Paramount747

TPAC Tower Condemned|Implosion or Rehab|2018

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The TPAC Tower completed in 1981 is slated for implosion/demolition by 2018 once the state moves out in 2017. If no-one buys and rehabs the structure, this 392 foot tower will be imploded and a large hole will be left in the skyline as the building has been determined to be uninhabitable.

A friend of mine works in the tower and they were informed this week they will be moving to the remodeled Cordell Hull building in late 2017.

The State Legislature will also be moving out of the Legislative Plaza as it has also been condemned due to water leaks.

The TPAC Tower has constant pipes breaking, water leaks, and elevators that constantly need repair. The building is structurally unsafe.

The building style, after the tower was completed, was never to my knowledge ever used again due to having no internal support columns, and no columns underneath  the structure. It is an umbrella/suspension building that has gone past its lifespan.

Over the next two years the state will be moving out. Hopefully some entity will come and rehab the tower, but unfortunately I have heard that it will come down. If you look in wikipedia under largest buildings ever imploded, it is extremely rare a building of that size is imploded due to cost. I would hate to see this come down, but unfortunately it may come to that.

I told WW, so maybe he will have a story on this soon. Maybe he can firm up some details.

BTW an example of this building is the Citi Corp Building in NYC.

Edited by Paramount747
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Wow.  I can't imagine them imploding that building.  How would they bring that down without damaging the TPAC portion of that structure? (the TPAC portion is the front concrete part, right?)

Seems like a waste for an actually pretty cool looking structure (not the concrete part...but the glass tower).

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It's basically constructed like a plastic Christmas tree with the branches that you plug into place. There's one big column that serves as mechanical/elevator/etc. space that each floor plate is attached to. That load has to be transferred to bedrock in some shape, form or fashion...hell a shack has to have columns underneath the structure. 

In theory, this would be a much cleaner demolition that the demolition of a concrete structure. I doubt there would be an "implosion", more so a dismantling, which I doubt happens. 

Sounds like the State wants to cut costs and leave the real estate management field. Unless the construction was piss poor I've never heard of a building being condemned or in need of demolition due to pipes bursting, elevators breaking down, etc. That certainly wouldn't deem it unsafe. That's common and typical with a structure that large.

Edited by arkitekte
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They are building one in a similar fashion over the Salt Lake City Performing Arts Center. (Pictures from SSP)

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Proposed for SALT LAKE CITY!!

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However there is no way TPAC could be safely imploded, without destroying the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. And I don't see how the Cordell Hull can hold all the Polk Building employees. However, as one who worked in it for 15 to 20 years, I know it was old when it was built. I was in it when the 1998, F1 tornado hit it and was very concerned about its stability during the event. But, we survived. Maybe they can improve the exterior of TPAC if it is removed and give it a better street activation on the south and east sides.

Edited by PHofKS
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I've known for quite some time about the Legislative Plaza migration to Cordell Hull, since I work next to it and have befriended a fellow employee who works with the legislature.  I'm taken aback with hearing about the Polk Bldg, though.  The thing I'd miss most about the Plaza is the cafeteria down under, which IMO puts out some half decent grub, convenient with a mere across-the-street walk.

I have to concede that I wouldn't miss the Polk Bldg. ─ not one iota ─ especially compared to the Aye-Jay Hotel and Elks Lodge that it replaced.  That notwithstanding, I just hope for a much more active ground/street-level engagement, particularly since the building's ground elevation spans the equivalent of 3 levels at grade.  Basically, every existing structure north of Union St. is devoid of such interaction, which in most cases has been circumstantial, due to the general nature and exclusive purpose (and security) of state office buildings.  Despite the dated designs of the the former First American Bank building (the UBS of today), and Doubletree/BoA block, I only could hope for something which wouldn't be "born old".  If the structure were to be completely leveled (with TPAC in some new north-mall location), then the existing foundation cavity might be leverage for a tall set-back tower, rivaling the height of 505, if the city and the state wouldn't impose restrictions to appease the state lawmakers for a SE Capitol view. -==-

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Implosion/demolition would cost the taxpayers money. 

Here's an idea...sell the building. Even if it is for $1, it saves taxpayers money. The only stipulation for the sale will be that TPAC and the State Museum are unaffected. If/when those entities leave, then the owner can do what they want with those spaces. 

It's certainly not an easy sale, especially if there is a lot of work to fix up the building....but I think a smart investor could put a modest amount of money in for repairs and perhaps find a way to stabilize the building better and turn it into profitable office space.

I can't really see how demolition would be good for any party involved.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the Polk building were sold, but I can't see a case for imploding it, with the concurrent loss of the TPAC performance spaces below.   Agree a sale is much more likely.    I'm sure the building does need utility upgrades to plumbing, elevator and probably electrical and communications, but the market will factor those into a sale price.  

As for the structure itself, I haven't heard any concerns about it being unsafe.    I know the exterior steel cantilever systems (photo below I took a few minutes ago from the roof of my office next door) were repaired and stabilized a few years ago.   All of the exterior glass panes were removed, replaced and resealed about two years ago.   I'd say it would still list as solid Class B office space.   

        

Polk 

 

 

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You mean government screwed up the construction of a building?!  Whodathunk? 

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I wouldn't be surprised if the Polk building were sold, but I can't see a case for imploding it, with the concurrent loss of the TPAC performance spaces below.   Agree a sale is much more likely.    I'm sure the building does need utility upgrades to plumbing, elevator and probably electrical and communications, but the market will factor those into a sale price.  

As for the structure itself, I haven't heard any concerns about it being unsafe.    I know the exterior steel cantilever systems (photo below I took a few minutes ago from the roof of my office next door) were repaired and stabilized a few years ago.   All of the exterior glass panes were removed, replaced and resealed about two years ago.   I'd say it would still list as solid Class B office space.   

        

Polk 

 

 

Seems like you could cover that space in glass and have a cool rooftop meeting space/bar/restaurant.

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Seems like you could cover that space in glass and have a cool rooftop meeting space/bar/restaurant.

Call it "The Cantilever"

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You mean government screwed up the construction of a building?!  Whodathunk? 

You realize, of course, that they used private sector contractors to design and build it just like everyone else does?  

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William said he would look into it. I think taking it down would be less likely than selling it. If it were unstable, it would have collapsed by now. I do think besides Civic Buildings, The State Capital and the like, the state should not own buildings like The Snodgrass Tower, The Polk Tower, The Jackson Tower etc...because they do not have the money to keep them up until something happens. I would rather the state lease these buildings and not own them.

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Why, would have they done the renovation to TPAC if the building is to come down. Also TPAC is planning on using the space the State Museum is in as well. There is not enough time to take it down by then as they would have to have the new museum fully funded and finished and have a new location for TPAC.

 

I think your contact is jerking your chain John. He or she may know how to get a rise out of you.

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You realize, of course, that they used private sector contractors to design and build it just like everyone else does?  

Oh yes. I've been involved in many government contracts, and had to decipher everything required.  Rube Goldberg couldn't have made them more complex. 

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The thing that strikes me as interesting about this is that the state chose such an innovative (at least uncommon) design.  Government buildings, at least the office buildings, tend to be more conservative.

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Why, would have they done the renovation to TPAC if the building is to come down. Also TPAC is planning on using the space the State Museum is in as well. There is not enough time to take it down by then as they would have to have the new museum fully funded and finished and have a new location for TPAC.

 

I think your contact is jerking your chain John. He or she may know how to get a rise out of you.

No Ron, he is not jerking my chain. He is in senior management with the State and has been there 30 years. They are moving all the employees to Cordell Hull when that project is finished. It has also been reported by media other than William that Legislative Plaza was also condemned , and they are moving out as well. Several months ago we are all aware that the Polk Tower was evacuated because the building shook. He was told, and has the memo btw, that the building was worse than they thought so moving is a precautionary move. Yes, they can operate there over the next two years, but if it is not cost effective, it may be cheaper to replace the building rather than keep it.

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You mean government screwed up the construction of a building?!  Whodathunk? 

Actually, using a non-union contractor had as much to do with the poor quality of construction as any thing.  

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I think the city is also thinking on a larger levels of entertainment space tpac is also outdated we might could support a radio city music hall size 

Screenshots_2015-11-09-13-52-12.png

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Edited by chris holman

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Why hasn't this been in the local rags?  Perhaps it has, but I don't remember anything like this, and surely it would even make the news in the State section of the TFP here.  The OP mentions that someone who works in the building says it is going to be demo'd. I hear comments like "this old building is just going to fall apart" "this dump is falling to pieces" "why don't we just build a new building for the firm" etc. etc.  Not that I believe the building is solid... I have no idea about its construction.  Wouldn't something like this be "front page news"?  

Reports said the same thing about Cordell Hull, and then it was announced the state was planning to repair it.  So who is making these condemnation assessments for the state, and why haven't we heard at least the same for TPAC?  And I'm pretty sure, the building would never be demo'd until a replacement was found for the auditoriums. 

That's a decent revenue generator for the state; not to mention a "feel good" cultural asset.  

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No Ron, he is not jerking my chain. He is in senior management with the State and has been there 30 years. They are moving all the employees to Cordell Hull when that project is finished. It has also been reported by media other than William that Legislative Plaza was also condemned , and they are moving out as well. Several months ago we are all aware that the Polk Tower was evacuated because the building shook. He was told, and has the memo btw, that the building was worse than they thought so moving is a precautionary move. Yes, they can operate there over the next two years, but if it is not cost effective, it may be cheaper to replace the building rather than keep it.

The Plaza wasn't condemned per se.  I listened in on a few of those sessions. Rather, the state decided that if they were not going to tear down Cordell Hull (as originally planned), it would be more cost effective to upgrade it and use it for the legislature than to make repairs that would be required to maintain the Plaza.  The plan is to convert the plaza office space to an additional level of parking.  BTW, I find it unlikely that there will be any office space left over in Cordell Hull after the legislative staff relocates there.  This whole scenario still sounds improbable to me, but weirder things have happened.

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I think the city is also thinking on a larger levels of entertainment space tpac is also outdated we might could support a radio city music hall size 

Screenshots_2015-11-09-13-52-12.png

Screenshots_2015-11-09-13-47-06.png

This always irritates me when people announce some venue is outdated and we need a new stadium or theater or whatever  when the current one is no longer the latest style.  I go to Jackson Hall all the time and it's fine.  Give it a few more years and it'll feel historic.

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The public spaces in Tennessee Performing Arts Center are quite serviceable after the latest round of updates. As someone who works backstage often at TPAC and at other such venues across North America, I can tell you that the areas behind the curtains are overdue some attention! The situation is not critical, but the dressing rooms, restrooms, work/office spaces and ventilation of those areas is in need of renovation. It does, however, have a lovely star dressing room after Dolly hosted the debut of the 9 to 5 musical tour here a few years ago.

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I am not very impressed with TPAC. Paducah, KY, has a much more impressive (although smaller) venue than Nashville does for large productions.  It may be serviceable in the sense that it can host large productions, but it isn't awe-inspiring or modern. That being said, I would probably choose some other things to invest in before I invested in a performing arts center to replace TPAC. 

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