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krazeeboi

Now THIS is what Charleston should look like today

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Personally, with people moving to Charleston because they like the size of the city (I hear this reason a lot), I'm not sure why we should try to be the size of Boston. Isn't there a place in this world for great small cities as well as big ones? Just my two cents...

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I think its fun to imagine what Charleston would have looked like if it had embraced the industrial revolution like its northern sisters. It would be very different, that is for sure. The neck area would probably have a lot more of those extremely large factories and smoke stacks, and you'd probably see more development like downtown in West Ashley and Mount Pleasant.

There is something about Charleston today though, mainly downtown, that still feels like a much larger city. The lack of skyscrapers does not detract from that feeling at all. Thankfully Charleston has a mayor who understands what good urban form is, and isn't afraid to tell people no.

I, for one, have no problem with this:

Charleston_CP_image01.jpg

:shades:

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There is something about Charleston today though, mainly downtown, that still feels like a much larger city. The lack of skyscrapers does not detract from that feeling at all. Thankfully Charleston has a mayor who understands what good urban form is, and isn't afraid to tell people no.

This is very true. Just got back from a visit to Tampa/St. Petes and I must say Charleston's downtown comparatively was much more interesting/active around the clock than these two cities. Though St. Petes has a nice downtown, Tampas was just a corporate dt with little to do except in certain fringes spreadout around the area.

--

I visit Boston frequently and everytime I come back home to Charleston I think of what it would have been like had things been different over the years. I love an extremely dense midrise look over a few tall highrises.

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That is a great photo, Krazee, as well as a good picture of what Charleston could have become. I don't know if I would want my hometown to have that many buildings, though. Maybe something along the lines of Boston's skyline, but not extremely bunched together. Picture a few taller midrises of Boston added to the current skyline of Chas, then add 4 or 5 highrises (45 stories, max). That would be the final product of a fancy, urban DT...this could be done all north of Calhoun Street, thereby preserving the historic DT area.

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That is a great photo, Krazee, as well as a good picture of what Charleston could have become. I don't know if I would want my hometown to have that many buildings, though. Maybe something along the lines of Boston's skyline, but not extremely bunched together. Picture a few taller midrises of Boston added to the current skyline of Chas, then add 4 or 5 highrises (45 stories, max). That would be the final product of a fancy, urban DT...this could be done all north of Calhoun Street, thereby preserving the historic DT area.

Charleston's skyline seems discumbobulated (sp) to me, out of balance. And I can't make the design of the Charles Ravenel Bridge fit with the rest of Charleston's look for anything. I prefer Columbia's pictureque skyline from the west end of the Gervais Street Bridge (really called the Congaree River Bridge), which is a gorgeous bridge built to last and last and last.

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Perhaps Charleston could have something of a skyline that resembles one of its other former peer cities, Baltimore.

Baltimore-Harbor.jpg

baltimore.jpg

baltimore_8_03_0037.jpg

Great skyline against the harbor.

Don't get me wrong, I love Charleston's low rise urbanity, but it would be cool to have seen some height go along with that down throughout the years.

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I don't personally care for Baltimore's skyline that much. Charleston should not embrace the mega highrise skyline approach. Some moderate density would be ok, and probably desirable. Not much taller than the Francis Marion though.

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You guys sure are hard to please. :)

How tall is the Francis Marion?

OK, two more similar examples, which should really serve as a compromise:

Norfolk

20040504_4324.jpg

Richmond (truly one of Charleston's former contemporaries)

richmondnight.jpg

Richmond's skyline in particular gives you density without a whole lot of height. I really like their skyline.

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You guys sure are hard to please. :)

How tall is the Francis Marion?

OK, two more similar examples, which should really serve as a compromise:

Norfolk

Richmond (truly one of Charleston's former contemporaries)

Richmond's skyline in particular gives you density without a whole lot of height. I really like their skyline.

I want to say its around 120 ft and 8 or 9 stories, but I am not sure exactly.

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Francis Marion is actually 12 stories. It is considered one of the first Charleston highrises (technically midrise) and it was originally built in the early 1900s.

I'm sorry Spartan, I have to disagree with you. I think Chas needs a more definitive skyline that would not trample the skyline of the historic district. If you build midrises similar to the Francis Marion as you're suggesting, you end up with a skyline that looks like a plateau...actually, the skyline of Chas looks that way now!

Krazee, you have my vote on either Baltimore's or Richmond's skyline. :thumbsup: Those 2 cities are also Charleston's contemporaries, and I believe that a skyline on the water only enhances the beauty of the city. If anything, my hometown should emulate Baltimore's skyline...not too many buildings like Boston, but enough density and diversity in height to give it a classic appearance. BTW, I don't think I'm too hard to please! ;)

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The problem there is that would not happen downtown. Maybe in the Neck area... Creating something like Baltimore would involve tearing out a great deal of the historic buildings (like Baltimore did) to build the modern towers. Can you imagine the protests against something of that magnitude?

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Oh no, I don't think anyone is advocating that. I didn't necessarily mean that the towers should be on the waterfront in the downtown area...but it would be cool seeing some scattered about the medical district to create a skyline as you cross the new bridge.

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^ That's what I was thinking. Of course, even I'd be opposed to building highrises around the Battery and lower sections of DT, but the medical district and around the baseball and football stadiums would be excellent...these could be extended up to and around the Neck. Considering that Charleston is virtually surrounded by water, the buildings would still reflect their lights and beauty with the Ashley River.

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Yeah it should, Charleston was the Boston of the South. it was left in the dust. its catchin up though :D

Without Harvard, MIT, etc., Boston wouldn't have amounted to much. Charleston never had those kind of institutions, unfortunately.

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Charleston's skyline seems discumbobulated (sp) to me, out of balance. And I can't make the design of the Charles Ravenel Bridge fit with the rest of Charleston's look for anything. I prefer Columbia's pictureque skyline from the west end of the Gervais Street Bridge (really called the Congaree River Bridge), which is a gorgeous bridge built to last and last and last.

I have an issue with this. The skyline is only out of balance because it depends on where you look at it. And I'm sorry, but Gervais Street Bridge does not hold a candle to the new Ravenel Bridge. It shows beauty, grace, and strength altogether. This new bridge has been built to last through the next century. It is the South's Golden Gate!

Charleston's skyline is also accented with the bodies of water around it. The Ashley and Cooper Rivers enhance the city as a destination. What Krazee is suggesting would only improve the urban setting of Chas as a coastal city and make a more powerful statement about the city's true urban character. If more skyscrapers were added to Chas with the new bridge, the skyline would be truly remarkable.

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i hope you are right charlestonnative. towers would be the "icing on the cake" for the best city in the usa. however with the idiots that make up city council and the preservation panels it might be a tough fight. maybe it will be easier in the neck area. a lot of the leaders in chas are stuck on this notion of chas remaining a low rise city that towers would make chas look like anycity usa.

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i hope you are right charlestonnative. towers would be the "icing on the cake" for the best city in the usa. however with the idiots that make up city council and the preservation panels it might be a tough fight. maybe it will be easier in the neck area. a lot of the leaders in chas are stuck on this notion of chas remaining a low rise city that towers would make chas look like anycity usa.

Oh I know, and it is exasperating to say the least. These people just don't get the importance of having a significant skyline. Impressions of Chas are still that it is a small town by the sea, even with the medical complex and apartment mid-rises. And the preservationists and city council that over-react to new buildings demonstrate obstructionism and a phobia of change. Can you believe the stupidity of these people that are against the building of the new hotels around Marion Square?! They consistently state that these buildings will "loom" over the park, but what do they think the Francis Marion Hotel does? :wacko:

If the architecture and planning for towers are done carefully and correctly, I believe an impressive skyline can be achieved in and around the medical district and Lockwood Blvd. Then, an uptown can be built in the Neck area with taller towers...though I'm wondering when these people are going to want to extend the height ordinance up that direction.

First impressions of a city are made through its skyline. It is a visual demonstration of how urban and modern a city is. If we want Chas to gain more respect as a modern business destination, we need to have city officials who can be for preservation of some structures but also who can see the city as having the potential for a great urban landscape in a taller skyline.

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