woz

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About woz

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    Whistle-Stop
  • Birthday 01/09/1974

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    Grand Rapids, Mich.
  1. woz

    Gallery on Fulton

    Since The New York Times has been so hot on GR lately, maybe their real estate section ought to do a story on this prime piece of undeveloped land just sitting there in the heart of this city. Donald Trump reads the Times real estate section, right?
  2. woz

    Medical Mile/Michigan Street Developments

    He's tight-lipped because he probably thinks there are mainstream media-types lurking around here ...
  3. woz

    Medical Mile/Michigan Street Developments

    Evidently GRDad knew about this hotel component back in September 2005, but it feels like news to me.
  4. woz

    Rowe Hotel- Olds Manor

    Does anybody besides me ever wonder how much more vibrant our downtown (and our city) would be today if instead of investing in hotels and other projects in the core, Rich and Jay would have just built an office tower downtown as their world headquarters instead of a sprawling campus way out in Ada? I think the same thing about Steelcase. I love the CDC (the pyramid). I only wish it was downtown right on the river.
  5. woz

    New Grand Rapids Art Museum

    I hope those folks who live on the upper floors of Morton House and City View Condos rest up now, because next year when those lanterns are finished it's not going to be easy trying to fall asleep if your bedroom window faces the GRAM.
  6. woz

    New Grand Rapids Art Museum

    The blank wall in your example faces a surface lot. I don't have a problem with buidlings that take shortcuts on one side or another where no one is really supposed to see them. Hopefully, one day that surface lot will be home to a building, adding needed density to the urban core and hiding that oppressive solid wall of brick. The new GRAM is a different story. It occupies an entire city block. This discussion has gotten me a little nervous about the way the design addresses street level from the back side. I think it will be very inviting along Monroe Center, where the museum gift shop and cafe will be located. I think it will be very active along Louis where the educational wing will be located. And, although I wonder what Maya Lin would think of the side facing the park she designed, I think it certainly invites folks to interact with the structure on the Rosa Parks Circle side. I'm going to look into this Ottawa Avenue issue further. Oh, and I'm pretty sure this is fairly common knowledge ... Kendall College of Art & Design will be taking over the Federal Building which currently houses the GRAM after the GRAM vacates for their new building on July 1, 2007. The city isn't too keen on Kendall's plan to close off Pearl Street, however. If you want any more info on that topic from me, you'll have to read about it elsewhere ...
  7. woz

    New Grand Rapids Art Museum

    Don't forget ... the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum is basically the front porch of the museum. Very little of it actually functions as museum space, meaning the art collections are enjoyed in Eero Saarinen's War Memorial ... The Saarinen building is a space many of the armchair architecture critics on this site would probably hate, but it functions exceedingly well as a place in which to truly experience visual art. That should be the measuring stick for deciding whether or not the new GRAM is a well designed museum: how well does it serve the collection? and how flexible are the galleries that host touring exhibitions? Standard urban sensibilities should also apply (how friendly/transparent is the facade at street level? Etc.), but I'm sorry ... If new buildings all had to take into account the view from second floor offices across the street, we'd never build anything but one-story buildings.
  8. "Secchia has (and has had) his hands on numerous properties downtown. He used to have his office in the Federal Square Building. He also used to own the Rowe Hotel (Olds Manor). Although that does make you wonder why he doesn't currently have office space downtown." CORRECTION: Peter Secchia currently does have office space downtown in the Exhibitor's Building behind the Amway Grand Plaza on Lyon. Off-topic, I know, but this forum is where the false statement above was originally made.
  9. I've gotten take-out from XO a couple of times now. Green Curry with Flank Steak: very good! Pad Thai with Chicken: bad. I mean, not disgustingly bad (I ate all of it), but dry and pretty tasteless. I haven't tried any of the Chinese dishes yet, but for Thai food, I think I'll keep driving to 28th Street unless I'm really crunched for time. Speaking of time -- and I HATE to add my voice to the chorus of folks usually complaining about this -- finding a parking spot at night on Monroe Center is a pain! I'll walk 10 or 15 blocks from a parking spot if I'm going to sit down and enjoy a meal downtown, but I think it's reasonable to expect some monitored free or even metered parking within a block of a restaurant that offers take-out. The city needs to start enforcing meters on Monroe Center 24 hours a day. Including some 10 minute parking only spots wouldn't be a bad idea either. If you want to get in and out of XO, Jimmy John's, Morado (the sushi place), Cafe Solace, etc., you're going to spend way too much time looking for a parking spot for take-out at any of these places to be convenient.
  10. woz

    River House Condominiums

    I don't know if we'll be seeing a steel frame going up at all. Isn't this building supposed to have a post-tensioned cast-in-place concrete frame? I'm not 100 percent familiar with this method of construction, but I believe the building will look quite a bit different than a traditional steel frame building throughout the construction process.
  11. The Silver Cactus, 242 Carlton SE in Eastown, opens Sunday (Nov. 6).
  12. woz

    Medical Mile/Michigan Street Developments

    I noticed that, too. Does anyone know if the service road they're putting in along 196 will connect to Division?
  13. woz

    New Grand Rapids Art Museum

    Come on, GRDad! I scared mpchicago by accident; you're trying to scare all of us on purpose! Concrete isn't always institutional; it can also be very majestic as a building material. Locally, check out the VAI. Or, check out the Teatro Armani in Milan that the GRAM architect did while working with Tadao Ando: Or the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts they built in St. Louis: Or the Museum of Modern Art they built in Ft. Worth:
  14. woz

    New Grand Rapids Art Museum

    Didn't mean to scare you, mpchicago. I think I picked the worst possible page to link. Also see below ... http://www.tadaoando.com/ http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Tadao_Ando.html And realize, this is the mentor, not the actual man who did our museum. -woz
  15. woz

    New Grand Rapids Art Museum

    http://www.andotadao.org/plaza2.htm This Japanese museum might give you an idea of what the finished GRAM will feel like on the outside. It was designed by Tadao Ando, who was a mentor of the LA architect the GRAM brought in to tweak their $912,376 (according to the Press) coceptual design.