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Lansing architecture

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In Lansing it seems we just can't break from this era of Postmodern architecture, to me "postmodern" is all to often a cheap rip-off of classical architecture, actually it is often an embarrasment too it. In Lansing, not only has all recent new construction been postmodern, it has been almost all by Hobbs & Black. Even the proposed condos/apartments at Shiwassee & Grand were origionally proposed to be a postmodern, Hobbs/Black design (given that was in 2002 and the project has been rumored to have changed significantly, the developers have been tight lipped.) I think we could really use a major modern or futurist styled building. Here is a listing of recent postmodern projects:

By Hobbs/Black-

Anderson House Office Building This one is really cheaply done, with the exception of the back windows.

71anderson_house_face.jpg

Capitol View probably my least favorite.

7111__completed__capitol_view_tower.jpg

Grand Tower While not really postmodern, still quite plain.

7122_grand_tower_building.jpg

Victor Office Center Still not postmodern, just thought I would point out that the Grand Tower would of looked much better with these corner windows.

71vic.jpg

Other Architects-

Michigan Hall of Justice OK this one is nice, right down to the REAL limestone facade.

Hall-of-Justice.jpg

Constitution Hall Very cheap, very plain, except the atrium, which dosen't do much for the outside.

7128_525_west_allegan_street.jpg

Cooley Center This building was rennovated, looks kind of awkward, and funny. Everything is way too big.

CooleyCtr05.jpg

Capitol Tower Not the worst, but still nothing special.

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Yeah, the architects of most of Lansing's modern and postmodern architecture haven't that creative at all. All of the newer buildings seem to be bland, but that's what you can expect of many capitol cities architecture. Personally, unless more people take interest in downtown we'll continue to have these mediocre designs because no one is crying out against this mediocre architecture.

I can't get over how the city just let the Boji's TOTALLY change and scale back the design of the Capitol View Building.

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The Capitol View (formerly Boji Complex) was supposed to look like this:

252037.jpg

They shortend it by 2 stories and totally scaled down the design and architecture. They thought that the building was going to be a hard sell only finding out that after they had got most of it done that they could lease the entire building out within a few months. It will be a nearly 100% occupancy when it opens.

I know, the irony.

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Having grown up and lived in Lansing all my life, I can say that the view has never changed. The only exception would be when The Grand Tower was built in the 90's. Lansing needs some new heighth. We need two or three 16-20 story buildings to update an old, dying skyline that has too many 8-12 story structures. It's too bad the local economy is in shambles right now.

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To tell you the truth Lansing is a nice little city, but many of the people here have the mindset that if it's not broke don't fix it. This has lead to a very stagnant city. We're seeing large-scale housing projects that we haven't seen in decades, but there is really no demand for true high-rise development.

At this moment, the very last thing most Lansinger's (Lansingite's?) are concerned about is the skyline, or even downtown as sad as that is. I'm really hopping Virg becomes mayor. I have a feeling that he can put Hollister's dreams back on track and then add some. I like his slogan "Making downtown Lansing the downtown of Mid-Michigan." He seems to understand that this needs to be regional.

Statedude, how long have you been on the boards? It's good to see another forumer from Lansing. So far, you're number 3. lol

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Statedude, how long have you been on the boards?  It's good to see another forumer from Lansing.  So far, you're number 3.  lol

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've been on here for about 3 months now, but spend most of my time on the Metro Detroit board. I am literally obsessed with Detroit, and will be moving there to start my new non-profit business (see signature below).

Actually, I am very suprised at the housing boom around town. I live in the Waverly Rd./Mt Hope Rd. area and I think we're the only corner of the city that does not have housing on the way (mostly becuase there is no room over here). I didnt think Saginaw Street would be the center of such a boom...It's kinda off track from other urban developments where you see things begin at the city center and move outward. I will be interested to see what happens in the time following the "Stadium District" development Gillespe is working on near the ballpark.

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I've been in contact with Pat Gillespie via email for awhile. He's VERY optimistic about the what could happen downtown and wants to be a part of it. I'm not sure if you're aware, but along with the Prudden Apartments under construction (going up faster than any development I've seen in the city in awhile), and the Stadium District (which he says is now moving along full-speed after the council put him on hold because of the budget discussions), he also has plans drawn up for up-scale housing at the parking lot at Capitol and Shiawassee, and a concept for the Ottawa and Butler parcel near the northwestern end of downtown Lansing. He's a busy man, as you can see.

Also, a district has been created on Saginaw Street between MLK and Pine, for facade improvement grants. This is easily the most blighted commercial/retail strip in the city and hopefully, the owners over that way (or future owners since a lot of the strip is vacant) will take advantage.

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Gillespe is doing wonderful things for Lansing, I hope they keep things going for a while! I am curious to see if the revitalization of REO town continues. The commercial block where the plant used to be (between South st. and Baker st. and Washington ave. and Cedar st.) would be a great location for new residential development. The entire block is currently zoned as commercial, but I would not be suprised to see someone try and get that changed. I also heard that the old train station which had been a restauraunt and nightclub is slated to be reopened in the coming months...not sure of any more details on the project though, as far as I have noticed the entire place is still boarded up.

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Actually, I think most of the old REO factory site is zoned light commercial (as it should be). I can't see anyone wanting to live surrounded by factories and wharehouses, and most of the land is nearly filled, anyway. What could work in REO Town is some good infill housing in the Riverpoint Neighborhood just to the east. There is also minimal loft space going up of already completed above the storefronts in REO Town.

What's supposed to be going into the train station? The last rumors I heard (earlier this year, in fact), I heard that a few museums were looking to consolidate there which would be a great idea for REO Town opening up the riverfront land south of the Lansing Center to new development.

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I heard from a friend of mine who works for a small development firm that the people that are restoring the lofts near the St. Vincent store (dont know the name of the building, but it was an old ford dealership) were interested in putting in a restauraunt or club in the train station. I gotta get back in the Lansing scene before I try to speak about stuff too much more though.

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I think the old train station would make a great club, but using it for the museums would hurt downtown, and REOtown isn't the greatest place to put museums at anyways, I always thought those museums should start fundraising and applying for grants to build a new museum over by the state historical musem, we could really use to liven the west side of downtown, I always thought that opening back up all the streets in the capitol complex would be great, but I know that won't happen :( . Have you ever seen what used to line W. Michigan and the rest of those now gone or empty blocks over there? I haven't seen any pics, but from looking at the sanboern maps there appears to have been many 3-4 story apartment buildings and row houses, it's kind of messed up since we no longer have any of that kind of stuff around.

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I've always envisioned lots of retail in front of the Hall of Justice and behind the rest of the Capitol Complex lining the small pedway that connects the Hall of Justice with the Capitol Complex. Currently there is literally a handful of businesses (and I'm not sure any retail) west of Capitol Avenue downtown, and that's really a crime. Currently, office workers have to either walk all the way to Washington Square for lunch, or bring their own.

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I think that once Lansings downtown gets going, which it is starting too, these thing will just come naturally. We need to start with the easy, hard to fail at projects. We desperately need to expand the Lansing Center and build a major hotel, around 500 rooms, a little larger than the new Mariott in GR. And if successful, which I'm sure it will be, another hotel of equal size will come, there goes the addition(s) to our skyline :). Then we can truely begin to work on highrise housing, 12+ stories and 150+ units. Then after we can get one hotel and one large housing project we can build momentum and there you have it, projects coming left and right, thats IF we can get the ball rolling.

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We need two or three 16-20 story buildings to update an old, dying skyline that has too many 8-12 story structures.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Those 8-12 story buildings may be dissapointing right now, but will create some very nice infill when/if Lansing's downtown takes off. If a city can have 8-12 story building become lost in its skyline or go unnoticed on the street then that city has acheived true urban density. Lansing will have it's 8-12 story buildings as infill where most mid-size cities have 5-8 story buildings as infill. Right now thoght these buildings are just an annoyance, they act as a Lansings major and primary buildings, and they are still a noticeable part of the skyline. Hopefully with new housing, one or two new hotels, and one more state building (up to 17 stories tall, but is now in budget limbo), Lansing can finaly get some additions to it's skyline.

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Seems like Lansing is starting to finally grow, not long ago it was just Grand Rapids ( nice city, don't know how Lansing got behind). Lansing downtown seems not to have that much architec, but it has all the potential. It also seems to lack a little culture downtown.

Gillespie group seems to be doing a lot of projects in Lansing, basically all that I've heard of for the city.

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