few have even gone to Chinatown or Hyde Park.

Second, as much as we may like to ignore the issue one of the biggest issues with Chicago is that we're simply not as contiguously dense as most other world-class travel destinations. From my guests who venture outside the Michigan Ave/Loop destinations, I frequently hear about how few people there are on the streets, how far apart interesting shops are, etc. Certainly compared to many American cities Chicago is more dense and more pedestrian-friendly, but on an international level (and about half my visitors are international), we're really not. Any effort to get more tourists outside of the central area needs to go hand-in-hand with more dense zoning.

Third, the guests I've had have nearly all left Chicago with a better impression of the city than they had coming in. Of course a few people haven't liked it for whatever reason, but I'm talking over 90% have a great time here even with current limitations. So any changes to encourage people to spend more time in other parts of the city has to be undertaken with some degree of caution - I wouldn't say we need to be overly cautious, but there is a reason the expression "don't mess with a good thing" exists.
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  #14556  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 3:34 PM
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Buildings, which Chicago has done for over a century and to this day.
I meant for that particular lot, for this particular time, with that particular developer. Obviously I'm aware they have been building buildings next to train tracks in Chicago.
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  #14557  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 3:38 PM
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Could be speculation, but AMLI might be rotating the North building to pacify the building across the street on Polk that raised hell when the Burnham Point Building was constructed on the corner of Clark and Polk.
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  #14558  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 3:47 PM
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Mr. D, has there been any renewed discussion of the underpass at 9th?
No. In a meeting a couple of weeks ago about the AMLI project, one of the guys said "...but the cost to build it; well, I don't know if I have enough digits on my calculator," as if putting an underpass under Metra tracks were an undertaking comparable to building a nanotube into outer space.

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Originally Posted by jdcpamba View Post
Could be speculation, but AMLI might be rotating the North building to pacify the building across the street on Polk that raised hell when the Burnham Point Building was constructed on the corner of Clark and Polk.
The folks in Folio Square who raised a stink about "Polk Street Canyon" would have wanted it the other way around, open at the north end. No, the north building is sited properly, to hold the corner at Polk & Clark. It's the southern one that's odd.
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  #14559  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2012, 6:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
AMLI loft project at Clark & Polk:



Yes, that's corrugated metal in between "prefinished metal panels." The architect claims this design is "for the future." I think it's a leftover project from Seattle's Belltown. At any rate, it certainly doesn't belong to Chicago's South Loop.



Sorry for the photo quality; these were taken in a rather dark room.
^ Problem is, until the South Loop's land values rise, you're going to see worthless crap like this get built, with lots of wasted land. Expect this to go one for another 50 years.

If (a big 'if') that eventually changes, you may finally see some of the wasted land go into better use, like that ridiculous garage next to the Metra tracks, or these silly driveways being redeveloped into condo buildings, and the mother of all things evil, Dearborn Park, being leveled (ahhh, my dream...) and redeveloped lot by lot into something worthy of its site.

Until then, the South Loop is going to be in a perpetual state of ugliness, and people are going to look around and say "what the hell were they thinking?" One can see a north side example of such: that condo tower that puts a nasty 2 level parking garage on Chicago Ave (just west of Dearborn). Nowadays that seems like a stupid decision, and I'm sure some day there will be a plan to redevelop that lot. But back when it was built, that part of town was probably resembling a scene from Detroit, so building it as such probably made more sense.
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  #14560  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2012, 12:16 AM
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^lol! Great first post!
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