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-   -   CHCAGO | Thompson Center redevelopment | Jahn's MASTERPIECE will be saved!!!!!!!!!!! (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=249335)

MAC123 Jan 5, 2022 8:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rgarri4 (Post 9494119)
Stewart Hicks recently made a nice video explaining its value, its ugliness, and the "indoor plaza" design of the interior.

Video Link

Love that guys stuff. Interesting video, glad to see the structure will continue to stand, even if it's changed in ways.

kolchak Jan 5, 2022 11:37 PM

I'm not a fan of removing the bold colors from the design. Its not how the building was intended to look. I usually detest when LED color changing lights are added to any already built structure but I hope that they will incorporate them here. Jahn's Sony Center style

aaron38 Jan 6, 2022 5:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 9478443)
It's a perfect example of what we preservationists call "the 40-year pox." After 40 years, every architectural movement and its exemplar buildings are viewed as hideously ugly.

After 60 years, people wail "why didn't they save and restore that incredible building?"

I’m now 45. I can’t think of a single building that was built in 1962 that I found ugly at 25 that I now find beautiful and cherished today. Still ugly, or I liked it then for its merits.
Reading through this thread, pro comments boil down to “Yes this is a unique mess that should never have been built, but it’s OUR unique mess and dammit we like it!
Alright. But I will never understand the love for this building. As an engineer I own up to my bad design choices.


Quote:

Originally Posted by woodrow (Post 9493310)
Part of the design program for the Thompson center was to evoke capitol buildings. The atrium was envisioned as a modern day version of a rotunda. My initial comparison is directly to that idea. They wanted a grand public space where the public would interact with the state. They most broke from the idea of a grand government edifice by including retail and restaurants, but that was to further that sense of a public space.

I disagree, it detracted from the public sense. A rotunda is not a mall, and a mall is not a rotunda. Retail space is not public. Can’t have protests and speeches behind an active counter. Have to pick one. And I don’t see anything in this rehab that addresses that fundamental flaw.

It’s the same flaw the Obama Library is repeating in Jackson Park. Planned single use is no longer public, no matter what the PR team says.

ardecila Jan 6, 2022 4:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aaron38 (Post 9494643)
I disagree, it detracted from the public sense. A rotunda is not a mall, and a mall is not a rotunda. Retail space is not public. Can’t have protests and speeches behind an active counter. Have to pick one. And I don’t see anything in this rehab that addresses that fundamental flaw.

It’s the same flaw the Obama Library is repeating in Jackson Park. Planned single use is no longer public, no matter what the PR team says.

Go to any well-used central square or piazza in Europe and the perimeter will be ringed with shops and restaurants, sometimes spilling out into sidewalk cafes. There's no reason civic purposes can't coexist with commerce. In fact, when you get the occasional single-use government plaza in an Euro city (often in a modernist complex) it feels weird and sterile without retail.

The reason a shopping mall in the suburbs can't be the same way is that it isn't publicly-owned. The landlord will allow whatever activities maximize their profits and they will ban whatever reduces their profits. It's their space, after all. Thompson Center is owned by the state, so its building managers are accountable to the public and they don't have the same profit motive.

It's not just "political" activities either per se - I have a vivid memory of a Black gospel choir performing in the Thompson Center for lunch crowds. Where else downtown would that ever happen? Thompson Center isn't explicitly a Black space, but it's definitely a place where Black people and Black culture are allowed in the door, along with that of Latinos and other minority groups.

woodrow Jan 6, 2022 5:25 PM

^^This 100%
It is a (post)modern agora. And it worked. I was frequently there, mainly for the post office and food court, but also to just look at the building and to see what was going on. It was always programmed with entertainment or art or educational presentations. There were always hundreds of people coming and going, to the DMV or another state department, the stores, the food court, or just to hang out. Tons of tourists as well. Mainly European or Asian.

After 911 it took a hit, in that they had to start blocking off the the areas around the elevators and over the past decade it seems like there has been less programmed and of course the crappy upkeep hasn't helped.

OhioGuy Jan 6, 2022 6:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kolchak (Post 9494372)
I'm not a fan of removing the bold colors from the design. Its not how the building was intended to look. I usually detest when LED color changing lights are added to any already built structure but I hope that they will incorporate them here. Jahn's Sony Center style

If in a few decades that generation begins to question why the original coloring was eliminated, they'll have the opportunity to change it back. The structure will still be there. Much easier to bring back the coloring than it would be to ever replicate this structure if it was torn down.

(admittedly I haven't been much of a fan of it and didn't care one way or the other if it was preserved or torn down)

aaron38 Jan 6, 2022 9:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9494968)
There's no reason civic purposes can't coexist with commerce.

I have a vivid memory of a Black gospel choir performing in the Thompson Center for lunch crowds. Where else downtown would that ever happen?.

Civic isn’t the same as government. And an open plaza is not a secured government building. Posts in this thread say the Thompson center is for citizens to interact with their government. That’s not what’s happening when people watch a gospel choir.

And for activities, with or without a permit? That matters when talking about free speech, public access and the consent of retail.
Is the Thompson center a capital rotunda to petition elected officials, or is it an entertainment plaza? I submit that it can’t be both.

Mr Downtown Jan 7, 2022 12:51 AM

^I think you're conflating two things: outdoor spaces where citizens can petition for redress and indoor spaces that symbolize the majesty and power of government. We don't have protest marches inside capitol rotundas; they're on the steps or adjacent grounds. Same here: picketers march around the Thompson Center's plaza, not its interior atrium.

The concept behind the Thompson Center was to open up government by integrating it with a space clearly welcoming to the public—even if they don't need a license or certificate or have a meeting that day. Thus the airy atrium, the post office and CTA entrance, and the three-level retail center. Alas, in 1980 we hadn't yet learned the lesson about indoor retail just not working in center cities, so the mall never succeeded at bringing people in, and then 9/11 (and a string of suicides) changed the way people were allowed to interact with the building.

rivernorthlurker Jan 7, 2022 7:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 9494041)
If Union Station has an addition added on, it should be the original plan by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White.

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/p0JI...ation_Plan.jpg
Source: chicago.curbed.com

It would be amazing if they endeavored to 'restore' the original design as close to this historical plan as possible. It's nice to dream.

harryc Jan 23, 2022 6:40 PM

Jan 13

Click on image to enlarge


rivernorthlurker Feb 3, 2022 9:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryc (Post 9511623)
Jan 13

Click on image to enlarge


Let me just say these are amazing harryc - especially the B&W ones imo.

I remember the first time after moving to Chicago that I stumbled into the Thompson center. I was like holy s***, what is this place?? Do other people know that this exists??? Ha.

Hopefully it's now run the most dangerous part of it's preservation gauntlet and will now exist indefinitely. Unfortunately they aren't making Helumt Jahn designs anymore.

le_brew Feb 3, 2022 2:25 PM

No building, supertall or other, should be attached to this built like an outgrowth; that is very goofy looking. The adjacent property directly north, however would be a great development opportunity, once that transit building or whatever, is demolished. No architectural loss IMO… a bridge over the EL could also incorporate a revamped CTA station.

sentinel Feb 3, 2022 2:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MAC123 (Post 9494156)
Love that guys stuff. Interesting video, glad to see the structure will continue to stand, even if it's changed in ways.

I went to undergrad school with Stewart Hicks! :) Very intelligent and awesome guy.

Rizzo Feb 3, 2022 3:32 PM

The Stewart Hicks architecture video series are great. Really enjoy his content. Also those interior shots are amazing. I’ve said this before, that while I’m not a fan of the exterior, the interior always leaves me awestruck. I think the web of geometry absolutely reinforces the power of this space. It could never be feasibly recreated and I believe the renovation won’t lose any of that from what I can tell.

west-town-brad Feb 3, 2022 4:07 PM

the photos clearly show the hub of activity that this building is not

looks pretty though

sentinel Feb 3, 2022 4:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by west-town-brad (Post 9523695)
the photos clearly show the hub of activity that this building is not

looks pretty though

That's true, but it can be in the proper hands..

ardecila Feb 3, 2022 4:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by le_brew (Post 9523573)
No building, supertall or other, should be attached to this built like an outgrowth; that is very goofy looking. The adjacent property directly north, however would be a great development opportunity, once that transit building or whatever, is demolished. No architectural loss IMO… a bridge over the EL could also incorporate a revamped CTA station.

The Loop Transportation Center (aka 203 N LaSalle)? LOL. It's not a great looking building from the outside, but I do like the sequence of spaces going up to the Clark/Lake platforms. The 2-level retail arcade is a nice space, but it has challenges keeping tenants except for rental car agencies.

left of center Feb 3, 2022 4:57 PM

What's the deal with the 2 story building across Clark from 203 N LaSalle? I believe the address is 201 N Clark. If any property in the immediate area needs to be redeveloped, its definitely that one!

BruceP Feb 3, 2022 9:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9523748)
The Loop Transportation Center (aka 203 N LaSalle)? LOL. It's not a great looking building from the outside, but I do like the sequence of spaces going up to the Clark/Lake platforms. The 2-level retail arcade is a nice space, but it has challenges keeping tenants except for rental car agencies.

Ooops! Commented on the wrong building. Please ignore.

Rizzo Feb 4, 2022 4:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by left of center (Post 9523790)
What's the deal with the 2 story building across Clark from 203 N LaSalle? I believe the address is 201 N Clark. If any property in the immediate area needs to be redeveloped, its definitely that one!

The ultimate plan is replacement. I do not know the status of this

http://www.th-partners.com/201nclark


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