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-   -   CHICAGOLAND | Urban Development in the Burbs (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=198789)

Steely Dan Apr 19, 2012 6:57 PM

^ touhy goes right through the heart of downtown park ridge, which is a bit further west. it's still a big busy auto-sewer, but far nicer than it is over in niles/skokie/lincolnwood.

BorisMolotov May 4, 2012 12:12 AM

I'm not going to nominate my hometown of Bartlett although our downtown does contain most of the criteria and is growing (slowly) but it's way to small and has little significance compared to other things.

Elgin on the other hand, has done a lot of great things to help their downtown thanks to Grand Victoria casino and is now very walkable and with the new mixed use projects going to be built along the river, should transform the area even further.

Even though the list is full I think a town to consider is Barrington. Very walkable (even though route 59 and the northwest highway go right through it) downtown area and tons of festivals and farmers markets all summer. Its a lot bigger than it should be for a town of only around 10,000.

And also to put to rest the Naperville hate, people hate Napervillains because all they can talk about is how great Naperville is and how great they are for living in Naperville.

Rizzo May 4, 2012 2:18 AM

Too bad Rivers Casino wasn't built in downtown DesPlaines. They could have built on that triangular parcel along Miner. The garage could go on the back parcel and possibly over the Metra Tracks. Maybe they would have even built a hotel. Then again, it's a tiny parcel...and by a school. I don't know if that makes any difference

the urban politician May 4, 2012 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BorisMolotov (Post 5689173)
I'm not going to nominate my hometown of Bartlett although our downtown does contain most of the criteria and is growing (slowly) but it's way to small and has little significance compared to other things.

Elgin on the other hand, has done a lot of great things to help their downtown thanks to Grand Victoria casino and is now very walkable and with the new mixed use projects going to be built along the river, should transform the area even further.

Even though the list is full I think a town to consider is Barrington. Very walkable (even though route 59 and the northwest highway go right through it) downtown area and tons of festivals and farmers markets all summer. Its a lot bigger than it should be for a town of only around 10,000.

And also to put to rest the Naperville hate, people hate Napervillains because all they can talk about is how great Naperville is and how great they are for living in Naperville.

Looks like I have a lot of suburbs to visit.

This is good, actually, it gives me more of this great megapolis (or pending megapolis, once we reach 10 million people) to explore.

Problem is, I need to prioritize, which is partly why I started this thread. There are so many opinions out there, but I guess I need to get a handle on the most important places to visit first, and then go from there.

The Evanstons, Oak Parks, and Napervilles are slam dunks, but it seems as if the list gets a bit tricker after this point.

Rizzo Jun 8, 2012 2:13 AM

Some "Suburb of Chicago" Development I realize this is technically in the city of Chicago, but this area by O'Hare is a large job center with office and hotel towers, shopping, etc and it's very well served by transit.

http://chicago.curbed.com/uploads/AR...26q%3D100.jpeg
Via CurbedChicago

405-unit luxury apartment building just east of O'Hare at Bryn Mawr and Delphia

Curbed:
http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2...near-ohare.php

Crains:
http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...ned-near-ohare

BorisMolotov Jun 19, 2012 3:21 AM

Quote:

Looks like I have a lot of suburbs to visit.

This is good, actually, it gives me more of this great megapolis (or pending megapolis, once we reach 10 million people) to explore.
We may not be urbanly awesome and in some cases completely the opposite, but there are hidden gems in almost all the suburbs. For example, off of route 59 in Bartlett is the largest BAPS temple in the US and at least when it was built outside of India. They do tours and its really something to see. Again, not urban, but still something worth seeing.

the urban politician Jun 19, 2012 6:08 PM

^ I long ago abandoned the silly notion the predominates around here that the only things worth seeing are 'urban'

Steely Dan Jun 21, 2012 5:52 PM

I was in Evanston's city hall today and saw this cool aerial of central Evanston hanging on a wall in the basement, so I snapped a quick pic with my phone, hence the poor quality.



Chicagoland's Best Suburban Downtown

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/9...stonaerial.jpg

Rizzo Jun 21, 2012 6:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 5742025)
I was in Evanston's city hall today and saw this cool aerial of central Evanston hanging on a wall in the basement, so I snapped a quick pic with my phone, hence the poor quality.



Chicagoland's Best Suburban Downtown

http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/9...stonaerial.jpg

I might argue it's the best suburban downtown in all of the midwest by a long shot.

1. Direct access from downtown to the lake
2. Beautiful historic neighborhoods
3. Downtown filled with a diversity of chain and mom/pop retail, restaurants, and bars.
4. Good traditional urban density. Nothing fabricated, or "new urbanist" about it. The real deal.
5. Direct access to frequent CTA and Metra access to other suburbs and the city of Chicago.
6. Contains a top ranked university.


I'm one of those people that travel on a regular basis to cities all across the US...big and small. I have an open mind and try to look for the best in everything I see, but I have yet to find a suburb in the midwest that has it all like Evanston.

Steely Dan Jun 21, 2012 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayward (Post 5742053)
I might argue it's the best suburban downtown in all of the midwest by a long shot.

the "long shot" part is probably a bit hyperbolic, but the general gist of your statement might be true. if we can generally agree that evanston is chicagoland's #1 suburban downtown, then what would be the #1 contenders from other midwestern metros?

clayton for st. louis? royal oak for detroit? i think downtown evanston likely beats both of those in most measures.

the urban politician Jun 22, 2012 4:03 AM

^ Depends on whether you would consider Ann Arbor a suburb of Detroit.

I agree with Clayton for St Louis.

Rizzo Jun 22, 2012 6:25 AM

Ann Arbor is a satellite city. And though I spent 6 years of my life there, I never felt that direct connection to Detroit.

Clayton: No. It's okay, but it's certainly no Evanston.
Royal Oak is okay, but I'd take Birmingham first. But Both lack a large University, good transit access, and some big hydrological or topographical feature to compliment the urban fabric.

You know I very rarely rank places So I have to come to the table prepared.

But I can absolutely tell you about more beautiful cities throughout the midwest that aren't suburbs.

Steely Dan Jun 22, 2012 2:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the urban politician (Post 5742627)
^ Depends on whether you would consider Ann Arbor a suburb of Detroit.

true.

i would not consider ann arbor as a suburb of detroit because it did not grow as a bedroom community for people who work in the city of detroit. ann arbor has always been it's own deal, growing up and with UofM.

evanston on the other hand has served as a bedroom community for chicago workers for over a century with its commuter rail and el train connections to downtown.

BorisMolotov Aug 14, 2012 2:57 AM

Steely, I'm interested to hear your opinion of the Fox River cities (Elgin, St. Charles, Aurora and how their downtowns compare to the bordering suburbs of Chicago (Evanston, Oak Park, Cicero, etc.) in terms of downtown areas. While I can't vouch for Aurora, as I haven't really spent much time there I can say that what Elgin is doing and what significantly smaller St. Charles has for a downtown is definitely a step in the right direction for creating a nice little micropolitan area within Chicagoland.

ardecila Aug 14, 2012 6:25 AM

Elgin is indeed promising, although the good decisions are balanced by the boneheaded ones. My favorite is to run Amtrak through South Elgin instead of downtown Elgin, eliminating a chance for a Metra transfer and a chance to bring a trickle of tourism into the downtown. Or the tangle of one-way streets and pedestrian malls.

I believe Elgin got some serious attention from the Congress of New Urbanism a few years ago - planners there are starting to prioritize properly, with road diets, bike lanes, curb bumpouts and other redesign efforts to encourage pedestrian traffic.

Barrington is where I grew up. Pretty awful mix of businesses and few amenities downtown, although a slow trickle of new independent businesses have been opening up. I'm not sure who the blame falls on, but far too much street-level space is taken up by professional offices that could be on upper floors or not in the downtown. Hell, the only businesses at the village's main intersection are Charles Schwab, a photography studio, and a frame shop. I give the town planners credit for the festivals... without them, the downtown would be irrelevant for Barringtonites 95% of the time.

Steely Dan Aug 14, 2012 4:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BorisMolotov (Post 5797677)
Steely, I'm interested to hear your opinion of the Fox River cities (Elgin, St. Charles, Aurora and how their downtowns compare to the bordering suburbs of Chicago (Evanston, Oak Park, Cicero, etc.) in terms of downtown areas.

elgin and aurora have magnificent downtown architecture, but they lack the vibrancy and foot traffic of downtown evanston or oak park. elgin and aurora each have a single focal point tower from their pre-war golden ages, but the rest of their downtown areas are decidedly low-rise. of the group, only downtown evanston really manages to cobble enough highrises together into an arrangement that we could call a skyline of note.

BorisMolotov Aug 15, 2012 1:03 AM

Oh for sure Evanston is the only suburb with a downtown skyline. As someone who grew up near Elgin, I am really impressed with how they're starting to turn it into an urban center, as they should since its one of the largest cities in the state.

bnk Aug 15, 2012 1:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BorisMolotov (Post 5798742)
Oh for sure Evanston is the only suburb with a downtown skyline. As someone who grew up near Elgin, I am really impressed with how they're starting to turn it into an urban center, as they should since its one of the largest cities in the state.

In the top ten, Elgin is. But to say it is one of the largest is a bit of a reach.

Elgin has the advantage of large bounderies that will increase in population esp on the west side. In 10-15 years Elgin could be a top 5 or 7 city in population in the state but due to the recession the rapid expansion of their projected subdivisons has slowed the growth very much.

Ch.G, Ch.G Aug 15, 2012 6:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 5798779)
In the top ten, Elgin is. But to say it is one of the largest is a bit of a reach.

?? It's the 8th largest city in Illinois. I'd say that qualifies as "one of the largest."

new.slang Aug 23, 2012 10:29 PM

Hey Hayward, can you post some of your Winnetka pictures please! Home Alone has made me obsessed with that town. I visited the neighbourhood around the home alone house both times I visited Chicago, but didn't get a chance to explore their little village. I would love to see the Chestnut Court area if you have any :D

That goes for any North Shore towns. It makes me sad we don't really have anything like them in Greater Toronto.....Oakville and Burlington are nice but lack the beautiful historical homes, and their downtowns aren't quite as well planned (ie no train station).


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