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LaSalle.St.Station Jun 27, 2018 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clarkkent2420 (Post 8233929)
Setting aside the architecture, there are some practical realities at hand:
1. The head house has and will continue to fall further disrepair; Amtrak loses a billion a year and the only thing keeping the bills even close to paid in Chicago is their Metra lease - and Metra doesn’t use or care about the head house.

2. Understanding #1, the only way to get someone else to be responsible for maintaining the asset, which IS essential for Amtrak operations, is to monetize the retail and office areas of the existing building, along with any air rights.

3. Transferring development rights to the adjacent parcel gives Amtrak more money up front but far less whole dollars over time - think of the aggregate cost of an amortizing mortgage vs up front prepayment. Presumably the only way Amtrak can afford to cover the aggregate maintenance is if they book a high-dollar annuity.

4. None of the prior overbuild proposals have been remotely feasible, or else they would have been executed. I remember the LaGrange plan bifurcated Landmrked interior spaces with structural elements.

5. Given all above, and understanding how much ANY redevelopment would impact the existing building, it would seem the choices at hand are (a) Try to match beaux arts and cross your fingers, (b) Soldier Field-level contrast, or (c) “Different but compatible”.

6. Preservationists have vastly different opinions on how to approach this quandary across the world. Many think trying to replicate the original is a bigger insult than a completely different architectural language.

er.


Wasnt the head house the structure that used to exist between the north and south sheds ?

ardecila Jun 27, 2018 12:21 AM

^ No, that was the concourse, not the headhouse.

I'm neither excited nor offended by this design... as Clarkkent pointed out, it's just a "quiet" strategy that tries to be relatively inconspicuous in the sea of West Loop econoboxes. Hopefully the lighting will reflect this too, illuminating the historic masonry parts while letting the new addition sit in relative darkness. Certainly if the architects tried to do something shiny and splashy like Hearst Tower but they didn't nail it, the result would be far more cringe-inducing than this.

There are a lot of interesting ways they could have gone with this, though. If I didn't know it was steel and glass, it almost looks like a subdued Brutalism, like the amazing nuanced buildings that Josep Lluis Sert did at Harvard and BU. If Harry Weese were still around, he would undoubtedly propose something powerful here in a similar vein.

bnk Jun 27, 2018 12:44 AM

Goettsch Partners are getting panned in the comment action in their business site on LinkedIn.

95 % highly negative

I can assure you GP will read those comments and architeture reviews more than anything posted here.


I would not be supprised for them to do some kind of fix

I imagine they already spent a lot into the design


It boggles my mind that they could not imagine the across the board negative feedback by almost everyone save those at GP

GP does great work in general


It’s like they outsourced this to an intern or something


GP actually took down the post on LinkedIn very recently




Blair panned to too


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...story,amp.html

Clarkkent2420 Jun 27, 2018 1:08 AM

#

bnk Jun 27, 2018 1:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clarkkent2420 (Post 8234042)
Uh, except Goettsch isn’t the architect...



Well they must have been involved in some way otherwise they would not have posted it to thier LinkedIn Page and than removed it

Perhaps because they were earlier invoked in the project

Now they apparently want nothing to be associated with it


https://chicago.curbed.com/2018/6/26...tel-apartments

left of center Jun 27, 2018 1:47 AM

The Goettsch plan was different from this one, and incorporated a two tower design, that is arguably less aesthetically unpleasant than the current SCB plan. Ultimately its not the one that Amtrak selected.

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/YdzO...elopment.0.jpg
Source: curbed.com

Clarkkent2420 Jun 27, 2018 1:55 AM

#

left of center Jun 27, 2018 2:00 AM

^ They are the owners of the property, AFAIK

spyguy Jun 27, 2018 2:07 AM

As someone who might be in the minority in actually liking the Soldier Field addition, this is not the same thing IMO. There more talented architects juxtaposed the old with something unambiguously modern, which I think is the way to go in these situations more often than not (see Hearst).

The Union Station addition is really just a dated federal office building in D.C. plopped on top of a landmark. You can justify however you'd like, but this is lazy and cheap (based on O'Donnell's comments) and not worthy of such a prime site.

Clarkkent2420 Jun 27, 2018 2:07 AM

#

Clarkkent2420 Jun 27, 2018 2:21 AM

#

Mr Downtown Jun 27, 2018 3:19 AM

The way the architect explained it last night was that they looked at the original Union Station complex of both headhouse and concourse: one building neoclassical and one more industrial/Crystal Palace in feeling.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YQp-H_1LO...B/s1600/32.jpg

Thinking about that exposed structure led them to look at "Second Chicago School" solutions. There are a couple of hops in that logic, but that was the explanation.

I think Lynn Becker is very much on point with his description of the design as "viable." As in what depth is required to make double-loaded corridors of apartments viable in this envelope of space. That depth is what forces the cantilevers, which in turn requires the beltline floor.

BVictor1 Jun 27, 2018 3:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spyguy (Post 8234096)
As someone who might be in the minority in actually liking the Soldier Field addition, this is not the same thing IMO. There more talented architects juxtaposed the old with something unambiguously modern, which I think is the way to go in these situations more often than not (see Hearst).

The Union Station addition is really just a dated federal office building in D.C. plopped on top of a landmark. You can justify however you'd like, but this is lazy and cheap (based on O'Donnell's comments) and not worthy of such a prime site.

I concur ...

2PRUROCKS! Jun 27, 2018 4:22 AM

I concur as well. While not perfect I rather like Soldier Field. This design however is abysmal. It looks top heavy and stuck in between. A far better strategy would be to do a compatible design inspired by the original vision like Lagrange proposed or do something completely bold and new like Herst Tower or Soldier Field. This design is the worst of all possible options.

Clarkkent2420 Jun 27, 2018 11:01 AM

#

Kumdogmillionaire Jun 27, 2018 2:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 8234157)
The way the architect explained it last night was that they looked at the original Union Station complex of both headhouse and concourse: one building neoclassical and one more industrial/Crystal Palace in feeling.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YQp-H_1LO...B/s1600/32.jpg

Thinking about that exposed structure led them to look at "Second Chicago School" solutions. There are a couple of hops in that logic, but that was the explanation.

I think Lynn Becker is very much on point with his description of the design as "viable." As in what depth is required to make double-loaded corridors of apartments viable in this envelope of space. That depth is what forces the cantilevers, which in turn requires the beltline floor.


I can't believe we have someone defending this pathetic excuse for a design, but it being Mr. Dt isn't all too surprising. Even if you think their explanation isn't bad, you must admit that the execution of their theory leaves much to be desired. It's so damn squat!

ardecila Jun 27, 2018 3:11 PM

^ Typical SSP complaint, it’s ugly and not tall enough...

http://i68.tinypic.com/14jrxjq.jpg

orulz Jun 27, 2018 3:17 PM

At any rate, doing nothing to Union Station seems preferable to this design. The previous two-tower version was OK. Pedestrian, unexciting, sure, but inoffensive at least.

Maybe they could just leave Union Station alone, transfer all the FAR entitlements or whatever to 222 Riverside, tear that down, fix the platform and concourse levels (including adding through tracks) and then just build something GIGANTIC on top of the tracks at 222.

For Phase 1, build one of the towers planned for the adjacent blocks and relocate 222's tenants there.

Kumdogmillionaire Jun 27, 2018 3:29 PM

ardecila, it is ugly, and it is 7 floors of squat on a pedestal that was designed for something much taller. You can bitch that it's an overused critique, but it isn't wrong. I guess we have 2 people who like it now, you and Mr. Dt

ardecila Jun 27, 2018 3:32 PM

^ I don't love the design, I just don't get the hysteria against. It's bland and forgettable, ergo I will forget about it after it goes up. It doesn't really alter the appearance of the station inside or out.

The only reason I'm in favor is that it enables a full top-to-bottom renovation of the historic parts of the headhouse, which needs to happen yesterday. If they wanted to put a giant stovepipe hat on top of the headhouse, I would support it so they can get renovations underway before the historic station crumbles any further.

If I could go back in a time machine I would tell Burnham to build a dedicated station without plans for an enormous commercial highrise on top, let the station be a low-rise jewel box among giants like Grand Central Terminal. But Burnham did provide a beautiful concourse that was supposed to be the jewel box, and then a few decades later Penn Central decided to build an office tower in place of the concourse instead of the headhouse where a tower was supposed to be. I assume this was because the foundation capacity in the headhouse would not support a true highrise, and fluorescent lighting made light court towers obsolete and inefficient.

Jim in Chicago Jun 27, 2018 4:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 8233993)
"Chicago Illinois Union Station House, an Autograph Collection Hotel Extended Stay Urban Luxury Concept, by Marriott"

Hopefully in some enormous and terrible font illuminated at night on all four sides of the addition. Blocking a bunch of windows too.

The second part of your post reminds me than another option is TRUMP

10023 Jun 27, 2018 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8234513)
^ Typical SSP complaint, it’s ugly and not tall enough...

http://i68.tinypic.com/14jrxjq.jpg

Quality over quantity, in food and design.

(And most people would benefit from much smaller portions anyway.)

Mr Downtown Jun 27, 2018 4:34 PM

Some of you guys should read for comprehension. I believe the closest I've come to praising this design is calling it "inoffensive."

As for the history, first, Daniel Burnham had virtually nothing to do with Chicago Union Station, except recommending that one be built. When he died in 1912, all that had been done was a parti sketched out by Thomas Rodd of the Pennsylvania R.R. The design that got built was by a successor firm to the successor firm to D.H. Burnham & Co.

During construction, the railroads decided to add the office building over the headhouse, and they actually had to go back and redo the building foundations (at no little expense) to allow that. A few years later, they concluded there was no market for so much office space west of the river and dropped that part of the plan.

Fifty years later, no one wanted 50-foot-deep square-doughnut office floorplates, but Penn Central controlled an entire block next to the river where a modern office tower could go, and saw no future for that big empty concourse. Only two years later, of course, Amtrak decided Union Station would be the station to use in Chicago, and five years later RTA was created to preserve and expand suburban train operations.

patriotizzy Jun 27, 2018 4:49 PM

Can we start a petition? I think we can get enough signatures/comments from this thread alone to gather further attention to the desecration of Chicago's old beauty.

r18tdi Jun 27, 2018 4:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patriotizzy (Post 8234688)
Can we start a petition? I think we can get enough signatures/comments from this thread alone to gather further attention to the desecration of Chicago's old beauty.

This.

left of center Jun 27, 2018 7:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kumdogmillionaire (Post 8234540)
ardecila, it is ugly, and it is 7 floors of squat on a pedestal that was designed for something much taller. You can bitch that it's an overused critique, but it isn't wrong. I guess we have 2 people who like it now, you and Mr. Dt

My feelings exactly. I don't mind that its short (although I think more height probably would help moderate the weird look and proportions of this proposal), but it really is pretty damn ugly. If this was just a forgettable box somewhere else in the neighborhood, fine. It might even fit in with all the other econoboxes. But this is going to sit literally on top of Union Station, which is a gorgeous landmark, and a highly visible one for the city with all the Metra and Amtrak train riders. I do feel that the architects can do better, and I certainly hope they listen to all the critique this is getting. (Not SSP, other more legitimate sources lol)

Cheap_Shot Jun 27, 2018 8:25 PM

https://i.imgur.com/OXuKA4Qh.jpg

Taken 6/27

Also, hard to tell in this photo, but every few weeks, there have been teams of guys in suits/business casual up on the roof walking around with what look to be like more construction oriented workers (jeans, boots, etc.). There's a small group in the NW corner in this photo.

Could be part of the restoration that's been underway for a while, or related to the new proposal.

donnie Jun 27, 2018 8:35 PM

Every time i see the new proposal i throw up a little bit.

HomrQT Jun 27, 2018 9:04 PM

A question for those who have actually been involved in serious proposals for major construction projects - how much does public opinion actually sway a developer? Do they even use public criticism to adjust their process at all or is it typically a closed group of architects, engineers, contractors etc and they don't generally care what the public has to say? Because everywhere I turn people are talking about how horrible this addition is.

Ned.B Jun 27, 2018 9:12 PM

Goettsch most likely shared the news on their Linkedin in support of their client the developers, as they are still the architect of the yet to be revealed office tower. Goettsch has also been involved in most of the restoration and renovation work at the station over the last eight years. Based on their work at LondonHouse, Viceroy, etc and having actual preservation people in their office, they probably would have come up with a more sensitive solution. But the project is where it is now...SCB seems to do a lot of work for Convexity, so it could have been Convexity's involvement that pulled SCB onto the project.

I've also heard that while the Headhouse was built to accommodate the weight of 12 additional floors, the historic building doesn't have the lateral bracing or a traditional core in order to support modern construction methods, and that is what has complicated this project and all of the previous proposals.

Busy Bee Jun 27, 2018 10:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by donnie (Post 8235093)
Every time i see the new proposal i throw up a little bit.

Remember to keep hydrated

Busy Bee Jun 27, 2018 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ned.B (Post 8235138)
I've also heard that while the Headhouse was built to accommodate the weight of 12 additional floors, the historic building doesn't have the lateral bracing or a traditional core in order to support modern construction methods, and that is what has complicated this project and all of the previous proposals.

A woodlam/timber highrise would have been a good fit here.

bnk Jun 27, 2018 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8235264)
A woodlam/timber highrise would have been a good fit here.

Just make sure to spary and wrap asbestos on the wood in case of fire.


pics in link


https://chicago.curbed.com/2018/6/27...itter-reaction

Twitter isn’t loving the new Union Station design

The vertical expansion of the historic 1925 headhouse has not been well received

By Jay Koziarz Jun 27, 2018, 12:32pm CDT

Clarkkent2420 Jun 28, 2018 1:51 AM

#

bnk Jun 28, 2018 1:54 AM

More insult to injury


http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/c...628-story.html

HomrQT Jun 28, 2018 3:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clarkkent2420 (Post 8235448)
Irrespective of the industry (real estate or whatever), people who risk their own capital and have specialized knowledge generally don’t heed the opinions of those who have one or neither of those attributes.

That said, politicians most certainly do care about the court of public opinion. And politicians control zoning.

Ah, right. I didn't consider the politician angle. I guess if something were bad enough and got enough people to not like it, a politician might step in. If the developer doesn't know how to grease the palm a little.

ardecila Jun 29, 2018 2:15 PM

^ I don't really want to live in a world where the public has veto power over architecture of private buildings through the political process. The public has terrible taste in most cases. I've lived in New Orleans where they let bureaucrats in charge of design, and the result is formulaic. No room for creativity, they enforce conventional urbanist wisdom and the results are conventional. No room for innovative designs like 150 N Riverside (ick, it's a tower in a park!) or a Thompson Center.

That being said... Amtrak is the station owner and they voluntarily submitted to city landmarking, so the city should be able to exercise some control over this design through the Landmarks Committee. Too bad the committee is such a rubber stamp right now.

patriotizzy Jun 29, 2018 5:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bnk (Post 8235457)

It's so good to see that major news outlets (at least in this example) are on the side of the proposal critics. This is nothing but good news, at least for now. The insult to injury will come when they revise it and further banal the design.

Jim in Chicago Jun 29, 2018 8:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8236916)
^ I don't really want to live in a world where the public has veto power over architecture of private buildings through the political process. The public has terrible taste in most cases.

No disagreement here - that's how we wound up with the paste on fake stone pastiche that is the Chicago Public Library main building. There were several quite interesting modern designs, but the public voted for "Oh, it looks like a library." We got a turd, Seattle got amazing.

That having been said, the post office building is just fugly.

Mr Downtown Jun 30, 2018 4:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim in Chicago (Post 8237476)
There were several quite interesting modern designs, but the public voted for "Oh, it looks like a library."

Um, assuming you're talking about the Harold Washington Library Center, exactly the opposite. The reason the public vote totals were never released was that the modern entry by Helmut Jahn was the popular favorite. It was the jury—made up of much wiser architectural elites—who chose the Hammond Beeby Babka postmodernist design.

pilsenarch Jun 30, 2018 3:59 PM

^ And the Jahn design was the only one remotely worthy of being built...

HomrQT Jun 30, 2018 4:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pilsenarch (Post 8238083)
^ And the Jahn design was the only one remotely worthy of being built...

Are you saying you don't like the current Harold Washington Library design? If so why not?

And is this what Helmut Jahn designed instead???

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZK9Ifmw2LF...lwjahnwide.jpg

HomrQT Jun 30, 2018 4:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 8236916)
^ I don't really want to live in a world where the public has veto power over architecture of private buildings through the political process. The public has terrible taste in most cases. I've lived in New Orleans where they let bureaucrats in charge of design, and the result is formulaic. No room for creativity, they enforce conventional urbanist wisdom and the results are conventional. No room for innovative designs like 150 N Riverside (ick, it's a tower in a park!) or a Thompson Center.

That being said... Amtrak is the station owner and they voluntarily submitted to city landmarking, so the city should be able to exercise some control over this design through the Landmarks Committee. Too bad the committee is such a rubber stamp right now.

I get what you're saying, and I agree, but I guess my questioning was leaning towards - is there some sort of existing fail safe in case some developer is going to do something that is truly terrible? Most of the public hates this design and I think most experts would agree as well.

AMWChicago Jun 30, 2018 4:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomrQT (Post 8238099)
Are you saying you don't like the current Harold Washington Library design? If so why not?

And is this what Helmut Jahn designed instead???

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZK9Ifmw2LF...lwjahnwide.jpg

Ew. Makes me think of Detroit at moments where the People Mover goes through a building.:yuck:

Mr Downtown Jun 30, 2018 6:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HomrQT (Post 8238103)
is there some sort of existing fail safe in case some developer is going to do something that is truly terrible?

No.

Busy Bee Jun 30, 2018 7:51 PM

I like the L passing underneath. As for the rest of it, I'd say we dodged a bullet. That's from a Jahn fan.

I think the library as built is beautiful. It is what it is, and that's great. I've never really understood how anyone could viscerally dislike such an impeccably constructed work of civic architecture. I think Chicago is lucky to have it.

the urban politician Jun 30, 2018 8:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 8238221)
I like the L passing underneath. As for the rest of it, I'd say we dodged a bullet. That's from a Jahn fan.

I think the library as built is beautiful. It is what it is, and that's great. I've never really understood how anyone could viscerally dislike such an impeccably constructed work of civic architecture. I think Chicago is lucky to have it.

I agree. I’m down with the HWL

pip Jul 1, 2018 12:52 AM

^same

pilsenarch Jul 1, 2018 2:00 PM

^Putting aside the aesthetics of the exterior, have any of you been inside the HWL? It has got to be some of the most disappointing public interiors ever to be built in this city.

The entry sequence? It's just a very bad joke.

the urban politician Jul 1, 2018 2:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pilsenarch (Post 8238606)
^Putting aside the aesthetics of the exterior, have any of you been inside the HWL? It has got to be some of the most disappointing public interiors ever to be built in this city.

The entry sequence? It's just a very bad joke.

Yeah, the grandeur of the exterior does not continue when you enter the building.

Perhaps that can be corrected in a future remodeling?


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