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About andrew.w

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  • Birthday 08/31/87

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  • Gender Male
  • Location Chicago
  • Interests Architecture, Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse, Modular Construction, Urban Design, Suburban Revitalization
  1. Calder Plaza Building to get makeover

    ^The Chase Building got a whole new plaza and landscape design a few years back (2012 I believe). I appreciate that this design actually looks like it belongs with the building. A lot of these entrance modernization end up looking tacked on. I suspect that the Calder Plaza renovation will not look half as natural...
  2. I went back and looked at the renderings. The screening was always supposed to be shorter than the total height, but in the renders it floated free at the top and bottom. That may have made more visual sense, but the design is tacked on either way.
  3. Calder Plaza Building to get makeover

    I'll dig up my stuff too, because I definitely found other firms attached to those two building, but I can't remember the source. I think what might have been confusing is that they were the Master plan architects, so their name might appear on things that they themselves didn't create. I do remember for certain that 300 Ottowa was designed by WBDC (of Steelcase Pyramid fame) and 200 Ottawa was designed by a New York firm who also worked on the Empire State Plaza. The demolished Hall of Justice was by SOM, and the original Grand Center was Harry Weese, both out of Chicago. A little plug: anyone interested in reading some of my findings can read it here (you might even find images from some of the same brochures you referenced): I was going to insert and appendix with more information and history on the individual buildings, but never got around to it.
  4. Calder Plaza Building to get makeover

    ^Are we sure this was a Daverman Associates Building? I did some extensive research of this area during my Masters thesis, and unfortunately don't have my notes around, but I remember the only Daverman buildings in the Vandenberg Center being: 1. Post Office 2. Michigan Title Building 3. Old Kent Building 4. Grand Rapids Press Building 5. Michigan Consolidated Gas Building Although they did create the master plan that laid out the rest of the center. Federal Building and State of Michigan Buildings might look a little like their work, but were done by other local architects. I remember the Calder Plaza Building being the least well documented, because frankly, I think it was sort of a boring, efficient building from the start, and no one was all that interested in it, whereas building like Old Kent and City Hall were cutting edge for the city 20 years earlier.
  5. Get rid of the S-Curve?

    The reason that the interchange is designed the way it is, is to save space. By flipping the northbound and southbound lanes of 131, the planners were able to avoid a cloverleaf intersection, which would have destroyed twice as much of the west side (including the Union High School and St. Mary's Church). I definitely think the best solution would have been to not have any expressway downtown at all, but you can't just drop all of that traffic onto an on-grade city street, especially if most of it is try to get through downtown, not to downtown.
  6. Veterans Parks/Monroe Center Redesign

    I poked my head in during ArtPrize 2010, to see what it was, and it held the Children's Museum admin offices at that point.
  7. Grand Rapids Then and Now

    I think this will be the first company to move into those floors since DTE moved Michcon out of there in 2000. I have checked periodically over the years and they have always been vacant on McKinley's website.
  8. Grand Rapids Then and Now

    I think you might be thinking of the "tower" portion of Wurzburg's department store (originally Herpolsheimer's) first building on this page) That was demolished in 1973, not the 1990s, but there was never anything else that tall on the Art Museum block.
  9. Grand Rapids Then and Now

    That is one beautiful piece of Art Deco. Too bad it couldn't have held out a few more decades; there's enough interest in the south side today that it might have had a chance. While I do remember all of the houses that were demolished between Mt. Vernon and Winter on the west side, I don't remember the old Purple East building, even though I know it has been mentioned on this forum before. Does anyone happen to have an image or link to that?
  10. 100 Commerce - Grand Central Lofts

    That window has been boarded since before the renovation. It seems that the owners are waiting for a tenant before they put any money into that part of the building.
  11. New projects in East Hills

    I think valet parking is highly preferable to creating additional surface lots for all of the people who don't like hunting for parking. The restaurant at the end of my street here in Cincinnati (in a neighborhood very much like East Hills) offers valet parking too, and I have noticed that a fair number of people use it.
  12. Development Projects - Belknap Lookout Area

    They are okay. They look exactly like the row houses that are being built on tear-down lots all over the north and northwest side of Chicago right now (probably even the same architect). I mean seeing these built, the quality will be nice, I'm just tired of seeing those particular designs because there are literally 100s of them in Chicago.
  13. Sorry, couldn't come up with anything witty enough. But seriously, I understand why they chose not to plant trees right up next to their building again (root invasion and such), but could we at least have some street trees in the sidewalk? I don't think that I know anyone at TowerPinkster anymore after their last big layoff, but I would be curious if the landscape budget was cut, or none was ever desired.
  14. Fulton and Sheldon

    Good. That infill brick was pretty awful. Hopefully the skinny second floor windows will also be going away. The modern stone on the corner is probably covering the remains of a grand arched entrance as well, but that appears to be here to stay.
  15. True, but that sort of mindset is the one that is destroying our cities. Everyone that can afford it cannot live in less than 10 year old houses all the time. Otherwise, everyplace will turn into Metro Detroit, where people are continually moving outward in search of open land for new houses. The old houses will go to increasingly lower income residents, and the core will be continuously drained of people. As someone else said, short of bulldozing the center city and starting over (sorry, we tried that--it was called the 60s), there's not much you can do about the housing stock. It is older and smaller, and anyone who doesn't like that is going to have to spend money on renovations. Instead it's going to take some creativity to start luring people back in (or the end of affordable oil prices, whichever comes first). In that case, I don't think it is a bad idea to emulate aspects of the suburbs. I don't think that the city should physically look like the suburbs, but having neighborhoods that are safe, good education, close, reliable services are not bad things by any stretch, and the perception of these things are about as important as their actuality. (btw, thank you x99 for starting this discussion; it's probably the most active one we've had on here in a long time).