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Monroe Tower


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2 hours ago, Downtowner said:

I have said this since the day they mentioned demo for the Monroe tower.  There is no good way to demo this. You take it down piece by piece and the amount and cost of labor is going to be through the roof. You implode it being right next to 95 if a bunch of chunks of debris fall on to 95 even if it’s closed and damage 95 your looking at a lot of fines being handed out to whoever implodes it if 95 gets damaged. As a matter of fact I think that’s where 95 starts to get elevated to go over the James River right where the Monroe tower is. Your looking at a lot of issues either way trying to take this sucker down. There’s literally  no good way to take this down.

I have a solution ;D. Let’s just bulldoze I-95, that way the Monroe tower could be torn down, the street grid could be restored and it could be appealing for residential development. While we’re at it, let’s tear out the downtown expressway from city stadium to its current terminus!!! If only.

 

As far as Monroe, I’m a historic preservation major so I like to think I have alittle more knowledge than the layman when it comes to preserving such a building from a government perspective. However, don’t count me in with the idiot “preservationists” in the fan that get mad when a parking lot is bulldozed because it has “character”, not all of us are like that. Being built in the 1980s, Monroe isn’t legally old enough to qualify for any government preservation programs such as the NR or historic districts”(threshold is 50 years), so there is no legal standing that could be used to prevent the state from knocking it down.
 

As much as I’d agree that I’d love to see the building redeveloped, I don’t think it would be financially feasible for a developer to do so, as it would take an absolutely massive amount of money to do. I-95 is such an eyesore and it makes any development between the state capital and MSS difficult because of navigating around the highways (hence me constantly wanting them torn down). As far as demolition, my bet is they’d do something like what was done with James river plaza and put a large debris screen up on the east side of the building, then close down I-95 for an hour or so but I could be very wrong, not a demolition expert.
 

 

 

Edited by blopp1234
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13 minutes ago, blopp1234 said:

I have a solution ;D. Let’s just bulldoze I-95, that way the Monroe tower could be torn down, the street grid could be restored and it could be appealing for residential development. While we’re at it, let’s tear out the downtown expressway from city stadium to its current terminus!!! If only.

 

As far as Monroe, I’m a historic preservation major so I like to think I have alittle more knowledge than the layman when it comes to preserving such a building from a government perspective. However, don’t count me in with the idiot “preservationists” in the fan that get mad when a parking lot is bulldozed because it has “character”, not all of us are like that. Being built in the 1980s, Monroe isn’t legally old enough to qualify for any government preservation programs such as the NR or historic districts”(threshold is 50 years), so there is no legal standing that could be used to prevent the state from knocking it down.
 

As much as I’d agree that I’d love to see the building redeveloped, I don’t think it would be financially feasible for a developer to do so, as it would take an absolutely massive amount of money to do. I-95 is such an eyesore and it makes any development between the state capital and MSS difficult because of navigating around the highways (hence me constantly wanting them torn down). As far as demolition, my bet is they’d do something like what was done with James river plaza and put a large debris screen up on the east side of the building, then close down I-95 for an hour or so but I could be very wrong, not a demolition expert.
 

 

 

Yeah - 50 years being a threshold makes sense. So City Hall gets in under that window. The Monroe Building doesn't (not yet, anyway).

Okay - thank GOD you're not one of the lunatics, even though you majored in historic preservation.

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2 hours ago, Shakman said:

It's a blessing that the backbone of the East Coast comes through Richmond.  I say keep I-95 so people can see and stop in Richmond.  We need all the exposure we can get.  I see plates from states all along the I-95 corridor.  We just need to get them to stop and visit.

Perhaps they could stop and visit that shiny new casi...

oh wait...

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2 hours ago, Shakman said:

It's a blessing that the backbone of the East Coast comes through Richmond.  I say keep I-95 so people can see and stop in Richmond.  We need all the exposure we can get.  I see plates from states all along the I-95 corridor.  We just need to get them to stop and visit.

Not for nothing, but I’ve always found it weird that 85 just stops in Petersburg. It could’ve veered west and acted much like the western bypass that 288 is, or else it could’ve decked with 95 thru the city and carried on much as 301 does now as a Potomac bypass.

I know Interstate highways only go as far as they’re funded, or less than that if community opposition is strong enough, but this one’s always been weird.

Edited by DowntownCoruscant
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17 hours ago, DowntownCoruscant said:

Not for nothing, but I’ve always found it weird that 85 just stops in Petersburg. It could’ve veered west and acted much like the western bypass that 288 is, or else it could’ve decked with 95 thru the city and carried on much as 301 does now as a Potomac bypass.

I know Interstate highways only go as far as they’re funded, or less than that if community opposition is strong enough, but this one’s always been weird.

SInce Richmond's expressways ended up being built anyway, I've never understood why I-85 didn't just come all the way north, staying west through/near Blackstone and then curving in to follow the path of both the Powhite Parkway (including today's proposed extension route) and the Downtown Expressway, linking up with I-95 and I-64 downtown. I-195 (or perhaps it would have been configured I-185) would have followed the path it took north/south along the Beltline.

I've long held that having THREE interstate highways intersect downtown actually might have spurred growth in RVA (at least the metro if not also downtown with the potential for increased business development) the way other cities actually came to benefit from being an intersection point of three major interstate travel arteries. Moreover, with RVA as the terminus of I-85 (instead of Petersburg) - then for the entire northbound length of the highway, from Montgomery, Alabama through Atlanta through Charlotte and all points in between, there would be no question that if one took I-85 as far north as it went, one ended up in RICHMOND -- which in even just a psychological way, puts RVA out there as a "destination" in a manner of speaking. At least in the 60s and 70s, it can be argued that downtown/central Atlanta benefitted from having three interstates (I-75, I-85 and I-20) rather than just two. I realize that sounds counterintuitive, given how we know the interstate highway system did, in fact, decimate dense urban neighborhoods of many cities. But increased traffic -- even if it's only pass-through traffic -- especially 40, 50 or 60 years ago, might have acted as some manner of "free advertising" -- motorists pass through and "see" the city - even if it's only the skyline. At least during that span of time in the '60s and '70s, I think the impact might have been significant in getting -- and keeping -- the name "Richmond" out there more prominently.

Not that I am a proponent of the interstate highways, particularly given what happened to central cities as a result of their construction -- but I am a proponent of creating synergy. I believe it can be argued that downtown Atlanta benefitted from the synergy of three interstate routes connecting there in a way it would not have had there been only two.

Again, I know this is counterintuitive, but I think the intersection of three highways in a city is actually better than the intersection of only two.

Edited by I miss RVA
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The Monroe building will boil down to the cost to convert it and the most efficient way to get a return on the investment by a new owner, which could also be start over, I assume both will be looked at.

If it financially makes sense, I can see this building being reused in a future development, here are a few ideas.

1. Remove the parking deck all the way around.  This, to me, is the biggest help for this structure.

2. Extend the tower to street level in the same shape and design.

3. Gut the interior, top to bottom.

4. Bury some new parking, build a smaller deck if required and utilize adjacent deck parking if possible.

5. Replace all windows with new and reskin the framing of the windows, the N/S/E/W verticals. 

6. Create some green spaces.

7. Build smaller adjacent building(s) street level, more housing, restaurants, a continuation of main street style, shop after shop.

 

 

 

 

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