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-   -   CHICAGO | Post Office Redevelopment (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=192697)

OrdoSeclorum Jul 21, 2011 9:07 PM

CHICAGO | Post Office Redevelopment
 
Height: 2000 ft / 170 floors | 1000 ft x 2
Floor count: 170, 92, ??
Location: West Congress and South Canal
Construction end:
Architect: Antunovich Associates
Developer: International Property Developers


Phases One (center), Two (right), and Three (left):
http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/8626/78zz.jpg

Phase One (1000 feet, 92 floors):
http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/1051/iqh1.jpg
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4282/vrov.jpg
http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/1402/81zo.jpg
http://img542.imageshack.us/img542/4817/ozc2.jpg
http://img802.imageshack.us/img802/1020/l8tm.jpg


Work to redevelop old Chicago Post Office could start in September
By David Roeder July 18, 2013 2:46PM

Quote:

City planners on Thursday approved a redevelopment for the old Chicago Main Post Office as agents for the British investor behind the project said work could begin in September.

The federally landmarked building that spans Congress Parkway would become the centerpiece of a long-term reimagining of a new neighborhood near the Loop. The first phase alone might take eight to 10 years to complete, said Joseph Antunovich, the architect for the project.

In a later phase, a tower that could vie for the “world’s tallest” title could arise next to the post office. But that is acknowledged to be perhaps 20 years away, and aides to the developer, Bill Davies, emphasized their plans to pursue the massive project in chunks that will appeal to financiers and eventual users of the space.

A casino is not in the plans, although the site has been mentioned whenever a potential Chicago license comes up. Charles Hubbard, representing Davies’ International Property Developers North America Inc., said a casino is not essential to the project.

“If there’s a legal ability to have a casino, there’s a possibility of having the space there,” he said. But he added that in the meantime, no casino has been included in appraisals of the property.

Hubbard said financiers are interested in the project and that retailers will move into the vast old building, “as long as they can see the overall master plan, and what an exciting plan it is.”

Initial work would begin turning the old post office, at 2.7 million square feet, into residential use, with up to 2,150 units planned. Lower floors would get retail space close to the size of Water Tower Place and parking.

The first phase, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, also foresees a 1,000-foot-tall tower on the old building’s northeast side. The tower would hold residences and perhaps a hotel.

The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously endorsed the proposal. Its recommendation goes to the City Council for final action.

“What makes this project feasible is that it is phaseable as we go along,” Antunovich said.Hubbard said first-phase work on the old building, which has been vacant since 1996, could start in September and that units could be ready for occupancy 18 months later.

The post office, 433 W. Van Buren, opened in 1921 and by the time a major expansion was completed in 1932, it was the largest building in the world, suited for spreading mail to the expanding western United States. It was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the Daniel Burnham successor firm that also created Union Station, the Wrigley Building and the Merchandise Mart.

A grand, soaring lobby is among the post office’s distinguishing features. The Davies-Antunovich plan calls for converting the building’s old office space on its Van Buren and Harrison street sides into residences while attracting stores and other commercial operations, such as theaters, into the vast interior space where the mail used to be processed and sorted. The postal service moved to a new facility just south of the building.

Hubbard said the design of the old post office fits with the developer’s need to phase the project. The new plan replaces one Davies floated two years ago that was even more grandiose, imagining six high-rises around the old building. It was quickly dismissed as unworkable.

The downsized version provides three adjoining towers in total and about 10 million square feet, or more than what’s in two Willis Towers. Hubbard guessed the cost at $4 billion.

But he said getting the city’s zoning approval and having a workable plan is the key to making a start. Global financiers, he said, “have told us, ‘When you get your zoning entitlement, come back to us, we’re very interested.”

Asked if Davies, who is elderly, intends to sell his interest in the property, Hubbard said, “It’s got to involve other investors and some of those investors may be co-developers.”

Antunovich, an architect of condo high-rises who also has expertise in community planning and renovations of historic buildings, noted that the site is a natural for intense urban use. Congress Parkway runs right through the building as its feeds into the Eisenhower Expressway, the Blue Line and commuter rail tracks run beneath it and the property has river frontage.

Residents could “live, shop, exercise, perhaps go to the movies in the building. You don’t really have to leave but you could get on a train and go to work at any one of the sprawling suburbs here in Chicago and yet live here downtown. I think the possibilities are truly endless,” Antunovich said.

The first phase calls for construction of about 4.5 million square feet, including the residential and hotel tower and a six-level deck on the building’s eastern side. The deck would allow for passage over Congress Parkway and would form a base of parking floors for an envisioned second-phase tower that could hit enter the ranking of world’s tallest buildings. In a final phase, a tower could be built west of the post office.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2...september.html

10023 Jul 21, 2011 9:07 PM

Here we go again?
Quote:

Skyscrapers, retail part of massive Old Post Office plan

By: Alby Gallun July 21, 2011

(Crain's) — The owner of the Old Main Post Office has unveiled an audacious plan to transform the hulking structure and surrounding properties into a massive complex spanning the Chicago River that would include a shopping center, hotels, more than 1,000 residential units and the tallest skyscraper in North America.

The 120-story tower is the centerpiece of a $3.5-billion, 16-million-square-foot development proposed by Bill Davies, the Englishman who paid $24 million two years ago for the post office, an empty landmark structure that straddles the Congress Parkway on the west side of the river.

http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...maxw=368&q=100

Read more: http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...#ixzz1SmBhasi3
Stay up-to-date on Chicago real estate with our free, daily e-newsletter
Though it would be best for Chicago if someone would just build the Spire and finish 111 W Wacker.

Steely Dan Jul 21, 2011 9:15 PM

^ interesting concept, but that rendering is missing an image of flying pigs.

Buckman821 Jul 21, 2011 9:19 PM

I love how they have one parcel saved for future development. "We don't want to get too ambitious. We'll save this bit for later."

Haha. O well, I wish them the best of luck.

emathias Jul 21, 2011 9:22 PM

It'd be a great boost for motivating the City on building the Clinton Street Subway.

P.S. What would it look like in the skyline?

spyguy Jul 21, 2011 9:39 PM

What a joke...10 floors of retail alone is ridiculous. Oh, and I'm sure work will really start 90 days after approval. :rolleyes:

ndrwmls10 Jul 21, 2011 9:44 PM

The developer did state that development will be staggered. Even this never comes to fruition, it's still nice to see something like this proposed.

the urban politician Jul 21, 2011 9:47 PM

Hell this vision is too ambitious for 2005, let alone now

the urban politician Jul 21, 2011 9:53 PM

The question is whether Lawrence Booth is chuckling under his breath as he makes these comments. Clearly he knows that this thing is a pipe dream, but is simply giddy to be getting paid for his designs as well as the free advertisement from Crains

i_am_hydrogen Jul 21, 2011 9:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steely Dan (Post 5354327)
^ interesting concept, but that rendering is missing an image of flying pigs.

And also pie in the sky.

Via Chicago Jul 21, 2011 9:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ndrwmls10 (Post 5354360)
Even this never comes to fruition, it's still nice to see something like this proposed.

He farted out the single most unrealistic plan he could think of; whats so special about that? Anyone can do that. Ill pay about as much attention to this as I do to the nightly lottery numbers.

intrepidDesign Jul 21, 2011 10:08 PM

12,000 parking spaces? That's almost offensive.

emathias Jul 21, 2011 10:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by intrepidDesign (Post 5354401)
12,000 parking spaces? That's almost offensive.

It is a bit excessive, but on the other hand it's over an expressway and basically next to the confluence of three major expressways.

Plus, in comparison, the Mall of America has 2.5 million square feet of retail space and over 20,000 parking spaces. This proposal has over 6 million square feet of retail and entertainment space and another 2 million square feet of office space.

What concerns me most is that the article says the parking is free to shoppers. I don't think the city should allow that much free parking to be dumped on the market. A tax of either $2 or $4 per car would seem appropriate. If the retailers wanted to cover that with validations, that would be their choice, but the money could be used to improve either roads or transit near the area and would at least go part of the way toward keeping driving and transit competitive.

Rizzo Jul 21, 2011 10:30 PM

LOL, old main is what, almost 3 million square feet? That looks so puny with it up against all those towers.

J_M_Tungsten Jul 21, 2011 10:40 PM

^^^ Seriously. Why don't they actually attempt to fill the old post office with stuff first, then see if they need more room!

ardecila Jul 21, 2011 11:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5354443)
^^^ Seriously. Why don't they actually attempt to fill the old post office with stuff first, then see if they need more room!

That is Davies' plan, actually. It's pretty absurd.

My guess is that the ONE rendering we've seen is an urban-design piece, and a very preliminary one. If you remember the watercolor renderings that SOM produced for Lakeshore East, 12 years ago? None of the buildings built today look like those in the rendering. You can pretty easily read Booth Hansen's intentions... they wanted to enclose the interchange/park as an enclosed urban space, like a massive version of Daley Plaza that you can't actually hang out in. All the buildings are designed in service of that idea, and it's still pretty clumsy.


Best case scenario is that the renovation of the Post Office itself goes ahead as planned, with a handful of big-box retailers on the first/second floors and upper floors converted to parking. The article didn't identify a flag for the hotel, so I'm guessing there isn't one, which means it won't be getting built any time soon.

emathias Jul 21, 2011 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J_M_Tungsten (Post 5354443)
^^^ Seriously. Why don't they actually attempt to fill the old post office with stuff first, then see if they need more room!

I'm guessing his general idea is that just prettying up the post office in that part of Chicago wouldn't create enough interest to draw enough people to justify even that. And the lack of other bidders and big ideas from other parties does kind of make that seem probable.

So, conjecture here, he thinks if he creates a huge splash and excitement and enough of a critical mass to attract more than just people who live downtown, he can make a go of it.

Certainly, it falls into the "make no small plans" category, as well in the history of showmanship and boosterism that Chicago has. It seems hard to make work, but I have to admit I'd rather see people try and fail at things like this than build another set of beige skyscrapers with no visual interest and limited ability to draw attention from anyone other than retirees from Gurnee.

Alliance Jul 22, 2011 12:08 AM

Wow. All the grace of Presidential towers...with the urban planning of of a exuburban mall and the architectural originality of white bread. If only Mr. Davies could conceptualize something worth building, let alone something feasible.

k1052 Jul 22, 2011 1:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BWChicago (Post 5354485)

Pure fantasy.

Nobody is ever going to financially back a development of that size in that area.

wrab Jul 22, 2011 2:08 AM

Booth Hansen!

Ch.G, Ch.G Jul 22, 2011 2:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alliance (Post 5354540)
Wow. All the grace of Presidential towers...with the urban planning of of a exuburban mall and the architectural originality of white bread. If only Mr. Davies could conceptualize something worth building, let alone something feasible.

re: Presidential Towers, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Just because something is huge doesn't make it bold or visionary. What you have here, for example, is something mundane that's elevated to the level of ridiculous/absurd/out-of-touch because of its size. The project is entirely based (literally and figuratively) on retail. Has he not read the news about Roosevelt Collection? Block 37? Trump Tower's retail component? The demand for what he's proposing simply does not exist, and even if (or when) it were to there's clearly already enough space in the established shopping districts to absorb it all.

There's an opportunity to do something really exciting with the site-- you have the river and the city's front entrance (Congress) right there. But this proposal doesn't appear to engage it in any way-- it does the opposite, really: with those huge walls of "retail" (and parking, no doubt), it cloisters itself off from these potentially amazing assets-- not to mention the rest of the city.

emathias Jul 22, 2011 3:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 5354682)
re: Presidential Towers, I was thinking the exact same thing.

Just because something is huge doesn't make it bold or visionary. What you have here, for example, is something mundane that's elevated to the level of ridiculous/absurd/out-of-touch because of its size. The project is entirely based (literally and figuratively) on retail. Has he not read the news about Roosevelt Collection? Block 37? Trump Tower's retail component? The demand for what he's proposing simply does not exist, and even if (or when) it were to there's clearly already enough space in the established shopping districts to absorb it all.

There's an opportunity to do something really exciting with the site-- you have the river and the city's front entrance (Congress) right there. But this proposal doesn't appear to engage it in any way-- it does the opposite, really: with those huge walls of "retail" (and parking, no doubt), it cloisters itself off from these potentially amazing assets-- not to mention the rest of the city.

I'm hoping that the render was simply a generic plotting diagram, and not an actual representation of how they envision the individual buildings to look.

That said, if you get rid of some of the more fanciful things, such as the retail "bridge" over the river, you actually have the potential for some interesting results. For example, the positioning of the tall tower seems to have been selected to form a capstone to the view down the south branch of the river from the Apparel Mart and from the Riverside Plaza areas.

If you removed the retail between the shorter tower on the NE corner of the Post Office plot and the largest tower, you'd end up with an arrangement that would still show off the art deco Post Office, but enhance the sensation of driving through something. And we don't really know if they've ignored the river or not because they don't show any details about how the buildings would meet it. It's not as though the city and river there are already beautifully matched there - it would be very difficult to make any sort of ideal river/city meld in that area that didn't end up feeling forced and out of place. After all, Congress is essentially a highway there, and it kind of divides off that part of the river from any hope of being an extension of Riverside Plaza and across the river, the Wacker extension and interface with Congress destroys the usability on that side, too. And I think you're not really facing reality if you think that a park surrounded by a highway, a train yard and across the river from a boring, pretty ugly new post office processing facility would be popular or beautiful or usable or in any way add to Chicago. The big parcel south of Roosevelt Rd is really the best bet for creating an interface between the City and the River. That's across from a railyard, but it's a much bigger drawing board and thus has more flexible possibilities.

I'm not defending the drawing as it is, but I am saying that the core layout is at least has the potential for merit. As for your counter-examples, they're all too small. Roosevelt Collection is hard to get to for neighborhood residents on foot, and just isn't big enough to draw people from anywhere else. Even Block 37 should either have gone bigger or simply not been a mall. If it wasn't on State Street, it would have no hope at that size and even being on State Street, it barely even holds its own as far as generating critical mass. I think the Trump thing will work, eventually, they just have to figure out how it's supposed to work during the winter when nobody in their right mind would walk along that section of the river.

Alliance Jul 22, 2011 4:24 AM

I crave something though with more mixed heights and density. There is no reason for mega towers with mega podia separated by vast vacant greenspaces. And certainly no reason to build these gigantic clone towers 10 feet from one another, let alone on these Asian-scale shopping malls.

LSE, even Smith's Franklin Point plan or South River City were much more integrated plans that (at least attempted to) create neighborhoods. I don't get the sense at all that this would be any more fun to live in than the currently sterile corner of the Loop it already is.

Chicago_Forever Jul 22, 2011 4:53 AM

:previous: Exactly. This whole plan is just horrible and way too much for that area. The only component that seems reasonable is the 2mil sqft of office space. Anyway, I would prefer for the east side of the post office, facing the river, to be turned into open space like the space proposed for River Point. Then they should put about three towers, at various heights, to the west where the Holiday Inn is. 90, 80 and 60 or 70 fl towers would be nice.

brian_b Jul 22, 2011 1:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chicago_Forever (Post 5354781)
...The only component that seems reasonable is the 2mil sqft of office space...

Disagree. The residential will work. I don't know if you've noticed, but all those new apartment towers in the near West Loop are filling up quickly and every condo that is priced reasonably sells quickly. Downtown living is in demand.

J_M_Tungsten Jul 22, 2011 5:03 PM

This whole plan is pretty ridiculous. It seems like he is basically hoping to create a condensed Michigan ave for the suburbs. "Come on down folks, bring your cars to Chicago. Dont worry about actually walking the streets and experiencing what Chicago has to offer, look at the pretty buildings and river from our 10 story bridge.. You'll love having almost experienced Chicago! Now go and drive your 12,000 cars back to the burbs..." I can appreciate that he is willing to invest in Chicago, and I love seeing buildings being built as much as the next guy, but this idea really is absurd.. He's not building a neighborhood by any means, he's building a tourist trap.

Onn Jul 22, 2011 5:46 PM

Models are out from DinoVabec on SSC:

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1568/post2hk.jpg

http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/1967/post1n.jpg

http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/5156/post3i.jpg

http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/1902/post4u.jpg

ardecila Jul 22, 2011 5:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5354737)
I'm not defending the drawing as it is, but I am saying that the core layout is at least has the potential for merit. As for your counter-examples, they're all too small. Roosevelt Collection is hard to get to for neighborhood residents on foot, and just isn't big enough to draw people from anywhere else. Even Block 37 should either have gone bigger or simply not been a mall. If it wasn't on State Street, it would have no hope at that size and even being on State Street, it barely even holds its own as far as generating critical mass. I think the Trump thing will work, eventually, they just have to figure out how it's supposed to work during the winter when nobody in their right mind would walk along that section of the river.

Weather/design isn't the issue. The issue is that Trump is seeking the same rent levels of street-level property on Oak, and even Oak has lots of vacancy these days. Why would super-luxury retailers deal with Donald Trump and take a chance on an untested location when they can avoid the Trump baggage and get a space that's actually ON the city's premier retail street?

Maybe if Trump had gotten the global elite buyers he wanted, there would be a built-in market for the goods of luxury retailers. Instead, Trump's units are merely going to well-paid Chicago executives, who probably don't have the desire to shop at Hermes or YSL on a regular basis (there's that Midwestern conservatism again!)

From a design perspective, it would help Trump out a lot if the Wrigley Building plaza is converted into a retail arcade with a glass roof. It's much wider than European arcades, but they can mitigate that somewhat by encouraging the retailers to spill out into the plaza like a bazaar. That would in turn lure people from Pioneer Plaza down into Trump's area.

bnk Jul 22, 2011 6:38 PM

if it is not already obvious to us all.



http://chicago.curbed.com/archives/2...-will-fail.php

1,001 Reasons That Bill Davies' Post Office Pipe Dream Will Fail

Friday, July 22, 2011, by Mark Boyer

...

Onn Jul 22, 2011 6:40 PM

I think its fair to give the guy a chance, at least he has vision.

bnk Jul 22, 2011 6:54 PM

a link to the pdf plans

http://204.248.60.17/wp-content/uplo...oth-Hansen.pdf

HomrQT Jul 22, 2011 7:27 PM

I think this is the start of something possibly great. Almost never does a project of this scale retain it's original concept. It'll most likely change and grow into something more people will agree with. I say build build build! Until we can't build no more!

Kenmore Jul 22, 2011 7:56 PM

It's nice that people still think big when it comes to Chicago but of course this or anything like it will never be reality. As for the parking, any development that intends to poach people away from suburban shopping malls is gonna need it.

Onn Jul 22, 2011 11:00 PM

Some more, the entire complex this time. DinoVabec

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/8708/post1g.jpg

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/1279/post2f.jpg

http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/342/post3x.jpg

http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/4027/post6o.jpg

Tom In Chicago Jul 22, 2011 11:16 PM

Wow. . . that's just awful. . .

. . .

Chicago103 Jul 22, 2011 11:41 PM

CHICAGO | Old Post Office Redevelopment | 2000 FT / 600 M | 120 FLOORS
 
Skyscrapers, retail part of massive Old Post Office plan

By: Alby Gallun July 21, 2011

(Crain's) — The owner of the Old Main Post Office has unveiled an audacious plan to transform the hulking structure and surrounding properties into a massive complex spanning the Chicago River that would include a shopping center, hotels, more than 1,000 residential units and the tallest skyscraper in North America.

The 120-story tower is the centerpiece of a $3.5-billion, 16-million-square-foot development proposed by Bill Davies, the Englishman who paid $24 million two years ago for the post office, an empty landmark structure that straddles the Congress Parkway on the west side of the river.
http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...maxw=368&q=100
Read more http://www.chicagorealestatedaily.co...#ixzz1SmBhasi3
Stay up-to-date on Chicago real estate with our free, daily e-newsletter

A link to the PDF plans: http://204.248.60.17/wp-content/uplo...oth-Hansen.pdf

Renderings from http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...8&postcount=78 at SSC.
http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1568/post2hk.jpg
http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/1967/post1n.jpg
http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/5156/post3i.jpg
http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/1902/post4u.jpg
http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/8708/post1g.jpg
http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/1279/post2f.jpg
http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/342/post3x.jpg
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/4027/post6o.jpg

Chicago103 Jul 22, 2011 11:44 PM

I created a new thread in the proposed supertall/highrise section http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=192697 for the benefit of those who may not frequent Chicago threads. This is after all a major super tall proposal of potential worldwide interest, pipe dream or not.

Chicago103 Jul 22, 2011 11:55 PM

I first heard of this project last night on Chicago tonight hearing only brief snippets about a 2,000 foot skyscraper at the Old Post Office site and was like WTF?! I immediately came on SSP and the project has been already discussed a bit on this thread: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...48#post5355748.

My initial reaction is that a project of this insane scale seems like it belongs more in Dubai than Chicago. I like the concept of a mega project that has a tower that will top the Sears Tower (how many times have we heard that though with Chicago Spire, etc.) but it is really just a pipe dream. The ideas have a lot of potential to create a huge mixed use development that could bring vibrancy to that corner of the West Loop but there are also disturbing ideas like 12,000 parking spaces to lure in suburban shoppers. From a pragmatic standpoint maybe having 12K parking spots will lessen NIMBY opposition and the local Alderman Bob Fioretti who is known to pander to NIMBYs at times is apparently for the project (I assume he knows about the 2,000 foot skyscraper proposal and its not just a generic Old Post Office building remodel). The architecture as rendered is also quite ugly but might be very preliminary and could evolve to something better. It is also not clear if the 2,000 feet is with or without those proposed spires/antennas, 120 floors to me implies that the spires would be included in the height but I don't get the impression they have really worked or even thought out details like that yet.

george Jul 22, 2011 11:56 PM

Put this plan in your pipe and smoke it.

NYC2ATX Jul 23, 2011 12:08 AM

See my reaction is actually completely the opposite (no disrespect of course). I was never too fond of Chicago Spire because I felt like it was ridiculously showy and belonged in a place like Las Vegas or Dubai. It didn't feel like industrial, structual, matter-of-fact Chicago. This tower on the other hand (I understand that the rendering is conceptual), if it's executed correctly, could be completely fantastic for this city and really fit the Chicago skyline.

Everyone from New York who denounced the Chicago Spire got thoroughly chastised and the NY vs. CHI debate was incited once again, but personally, and I love my city equally to Chicago, but I would not complain about ceding the nations-tallest title to Chicago for this building. Let's get it BUILT. :tup:

Chicago Shawn Jul 23, 2011 12:17 AM

While a pipe dream, I still love the ambition. I could care less about the design at this point because its merely conceptual and won't get built as shown, if at all. At the very least it gets the site on the development radar, gets people talking and with the drive for that much space (way beyond the demands of the market, but whatever, its not my money being wasted), it at least ensures the Post Office will be preserved in its entirety for the next couple of years, regardless of what happens. Preserving the old Post Office as is, is what I care about most. I hated the previous concept of ripping down 1/3 of the structure, so any plan that keeps the building gets my support.

Davies apparently has financing for phase 1, whether or not that comes to fruition, we shall see; but nonetheless it still preserves the old building for something else to come along. Lets just hope he's not a slum lord and lets it fall apart if nothing happens.

Ch.G, Ch.G Jul 23, 2011 12:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5354737)
I'm hoping that the render was simply a generic plotting diagram, and not an actual representation of how they envision the individual buildings to look.

That said, if you get rid of some of the more fanciful things, such as the retail "bridge" over the river, you actually have the potential for some interesting results. For example, the positioning of the tall tower seems to have been selected to form a capstone to the view down the south branch of the river from the Apparel Mart and from the Riverside Plaza areas.
If you removed the retail between the shorter tower on the NE corner of the Post Office plot and the largest tower, you'd end up with an arrangement that would still show off the art deco Post Office, but enhance the sensation of driving through something. And we don't really know if they've ignored the river or not because they don't show any details about how the buildings would meet it. It's not as though the city and river there are already beautifully matched there - it would be very difficult to make any sort of ideal river/city meld in that area that didn't end up feeling forced and out of place. After all, Congress is essentially a highway there, and it kind of divides off that part of the river from any hope of being an extension of Riverside Plaza and across the river, the Wacker extension and interface with Congress destroys the usability on that side, too. And I think you're not really facing reality if you think that a park surrounded by a highway, a train yard and across the river from a boring, pretty ugly new post office processing facility would be popular or beautiful or usable or in any way add to Chicago. The big parcel south of Roosevelt Rd is really the best bet for creating an interface between the City and the River. That's across from a railyard, but it's a much bigger drawing board and thus has more flexible possibilities.

My interest isn't in the individual design of the buildings. This is a massing model, yes, but it's based on a concept, and that concept is to create a new shopping district within a single structure where you circulate solely from within-- in other words, a typical mall. There's simply no other way to interpret it. And because the residential and office components are housed in the towers, that hulking base will form a sheer ten story wall of parking and inwardly focused retail-- Water Tower Place writ large with an overall effect of Presidential Towers on steroids.

This comment especially irks me:

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5354737)
And I think you're not really facing reality if you think that a park surrounded by a highway, a train yard and across the river from a boring, pretty ugly new post office processing facility would be popular or beautiful or usable or in any way add to Chicago.

Where's the bold and visionary thinking? Why focus on the negative aspects of these features? And who said anything about a park? The site is a nexus: the CTA, Metra, Congress AND the river-- vital components of Chicago's transportation infrastructure-- all pass through it. I mean, it's like a small-scaled symbolic version of the city itself, which owes much of its existence and livelihood to the networks of rail, water, air and, recently, digital/fiber optics that intersect there. This should inform the concept, but it doesn't: Congress, for example, is 'brushed under the rug' and plans for the river (in the link bnk provided) include a line of restaurants connected to (and seemingly only accessed through) the mall.

Yes, some of these features provide certain challenges, but good design is measured by how well the architect responds to those challenges. That's where the bold and visionary thinking comes into play. But none of that is on display here. Instead, the strategy is to ignore, cover up, isolate and obstruct.

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 5354737)
As for your counter-examples, they're all too small. Roosevelt Collection is hard to get to for neighborhood residents on foot, and just isn't big enough to draw people from anywhere else. Even Block 37 should either have gone bigger or simply not been a mall. If it wasn't on State Street, it would have no hope at that size and even being on State Street, it barely even holds its own as far as generating critical mass. I think the Trump thing will work, eventually, they just have to figure out how it's supposed to work during the winter when nobody in their right mind would walk along that section of the river.

This misses two of the points I was trying to make: First, that there is no demand for this much retail space downtown; and, second, the downtown area already has three established shopping districts catering to different demographics: a high end boutique will open along Oak Street, not on the former site of the Old Post Office; a flagship will open along Michigan Avenue and the more everyday along State. In order for this development to be successful, either those districts would have to be entirely built out (unlikely) or the developer would have to identify a demographic whose shopping needs aren't currently met by any of the three.

HomrQT Jul 23, 2011 12:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StatenIslander237 (Post 5355768)
See my reaction is actually completely the opposite (no disrespect of course). I was never too fond of Chicago Spire because I felt like it was ridiculously showy and belonged in a place like Las Vegas or Dubai. It didn't feel like industrial, structual, matter-of-fact Chicago. This tower on the other hand (I understand that the rendering is conceptual), if it's executed correctly, could be completely fantastic for this city and really fit the Chicago skyline.

Everyone from New York who denounced the Chicago Spire got thoroughly chastised and the NY vs. CHI debate was incited once again, but personally, and I love my city equally to Chicago, but I would not complain about ceding the nations-tallest title to Chicago for this building. Let's get it BUILT. :tup:

With you 100%. I hope the final design for this building, if it ever happens, is one that everyone can rally behind as it claims America's tallest title. My suggestion for the design is a revamp of the Miglin-Beitler Skyneedle.

Roadcruiser1 Jul 23, 2011 12:53 AM

Why not at the Chicago Spire site?

Hed Kandi Jul 23, 2011 12:58 AM

never. gonna. happen.

ndrwmls10 Jul 23, 2011 1:06 AM

I'd much rather they build the 2000' building using the Post Office as a base. None of the rest of that crap. They could spend that extra money cleaning the post office up.

HomrQT Jul 23, 2011 1:12 AM

This is something really cool I found online... wanted to share.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6005/...13810b60_b.jpg

From:
http://robfunderburk.blogspot.com/20...-for-time.html

the urban politician Jul 23, 2011 1:13 AM

I say boot the retail.

Simply have hotels, residential, and office.

Perhaps a small amount of service retail space is adequate (dry cleaner, coffee shop, bank)

NYguy Jul 23, 2011 1:48 AM

Well, we have to keep at least one 2,000 ft proposal current. It's the law...:)

I don't have a lot of faith in that tower getting built, but I don't think it's the best place on the skyline for the city's tallest anyway. The other towers meanwhile are getting lost in the proposal. The whole thing looks anti-urban. I don't like the multi-level parking scenario.

SkyscrapersOfNewYork Jul 23, 2011 2:15 AM

Its placement on the skyline would throw off the aesthetics of Chicago's present urban geography. I'd much rather see the spire get built....


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