View Single Post
Old Posted Nov 2, 2017, 4:08 PM
ardecila's Avatar
ardecila ardecila is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 15,672
Originally Posted by ithakas View Post
Bronzeville east of MLK and north of Pershing would be another good candidate, but too much of the developable land is controlled by a handful of big developers to make it likely.

I would love to see Dearborn Park redeveloped as all mid rise, a continuation of Printers Row.

Most of the proposed mega developments on the river could also be new mid rise districts, but the developers seem to still favor the tower/townhome combo in parks (as well designed as some of them have been, at least for the conceptual renderings ahead of Amazon).
Historically most big new construction in Chicago outside of downtown was dictated by lake views. Go as tall as you can along the lake, sell views to as many people as possible, and then rapidly transition to low rise house/town home development behind that so you can sell people a quiet, single-family neighborhood. That was how Edgewater was developed, and Lakeview/Lincoln Park as well, South Loop, Hyde Park and even South Shore.

It's kind of a limited perspective on city dwelling, it says the only reasons to put up with the "hassle" of a city are if you can get dazzling views, or if you can carve out your own quiet, suburban-style niche. Because of the high land values involved, this is a development style that tends to shut out the middle class.

To me, midrise inland neighborhoods like West Loop aren't just about a pleasant urban form, they're about a new (for Chicago) urban lifestyle where you embrace the activity, convenience and amenities of a dense, walkable area and you don't need the sweetener of a lake view or a big private yard. Instead of seeing the hustle and bustle as a hassle, you see it as a privilege that not only saves you time, but also saves money as you can forgo a car and lots of transportation costs.

I'll be interested to see what happens to West Loop as the first generations of midrise dwellers start reaching middle age and having kids. Skinner is already expanding for the second time in a decade. Maybe a neighborhood option for middle/high school is needed soon, apart from Whitney Young.
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...
Reply With Quote