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billpa

New Federal Courthouse

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Hello everyone, my first post here...Just a note about the Feds in Harrisburg on July 14th to get public feedback about just where a new federal courthouse will be built.

There are three sites they're considering; the worst site, in my opinion, would take away six blocks beginning across the street from the PA state museum; the neighborhood in question is in stark contrast to the large gray state office buildings nearby; it's home to small townhouses, nice restaurants, a few gay bars and other amenities that would be hard to replace.

The new courthouse will be slightly more than 262 thousand square feet, but because of 9/11 needs all sorts of buffer room all around it.

The new courthouse has not been designed, but with eight courtrooms it could be long and eight stories or not so long and 14 floors.

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Very good info billpa, and by the way welcome to the forum, hope you like it here.

Do you happen to have a link to any stories or pics of the proposed designs? I would rather see it be 14 floors, I think Pennsylvania is getting left behind with the skyscraper thing, though we once were a skyscraper leader, Pittsburgh now is coming out with VERY good very well designed and even "green" structures but alas only 6 to 10 floors tall :(. Philadelphia should have a 1,000 footer by now and really hasn't seen anything major being built there since 1990. That is great news for Harrisburg, I hope it becomes a major metro one day similar to what Columbus Ohio has been doing the past few decades. Keep us posted :)

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There is no design yet, but in some of the federal literature they showed pics of newer courthouses from around the country; My favorite is the one in Seattle.

Here's a story on the whole thing from the Hbg Patriot News.

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You guys in Hburg are lucking out big time with a project like that ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, IF they don't destroy a nice neighborhood in the process.

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Philadelphia should have a 1,000 footer by now and really hasn't seen anything major being built there since 1990.

What? There are several significant projects under construction right now. I guess buildings under a 1,000 feet don't count anymore.

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Very good info billpa, and by the way welcome to the forum, hope you like it here.

Do you happen to have a link to any stories or pics of the proposed designs?  I would rather see it be 14 floors, I think Pennsylvania is getting left behind with the skyscraper thing, though we once were a skyscraper leader, Pittsburgh now is coming out with VERY good very well designed and even "green" structures but alas only 6 to 10 floors tall :(.  Philadelphia should have a 1,000 footer by now and really hasn't seen anything major being built there since 1990.  That is great news for Harrisburg, I hope it becomes a major metro one day similar to what Columbus Ohio has been doing the past few decades.  Keep us posted :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've always wondered why Philadelphia, with a population of over 1 million, has not yet had a 1,000 footer or above; I guess the economy and demand does not, at present dictate it.

You must have a viable "need" for a 1,000 footer before building it. In my opinion, the economy thing probably is one of the primary reasons Philly does not have a 1,000 footer. Philly, along with Pittsburgh, has been losing population along with a sagging economy; thus no significant skyscraper building or any scrapers over 1,000 feet (you have two 900 footers right?).

FLORIDA SKYRISE ORDER

FLORIDA SKYRISE ORDER

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I've always wondered why Philadelphia, with a population of over 1 million, has not yet had a 1,000 footer or above; I guess the economy and demand does not, at present dictate it.

You must have a viable "need" for a 1,000 footer before building it.  In my opinion, the economy thing probably is one of the primary reasons Philly does not have a 1,000 footer.  Philly, along with Pittsburgh, has been losing population along with a sagging economy; thus no significant skyscraper building or any scrapers over 1,000 feet (you have two 900 footers right?).

The new Comcast building will certainly be well above 900 feet; I believe only one other PA skyscraper reaches above 900- Liberty Place's spire.

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You must have a viable "need" for a 1,000 footer before building it.  In my opinion, the economy thing probably is one of the primary reasons Philly does not have a 1,000 footer.  Philly, along with Pittsburgh, has been losing population along with a sagging economy; thus no significant skyscraper building or any scrapers over 1,000 feet (you have two 900 footers right?).

FLORIDA SKYRISE ORDER

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Philly is indeed reviewing plans for the Comcast Tower to be above 1,000 feet. Both the cities of Pittsburgh and Philly might be losing population but the overall metro areas (one and the same for most "sunbelt" cities like land gobbling Phoenix and Jacksonville and Tampa) are actually growing in Philadelphia and if I was looking at the right stat staying status quo (not loosing any more population) for Pittsburgh. For a time there in the 1980s and for the western part of the state the 1990s there was definelty an exodus but things are turing around big for the Keystone state, it's not Las Vegas or Orlando yet but it certainly isn't the old "rust belt" punch lines anymore.

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I've always wondered why Philadelphia, with a population of over 1 million, has not yet had a 1,000 footer or above; I guess the economy and demand does not, at present dictate it.

You must have a viable "need" for a 1,000 footer before building it.  In my opinion, the economy thing probably is one of the primary reasons Philly does not have a 1,000 footer.  Philly, along with Pittsburgh, has been losing population along with a sagging economy; thus no significant skyscraper building or any scrapers over 1,000 feet (you have two 900 footers right?).

FLORIDA SKYRISE ORDER

FLORIDA SKYRISE ORDER

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's not just the current economy that matters, but the future as well. The higher a building is the more suseptible it is to economic fluctuations. The marginal cost of maintaining each additional floor rises after the building gets too high, so the lease prices can't go down to meet low demand as easily as for a shorter building. It's very hard for them to compete against smaller buildings without taking a huge loss in a bad economy. The clients for these buildings are very weary of being able to rent out all the real-estate over the next however-many years just to break even.

In the end keeping a height limit in a city is really akin to good economic discipline and that buzzword "sustainability." Also remember that super-tall skyscrapers are a product of Modern urban planning which went hand in hand with the 10-lane arteries that tore through what used to be walkable cities and the spread of suburbia. That in itself turned out to be an unsustainable process because the spread of suburbia further and further out made way for the office parks and "edge towns" that cut off demand for buildings in the city's center. This also makes tall buildings doubly vulnerable to high oil prices, by the way, which is a good reason why you really need New York's subway system to have New York's skyscrapers.

So unfortunately for the time being we have to wait for Post-Modernism and New Urbanism to fix the major flaws of the Modern era by making our city centers walkable and liveable again, and then we'll start seeing a more a sustainable market for tall buildings outside of derranged gazillionare investors and corrupt monopolist corporations.

-blue black cat

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Ok one more thing, sorry my brain's getting tired cos its late... A good mass transit system is a difficult thing to finance because the best time to fund it happens to be when it's the least attractive versus cars. So I guess cities might be inclined to screw themselves over by building tall buildings during strong years without adaquately addressing the transportation issues to help weather out the bad years. Then they find themselves struggling to fill in the gap and pay for long-needed expansion of mass transit when the budget So again you need really good economic discipline to cut down on the tall buildings while beefing up the less-glorious aspects of infastructure.

-blue black cat

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blueblack, I wouldn't ever put skyscrapers above infrastructure but 'scrapers are still important for civic pride/vistas/tourism etc. Pyongyang (sp) is a clear example of what you are fearing, where there are skyscrapers built a decade ago that remain unoccupied. I think in some ways cities like Pittsburgh and Philly might even have a ratio of too much infrastructure to skyscrapers when compared to cities like LA or Miami.

Harrisburg should strike while the iron is hot though, fed funds have a way of evaporating. Infrastructure is very important but it is only serving its purpose with something built on top of it's support. :)

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