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-   -   CHICAGO: Transit Developments (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101657)

honte Jun 21, 2008 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abner (Post 3627645)
The problem with preserving bad buildings is that you're condemning people to be forced to use them every day. It's especially problematic when you're forcing a school to live with them. (I'm more concerned about this argument in UIC's context than in IIT's--I don't know that IIT suffers greatly from its lesser Mies buildings.)

I don't agree that any of those buildings are "bad buildings," but we should discuss that in a different thread.

BVictor1 Jun 21, 2008 5:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ch.G, Ch.G (Post 3624880)
I don't disagree, but, just to be clear (which this photo I nabbed from Google Maps unfortunately is not), we are talking about this building, yeah?

http://img242.imageshack.us/img242/3403/picture2gs8.png

It's a bland, boaring brick box

It's not a landmark or memorable.

Tear it down

VivaLFuego Jun 21, 2008 7:21 PM

Sounds like the Mies shack provides a perfect, very fundamental example of the perpetual dichotomy of architecture as functional real space versus work-of-art versus historical relic. It's a dreadful, atrocious use of real estate, it's hideous, but it's done by an important architect and its context is of historical significance in the history of architecture.

That said, a bunch of picketers marching to Save The Shack would seriously demean the preservation movement and further harm chances of being taken seriously for more serious preservation causes.

Wright Concept Jun 21, 2008 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3627864)
Sounds like the Mies shack provides a perfect, very fundamental example of the perpetual dichotomy of architecture as functional real space versus work-of-art versus historical relic. It's a dreadful, atrocious use of real estate, it's hideous, but it's done by an important architect and its context is of historical significance in the history of architecture.

That said, a bunch of picketers marching to Save The Shack would seriously demean the preservation movement and further harm chances of being taken seriously for more serious preservation causes.

I doubt it, all Metra should do is present/create a design charette to the IIT College of Architecture (my alma-mater) or even an IPRO within all of the engineering/design majors at IIT and all of those issues would fall by the wayside. If anything if Mies were around he would be pleased to get the students involved in designing and building integral pieces of the campus because it proves that the College of Architecture is providing a true real-life design labratory for it's students.

ardecila Jun 21, 2008 8:44 PM

Alright, all this discussion of underground shooting ranges is pretty awesome.

Is it still in use? I'd love to go down there and (hopefully) shoot some pictures. Obviously, they went to the huge expense of building it underground to keep it secret, so is it still a clandestine thing? Do the Men in Black practice shooting down there? There's probably a mock "grassy knoll", complete with blow-up doll of JFK! :haha:

honte Jun 21, 2008 8:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VivaLFuego (Post 3627864)
Sounds like the Mies shack provides a perfect, very fundamental example of the perpetual dichotomy of architecture as functional real space versus work-of-art versus historical relic. It's a dreadful, atrocious use of real estate, it's hideous, but it's done by an important architect and its context is of historical significance in the history of architecture.

That said, a bunch of picketers marching to Save The Shack would seriously demean the preservation movement and further harm chances of being taken seriously for more serious preservation causes.

I suppose I see where you're coming from, but I still think this argument is ridiculous - exactly the kind of thing that made us lose countless buildings across the nation and still does. Sounds a lot like their justification for tearing down Lake Meadows, doesn't it?

I for one would never want to live in a city where every square inch was the highest and best use, because it would be frightfully boring.

The building could be put to a perfectly good use that enhances the Metra station. Ticket stand, concession stand, hot dog stand, warming shelter, wing of a coffee house, entrance to a shooting range to get out your after-game aggression, whatever. What is a "dreadful, atrocious" waste of space is the boring plaza Metra is proposing that erodes the street wall for no good reason and will sit there unused until someone who is disabled needs to use the offramp.

BVictor1 Jun 21, 2008 9:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3627980)
I suppose I see where you're coming from, but I still think this argument is ridiculous - exactly the kind of thing that made us lose countless buildings across the nation and still does. Sounds a lot like their justification for tearing down Lake Meadows, doesn't it?

I for one would never want to live in a city where every square inch was the highest and best use, because it would be frightfully boring.

The building could be put to a perfectly good use that enhances the Metra station. Ticket stand, concession stand, hot dog stand, warming shelter, wing of a coffee house, entrance to a shooting range to get out your after-game aggression, whatever. What is a "dreadful, atrocious" waste of space is the boring plaza Metra is proposing that erodes the street wall for no good reason and will sit there unused until someone who is disabled needs to use the offramp.

Just because the structure was designed by a renowned architect doesn't make every structure he/she did good...

People need to stop intertwinning the relationship of architect and period and start judging on merrit, functionality and individual design.

honte Jun 21, 2008 9:50 PM

^ Being that this is a transit thread, I did not spend time explaining why the structure is important. Not to sound snide, but I can virtually guarantee you I know more about this structure and Mies's work than you do. My judgments are not based solely on the name behind the building, but on what it means as a work of architecture.

VivaLFuego Jun 21, 2008 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3627980)
What is a "dreadful, atrocious" waste of space is the boring plaza Metra is proposing that erodes the street wall for no good reason and will sit there unused until someone who is disabled needs to use the offramp.

No argument from me there.

I disagree with the Lake Meadows comparison though, as those constitute thousands of occupied housing units in a stable community. In that case, "highest and best use" is very highly subjective, depending upon who you ask. Depending on what the Mies shack is used for, I'm open to convincing, but I have doubts judging by the pictures.

"Highest and best use," literally, further isn't what I'm advocating, but I think depending on the proposed replacement, just about any architectural work could be considered for being either replaced or moved and reassembled.

In this instance, yeah the Metra station is hardly inspiring, but my broader point is that realistically, the preservation movement would demean itself to make a stink about the loss of this, even if they have a few meritorious arguments that could warrant some sort of adaptive reuse. There are so many more important fish to fry for which the case would resonate with broader spectra of the population (Lake Meadows, Prentice, etc.)

the urban politician Jun 21, 2008 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by honte (Post 3628047)
^ Being that this is a transit thread, I did not spend time explaining why the structure is important. Not to sound snide, but I can virtually guarantee you I know more about this structure and Mies's work than you do. My judgments are not based solely on the name behind the building, but on what it means as a work of architecture.

^ I'm curious what you think makes this structure so important. If you can answer this question in the 'General Developments' thread, I'd appreciate it.

ardecila Jun 22, 2008 7:39 AM

Why does everybody love to hate on plazas so much? If I've learned anything from European cities, it's that thoughtfully-placed and planned public space can really enrich a city.

The problem with the "public space" created by the modernist planners who wreaked havoc with the Near South Side is that it wasn't really public. All those little grassy strips in front of the Taylor Homes, or in the center of circular drives, weren't really functional, nor were they spaces people could enjoy. They were merely useless greenspace. Also - and this is important - not all of the problems in public housing were caused by planners. The problems with crime, drug abuse, and poverty were present in the slums that the housing projects replaced. They are problems that accompany all sites of concentrated poverty, regardless of what the built environment is. So, what were poorly-planned parks to begin with were made worse by the problems of crime and poverty in the neighborhood.

The new townhouse developments going in on the South Side seem to be repeating the same mistake in their pocket parks - because of the brick walls and fencing that surround and cordon the neighborhood, and the homogenous architecture surrounding the parks, the parks don't feel public, but more like something for the exclusive use of the neighbors.

It seems like the Metra plaza, because it serves as a gateway to a public service, and is beholden to no particular private development, will be a successful plaza.

Dr. Taco Jun 22, 2008 4:08 PM

SOOOoooooo...how 'bout that blue line? sure is a lot of work being done on it these days. Both tracks were out of commission yesterday night from jeff park to...cumberland maybe. it was crazy. There had to have been hundreds of workers in that stretch all busting their balls. I'll be a happy camper once they're done

Nowhereman1280 Jun 22, 2008 6:14 PM

^^^ Yes, they have been shutting down whole segments of it on the weekends and just ripping it up. The places they have already hit sure are nice, refurbished stations (no more crumbling over hangs) and fresh tracks make the ride much nicer!

ardecila Jun 23, 2008 6:19 AM

I heard on the radio today that the stretch of the Blue Line between Rosemont and O'Hare will be completely shut down for 3 weeks to perform track work. A bus shuttle will be substituted until the tracks are back online. The report claimed that this is the last major piece of track work to be performed on the Blue Line.

EDIT: This will happen July 8-28.

Marcu Jun 24, 2008 5:13 AM

^ In addition, the red line will operate on the brown line tracks around the loop all week after 9pm as they work on the slow zones in the subways. A year or so from now, we'll have slow zone free red and blue and a completely revamped brown.

On a different note, has there been any progress in extending the Metra Kenosha line to Milwaukee? Is WI (and local entities) paying for that? Also, when is the Oakton Yellow line stop scheduled to open (if ever)?

ardecila Jun 24, 2008 8:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcu (Post 3632050)
On a different note, has there been any progress in extending the Metra Kenosha line to Milwaukee? Is WI (and local entities) paying for that? Also, when is the Oakton Yellow line stop scheduled to open (if ever)?

Wisconsin is supposed to pay for the Kenosha-Milwaukee rail project (usually called "KRM" for Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee), in combination with the federal government. The federal funds have already been awarded.

However, Wisconsin legislators can't decide if they want it or not, since they haven't identified a local funding source. Certain Republicans are adamantly opposed to the project, unless it can be funded without a tax increase of any kind. Sales tax increases were tried and defeated. The most recent plan was a stiff rental car tax, but that too was defeated. Finally, legislators just gave up and did not budget any money for KRM in the 2008 budget.

I'm not sure how long the federal funds are available, but if Wisconsin lets them expire, the rail plan will truly be dead.

As for the Oakton CTA station - there's been very little news on that. My guess is that Skokie is still trying to scrape together the money for design and construction. Skokie got embroiled in an eminent-domain battle with some local businesses, and they may still be in litigation.

EDIT: Skokie did indeed get into a legal battle over eminent domain, but not on the properties for the CTA station. According to a January 2008 article, groundbreaking is expected in the fall sometime once plans are completed.

OhioGuy Jun 24, 2008 12:54 PM

The dumbf*cks in Wisconsin need to get their acts together and figure out some type of funding. This rail connection will be especially advantageous for them if Chicago manages to win the Olympics.

Mr Downtown Jun 24, 2008 1:18 PM

^How so? Is Olympics traffic congestion expected to be especially bad for folks commuting from Racine into downtown Milwaukee? And if it is, couldn't they just run the trains for those two weeks?

brian_b Jun 24, 2008 2:24 PM

I would imagine the rail connection would be very advantageous to General Mitchell International Airport. That is, if this extension was planned to connect it (does anyone know?). Being connected to downtown Milwaukee and downtown Chicago on a rail line that runs more often than Amtrak is a clear benefit.

OhioGuy Jun 24, 2008 2:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Downtown (Post 3632326)
^How so? Is Olympics traffic congestion expected to be especially bad for folks commuting from Racine into downtown Milwaukee? And if it is, couldn't they just run the trains for those two weeks?

Well I wasn't thinking about Amtrak. They maybe could run more trains between Milwaukee & Chicago during that time period. I just figured that with the rail connection, hotels & businesses in communities along the Wisconsin lakefront, including Milwaukee & Racine, would see some nice benefits in the form of tourism dollars (I would imagine staying in hotels up there would overall be more affordable than down here).

(but regardless of that, I just want it so that I can travel up to Milwaukee at a cheaper price than Amtrak offers... even if it is a little more time consuming than riding Amtrak)


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