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View Poll Results: Which transbay tower design scheme do you like best?
#1 Richard Rogers 39 7.89%
#2 Cesar Pelli 98 19.84%
#3 SOM 357 72.27%
Voters: 494. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1001  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 2:37 AM
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Its interesting that they show the Empire State Building with its spire still shorter than Transbay. To the tip of its spire, ESB is 1472'. Despite this slight awkwardness, its a nice graphic.

Its also interesting that they're already comparing Transbay to Burj Dubai.
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  #1002  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 2:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
the transbay tower looks PUNY !!!
Keep repeating that at any and all public venues related to the question, especially if Sue Hestor or Calvin Welch are there.
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  #1003  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 3:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reminiscence View Post
Its interesting that they show the Empire State Building with its spire still shorter than Transbay. To the tip of its spire, ESB is 1472'.
That's because the 1,472' is to the tip of the antenna which is not officially part of the building. The same would be true for the Sears Tower or John Hancock Center.
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  #1004  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 4:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
Keep repeating that at any and all public venues related to the question, especially if Sue Hestor or Calvin Welch are there.
Yes, I'll never forget Sue Hestor saying that the Infinity Towers at 450 and 400 feet tall will be, "Huge, huge, huge, huge...," and Calvin Welch saying that similary density for Rincon Hill or Transbay can otherwise be achieved by using Northbeach as a model.
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  #1005  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 5:08 AM
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ESB in that picture is AMAZINGLY and RIDICULOUSLY underscaled.
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  #1006  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2007, 8:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viewguysf View Post
That's because the 1,472' is to the tip of the antenna which is not officially part of the building. The same would be true for the Sears Tower or John Hancock Center.
Right you are. However, my point was that the graphic itself can be misleading. John Hancock Center for example is correctly drawn with the antenna reaching 1500' (if I remember correctly) making the graphic slightly taller than that of Transbay's. However, ESB is also shown with its antenna but significantly shorter than Transbay. While the building itself, as you pointed out, is shorter than Transbay, the antenna as drawn similar to JHC should still reach over Transbay.
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  #1007  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 6:59 PM
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More John King humdrum advocacy

The man with one of the most boring personalities (you ever heard him speak?) relays his lack of spice and proponent in what you could call "whitewash" to his new article, "Place," here are some quotes:

"The word [icon] should be banished from the world of design, and with it the notion that the worth of new buildings is measured by how much they stick out - vertically, stylistically, you name it."

"...the idea that you grab attention by making people gawk? It is so 2002."

"But if we trumpet novelty as virtue, and visual prominence as a point of pride, the result could be an urban landscape knocked off balance."

Sophistically put, John! We need more strip malls in SF. We don't need no stinking architecture! Tear out all the beautiful victorians and replace them with the anonymous styles of San Diego middle class homes.

"Eager to regain perspective, I closed my planning documents and strolled over to Powell Street, the center of touristic San Francisco. Here's what you find on the postcards for sale: the Golden Gate Bridge and the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square. Lombard Street. The gates of Chinatown and, yes, cable cars."

Wow, he argues against something outstanding and iconic, yet uses examples of SF icons to somehow prove his anti- iconic point? And, Yes, we should really cater to the tourists needs, not our own. Let's gut the city and make a big cable car roller coaster, and a Hooter's every block. There's a reason they stay in Fisherman's wharf, and a reason they SHOULD stay there

"But real icons aren't designed to be icons; they win the title by happening to be in wondrous sync with what a city is all about, or where it's headed."

So he believes the city is all about mediocrity, and that it's headed in that direction? Wow. What a critic! How did this tool get his job?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl.../DDVERKOBE.DTL
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  #1008  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 7:02 PM
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I encourage anyone who takes issue with John King's work to let him know and Cc the editor of the chron. Let them know what you think about his columns!
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  #1009  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 7:07 PM
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Thumbs down

Oh, and I love this comment from an SF Gate reader about the Transbay plans:

"Tallest and most modern - yuck! My lovely hometown is losing its unique charm. We are not Manhattan or Hong Kong. Our history and individuality is being destroyed bit by bit."
- Molly Griffin, Belmont

Hmmm, last time I checked, downtown San Francisco was quite a bit different "hometown" than.... belmont.

We are being dictated to by the suburbanites. Hey, they have their 2 acre lawns, huge energy consuming homes, 5 cars in the driveway, anonymous streets and strip malls. Why can't the whole world be like theirs? Why why why??
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  #1010  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 7:14 PM
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My comment on there got the most "recommended"!!!
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  #1011  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 7:19 PM
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A lot of the locals already saw the proposals in person. But for those like me who missed them, some good news:

From sfgate:

Quote:
People interested in the competition to build a new San Francisco transit center and adjacent 1,000-foot-plus tower can examine the three rivals for themselves.

Each team's display boards and site models are on display through Sept. 16 in the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 701 Mission St. This is the first viewing opportunity since shortly after the proposals were unveiled on Aug. 6 at City Hall.

The three teams of architects and developers are vying for approval by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which sees the tower as a way to help finance the terminal for bus and future train service. The authority's board will select a team on Sept. 20.

"We are very appreciative of the public's interest to view the models and provide comment," said Maria Ayerdi, the authority's executive director.

The competitors are Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and the development firm Hines; Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Rockefeller Group Development Corp.; and Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners and Forest City Enterprises with MacFarlane Partners.

Yerba Buena Center is open from noon to 5 p.m. every day except Monday, when it is closed, and Thursday, when the arts center remains open until 8 p.m.
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  #1012  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 7:34 PM
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Great idea, craeg. I just wrote out this letter, which I will send to the Chronicle and it's top editors and executive staff. If anybody would like me to add their name to my petition, please give me your first and last name and zip code. Petition letters have more strength and influence. I'll send it off in a few hours if anybody should choose to show their support (I'm looking for at least 10 names)

Here is my letter, titled "Please do not let John King be the voice of San Francisco- fire John King now !"

ear Mr. King, Editors of SF Chronicle,

It is time for John King to go. His voice is ruining my city. Over the years, I have had to read, in midst of cringing and disbelief, his childish, non provocative, uninspiring, bland "architecture critiques" of Bay Area architecture.
A point of my frustration lies in King's praising of big box retailers, such as Target, in suburban bay area towns, and strip malls, like those in the Fremont area, in such a way that you would think of these as one of man's greatest architectural achievements (at least this is how they come off when reading them).
At the same time, he is weary any kind of major, stimulating, exciting smart development in downtown San Francisco that would benefit the city as a whole.
John King has a chance to bring this city out of its conservative, fear mongering NIMBYism, and is instead giving them (the NIMBYs) more fuel to wreak more architectural havoc on my city. We can't be the 21st century city if we are stuck in the mindset of 40 years ago. Perhaps you guys need somebody younger and edgier to be a true leader for the new, increasing, and majority crowd of height and density proponents. John King is not your man. He fits into the mold of San Diego, Utah, or Colorado, but not San Francisco. We need somebody better, somebody who can argue, in more complex states of mind, why something should or shouldn't be built. King relies on verbal cliches for his "criticisms," words such as "glass, steel, slender, twisting, tall, ugly, pretty." We need somebody up to the task of bringing this city into the future, not somebody who is going to keep it in the darkened past.

Please, Mr. King, look for more work. You are keeping my city from growing the way it should.
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  #1013  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 8:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
Oh, and I love this comment from an SF Gate reader about the Transbay plans:

"Tallest and most modern - yuck! My lovely hometown is losing its unique charm. We are not Manhattan or Hong Kong. Our history and individuality is being destroyed bit by bit."
- Molly Griffin, Belmont

Hmmm, last time I checked, downtown San Francisco was quite a bit different "hometown" than.... belmont.

We are being dictated to by the suburbanites. Hey, they have their 2 acre lawns, huge energy consuming homes, 5 cars in the driveway, anonymous streets and strip malls. Why can't the whole world be like theirs? Why why why??

Molly is a miserable old hag from Belmont. Grrrrrrrrr...
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  #1014  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2007, 8:07 PM
hectorant84 hectorant84 is offline
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Tyler82 add me to your letter. I sent ya a message... Did ya get it?
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  #1015  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2007, 12:15 AM
Kevinhatesnimbys Kevinhatesnimbys is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminum View Post
ESB in that picture is AMAZINGLY and RIDICULOUSLY underscaled.
10-4 on that good buddy. I don't know wtf is wrong with that diagram. Oh wait I see now, the buildings are all scaled incorrectly!
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  #1016  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2007, 2:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craeg View Post
My comment on there got the most "recommended"!!!
The NIMBYs are definitely in the minority this time!
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  #1017  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Not a bad letter, but what is up with singling out Utah, SD and Colorado? What are their molds? How do you know that is their mold? How does King fit their molds?



Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
Great idea, craeg. I just wrote out this letter, which I will send to the Chronicle and it's top editors and executive staff. If anybody would like me to add their name to my petition, please give me your first and last name and zip code. Petition letters have more strength and influence. I'll send it off in a few hours if anybody should choose to show their support (I'm looking for at least 10 names)

Here is my letter, titled "Please do not let John King be the voice of San Francisco- fire John King now !"

ear Mr. King, Editors of SF Chronicle,

It is time for John King to go. His voice is ruining my city. Over the years, I have had to read, in midst of cringing and disbelief, his childish, non provocative, uninspiring, bland "architecture critiques" of Bay Area architecture.
A point of my frustration lies in King's praising of big box retailers, such as Target, in suburban bay area towns, and strip malls, like those in the Fremont area, in such a way that you would think of these as one of man's greatest architectural achievements (at least this is how they come off when reading them).
At the same time, he is weary any kind of major, stimulating, exciting smart development in downtown San Francisco that would benefit the city as a whole.
John King has a chance to bring this city out of its conservative, fear mongering NIMBYism, and is instead giving them (the NIMBYs) more fuel to wreak more architectural havoc on my city. We can't be the 21st century city if we are stuck in the mindset of 40 years ago. Perhaps you guys need somebody younger and edgier to be a true leader for the new, increasing, and majority crowd of height and density proponents. John King is not your man. He fits into the mold of San Diego, Utah, or Colorado, but not San Francisco. We need somebody better, somebody who can argue, in more complex states of mind, why something should or shouldn't be built. King relies on verbal cliches for his "criticisms," words such as "glass, steel, slender, twisting, tall, ugly, pretty." We need somebody up to the task of bringing this city into the future, not somebody who is going to keep it in the darkened past.

Please, Mr. King, look for more work. You are keeping my city from growing the way it should.
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  #1018  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2007, 2:03 PM
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Tyler, I get your point of comparing SF to more "provincial" cities. However, I don't think that the San Diego analogy is valid for this point. I lived in SD for 6 years and can vouch that the public sentiment is far more in favor of downtown high-rises than here in SF. If you go down to the gaslamp quarter now, you will not recognize it. They have built tons of new condos and hotels. They don't have as many new office buildings, because frankly, SD doesn't really have the demand for downtown office space, as we see here in SF. The one issue I see with SD is the height limits for new downtown developments. It is similar to what we have up here in San Jose, with the downtown area right near the flight path into Lindbergh Field (SD airport). There, the FAA has imposed a 40-floor height limit, so the buildings there tend to look stunted. I think the public there would like to see more height and has fought for years unsuccessfully for an alternate airport site, but there really isn't much open space on the coastal plain in SD county for an airport, and the areas that are available are guarded by the military.

I am not as familiar with the dynamics in Utah and Colorado (but if I were you, I'd mention it as Salt Lake City and Denver, not refer to the entire states which are largely rural).
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  #1019  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2007, 4:58 PM
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Exciting News From http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/...03/story1.html

Quote:
Another tower added to Transbay
Developer SKS joins rush to new highrise district with 900-foot plan
San Francisco Business Times - August 31, 2007by J.K. Dineen

SKS Investments is proposing a 900-foot, mixed-use tower at 181 Fremont St., a razor-thin skyscraper that would play a prominent supporting role in the new Transbay District at First and Mission streets.

The 66-story tower would include 500,000 square feet of office space beneath about 140 residential condominiums, according to SKS principals and an application for environmental evaluation filed with the city.
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  #1020  
Old Posted Aug 31, 2007, 5:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Agonist View Post
Not a bad letter, but what is up with singling out Utah, SD and Colorado? What are their molds? How do you know that is their mold? How does King fit their molds?
I'm referring to their image on a world scale in comparison to SF, which is much more international, and deserves much more prestige in its architecture, not something regular and bland. I'm not sure of any iconic, landmark buildings in these places I mentioned, which is why I did mention them, and that is why I feel he would be better suited in aplace like that. He's just not a prestigious, cultured guy, or at least it doesn't come out that way in his writing.
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