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Ann Arbor Photo of the Day


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Believe it or not, only 10 or 15 years ago, most of the buildings you see here on wolverine's Main street photo were covered with Aluminum facing. The buildings are at least 100 years old and were covered in aluminum in the 50's and 60's (preferred deco at the time?). One by one over the years the facing has come down and the beautiful brickwork has come back to life. I believe there are only 2 or 3 buildings left with the old aluminum facing. The first brick building on the left side of the street had the aluminum facing torn down just last summer. The building was totally gutted and refurbished into two stores and lofts upstairs. This really is a beautiful street, as is Washington.

- BR

aapotd0011.jpg

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Connor O'Neils Irish Pub was one of the last buildings to have its aluminum facade removed. Actually, the covering was put up for a reason because the brick had been so heavily cracked that replacement during that time would have been expensive. Despite it's removal, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done on it.

connoro.jpg

Edited by wolverine
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Great shot, wolverine! This really shows what the aluminum facade did to most (all?) of the buildings downtown. I'd much rather see the damaged brick than that ugly aluminum. I'm sure the building owner will eventually fix the front up if Connor O'Neil's management has any say in it. They pack 'em in there!

- BR

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Great shot, wolverine!  This really shows what the aluminum facade did to most (all?) of the buildings downtown.  I'd much rather see the damaged brick than that ugly aluminum.  I'm sure the building owner will eventually fix the front up if Connor O'Neil's management has any say in it.  They pack 'em in there!

- BR

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Wonderful pictures, Wolverine. It really brings me back to college days -- 10 above zero, 12:15 a.m., waiting to get into Del Rio's. Is it still there?

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Del Rio closed Dec 31, 2003. They ran into problems because the bar had a weird cooperative managment strategy and they were giving away too many meals and drinks. The whole group of managers got fired and a bunch of employees quit and even picketed outside in protest. The bar eventually closed and I think that space might still be vacant.

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Del Rio closed Dec 31, 2003.  They ran into problems because the bar had a weird cooperative managment strategy and they were giving away too many meals and drinks.  The whole group of managers got fired and a bunch of employees quit and even picketed outside in protest.  The bar eventually closed and I think that space might still be vacant.

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Sigh -- another icon of my youth, gone. Next, you'll tell me that the Blind Pig has closed.

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Now that I'm done with exams, I now have time to update this thread!

To restart it, I figured I do a special "feature of the day instead" The following project is called Liberty Lofts by Chicago Developer Morningside Group. The lofts will be located in the former Eaton Corp. Complex on the West side of downtown. Planning for the lofts began awhile ago before Eaton Corp left the building; however construction has now begun. The current 5 story warehouse building along with an addition on the back will hold 68 condominium units priced between $250,000 - $550,000. Currently 70% of the units are already on reserve. A long warehouse extension on North side of the complex will hold space for approximately 3 retail units. Altogether, the complex is part of a larger scheme of creating more retail and housing in the Ashley area which should ease the increasingly high demands on space downtown. So far, development in this area has soared with the new Ashely Mews rowhouses, several rehabs and conversions of old factory buildings and mills, and a brand new YMCA, and several single home renovations. Rezoning done to this area also now permits hi-rise buildings which have been proposed in the past, just two blocks North of this project. Liberty Lofts marks the next big step in redevelopment to this area. For more information on this project, go to the official website Here

Here are some renderings of what it will look like. I didn't see the renderings for the back of the building until today. The project is a lot larger than I thought! :lol::thumbsup:

buildingfeatures3.jpg

The front:

rendering3.jpg

And here are some photos I took. Allan might remember the first two:

liberty1.jpg

Notice the warehouse extension to the right that will be used for retail space.

liberty2.jpg

Now:

liberty3.jpg

liberty4.jpg

I'll post updates on this project occasionaly in this thread so stay tuned!

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It's nice to see that they finally started on that. It will be a huge boost to the area. And yes, I remember those photos. I still haven't finished going through my photos from that day, LOL. If they hadn't turned out so crappy because of the overcast skies, maybe I'd feel more eager to finish processing them.

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^ It's rumored their will be a grocery store in one of the retail spaces next to the lofts. But Ann Arbor is full of rumors, so we'll see.

Since it has been a few days, I have to post a few photos:

northu.jpg

Looking up North University Ave. Way back in 1837, this was the northmost boundary of the "original forty acres" Since then, the campus has extended northword for miles.

The red brick building to the right is the Natural Science Building designed by Albert Kahn. The building design was considered radical when it was built, since many people thought it looked like factory. In fact, it was supposed to. It was one of Kahn's early experiments in factory architecture. The flexibility in its design was so effective, that the building still contains the activities it was designed for.

nickelsback.jpg

The back of Nickels Arcade. Not quite as elaborate as the front, but still architecturally beautiful to our standards. To the right is a new building that helped add a little height next to the 30 story Plaza Tower (not shown).

topofhouses.jpg

As you can see, I enjoy taking photos from parking structures. These houses are located along William Street.

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Another Kahn icon. The Grandaddy of all readings rooms in one of U of M's many libraries. Hatcher Graduate library is usually the choice place for the studious since the Undergraduate library is more like a party hall during exams. I kind of laughed when taking these photos a few weeks ago, since I was done with exams and all these people weren't. :lol:

lib1.jpg

lib2.jpg

Edited by wolverine
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Another Kahn icon.  The Grandaddy of all readings rooms in one of U of M's many libraries.  Hatcher Graduate library is usually the choice place for the studious since the Undergraduate library is more like a party hall during exams.  I kind of laughed when taking these photos a few weeks ago, since I was done with exams and all these people weren't.  :lol:

lib1.jpg

lib2.jpg

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Great shots!

Thank God the U got rid of the old light poles in the Grad; it made the place look like a parking lot of Metro Airport.

When I was first an undergraduate, the lighting was basically provided only by the table lamps; the reading room was sort of spooky at night. I'm not sure I like the white look of today.

The murals at the ends of the reading room were, I believe, created for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

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^  It's rumored their will be a grocery store in one of the retail spaces next to the lofts.  But Ann Arbor is full of rumors, so we'll see.

Since it has been a few days, I have to post a few photos:

northu.jpg

Looking up North University Ave.  Way back in 1837, this was the northmost boundary of the "original forty acres"  Since then, the campus has extended northword for miles. 

The red brick building to the right is the Natural Science Building designed by Albert Kahn.  The building design was considered radical when it was built, since many people thought it looked like factory.  In fact, it was supposed to.  It was one of Kahn's early experiments in factory architecture.  The flexibility in its design was so effective, that the building still contains the activities it was designed for.

nickelsback.jpg

The back of Nickels Arcade.  Not quite as elaborate as the front, but still architecturally beautiful to our standards.  To the right is a new building that helped add a little height next to the 30 story Plaza Tower (not shown).

topofhouses.jpg

As you can see, I enjoy taking photos from parking structures.  These houses are located along William Street.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

NatSci is one of many grand Kahn buildings on campus; my two favorites have always been West Engineering and the Clements Library.

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Glad you guys are liking the pics. Thanks for the great replies!

Going up? The stairway up to the top of U of M's Burton Tower - another signature Kahn building. Most people don't consider the tower a classroom building, but it actually is. The music school also uses the bell tower for classes and practice rooms. The top of the tower is open to the public.

burtonstairs.jpg

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mh.jpg

Haven Hall is part of the 4 building complex composed of Angell Hall, Tisch Hall, and Mason Hall. Although the building looks brand new, it was actually built in the 1960's when architecture was less flavorful and unsympathetic to the surrounding historic buildnigs. A few years ago, Haven Hall and Mason Hall underwent major renovations that involved stripping the facades off the buildings, and gutting the interior to the steel and concrete. The above photo shows the new facade which is a lot better than the original.

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lsa.jpg

If you were to ask any student at U of M what the ugliest building on campus was, they would likely name the LS&A administration building. Known for its bright orange facade, (or should I say SALMON as the 1950's properties and lands documents described it) the Literature Sciences and Arts building houses all the financial activities within Michigan's largest school. Currently, the building has been entirely gutted and will be receiving a massive renovation with a price tag of $26 million paid by the state of michigan. Students were dissapointed to find out that orange brick would not dissapear to a more flavorfull facade like Haven Hall in the above post. Oh well, who knows what the university was thinking.

I should also take this time to introduce a website I worked on during fall of 2004 for a History of U of M class. The site was never finished, although I intend to one day (I still got an A on it :) ). Basically, it covers the architecture and building history of U of M through historic and recent photos and descriptions. You can see what existed at one time, and what exists there now. There is an interactive flash map, that broke and I still need to fix, so you'll have to use the html page under the link BUILDING LIST. The interactive map was supposed to be the centerpiece of it all, since it is actually a scan of a massive drawing by some guy named Mort of the entire campus. Every year, it is updated to show new buildings that have gone up on campus. I hope you all enjoy the site, and let me know if you have any questions or problems. Remember, the site isn't finished yet, so there may not be photos up in some places.

THE SITE:

University of Michigan Campus Chronological Development

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mh.jpg

Haven Hall is part of the 4 building complex composed of Angell Hall, Tisch Hall, and Mason Hall.  Although the building looks brand new, it was actually built in the 1960's when architecture was less flavorful and unsympathetic to the surrounding historic buildnigs.  A few years ago, Haven Hall and Mason Hall underwent major renovations that involved stripping the facades off the buildings, and gutting the interior to the steel and concrete.  The above photo shows the new facade which is a lot better than the original.

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Actually Haven and Mason Hall were both built in the 1950s. They were butt ugly then, and butt ugly when I attended the U 20 years later. I'm not sure the reskinning is all that successful, but anything was better than what had been. I guess a similar transformation was done to the UGLI (which certainly merited its name). I understand that it now has the dignified name of the Harold Shapiro Library.

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