Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

DigitalSky

Proximity Hotel

137 posts in this topic

I just saw something about land being cleared for this hotel on FOX8 News but I haven't seen much more around here. Anyone got info? Thx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I saw it on Fox 8 too. Its suppose to be as large as the O'Henry Hotel and is planned to be 8-stories. The Proximity Hotel will stand in close proximity to the O'Henry Hotel (no pun intended), off of Wendover Ave and also near Lorillard Tobbaco corporate headquarters. This website will kep you informed on the Proximity

http://www.proximityhotel.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Citiboi, how do you always have the lastest info on what's going on in Greensboro? Are you a developer? Oh yeah thanks for the info on the hotel b/c I wanted to know abot it also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Citiboi, how do you always have the lastest info on what's going on in Greensboro? Are you a developer? Oh yeah thanks for the info on the hotel b/c I wanted to know abot it also.

No i'm not a developer. I'm just an ordinary citizen that keeps tabs on the news and planned developments around town.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No i'm not a developer. I'm just an ordinary citizen that keeps tabs on the news and planned developments around town.

:)

Do you know if they are still planning on building a new hotel DT?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


They should have just rounded the proximity off to 10 stories. Its kinda like the Koury Convention Center. They built the second tower with 28-stories when they could have built it with 30-stories. Technically a bulding under 10-stories is not considered a high-rise. That would make the Proximity a midrise hotel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

renderingFeb06Big.jpg

It does resemble a textile mill. I like the way the hotel logo was used on the windows of the upper floor. This would have been a great building near South Elm Street in downtown Greensboro. Instead they are building it near an office park 3 miles northwest of downtown.

Construction has already started and should be complete by mid 2007. In the photo below, if you look carefully, you can see the O'Henry Hotel in the background. The O'Henry and Proximity both are owned by the same company. The Proximty, like the O'Henry will have its own restaurant. I do like the fact that Greensboro is building more home brand named hotels such as the Proximity, Grandover and the O'Henry rather than Holiday Inn or Hampton Inns

april13.jpg

Here is the O'Henry Hotel by comparison. Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson all stayed at the O'Henry when the American Idol auditions were in Greensboro. The hotel has a London Taxi service so Simon must have felt at home. The O'Henry and Grandover are the top two luxurious hotels in Greensboro.

Exterior%20big.jpg

This hotel has all the luxury of a Ritz Carlton Hotel

lobbybig06.jpg

Grill%20Big.jpg

Bar%20Big.jpg

Courtyard%20Big.jpg

taxi%20big.jpg

mm%20big.jpg

lobbysquare.jpg

Pool%20big.jpg

Garden3%20Big.jpg

Corner%20Big%203.jpg

Corner%20Big.jpg

Its very hard to believe this hotel is in a shopping center. We should expect the same kind of quality with the Proximity.

Here is a picture of the origional O'Henry Hotel in downtown Greensboro. It was built in 1916 and was demolished in 1979. I was a year old when the building was demolished so I was to young too have remembered it. Currently the Bellemeade Parking Deck sits in its place at the corner of North Elm St and Bellemeade St.

original%20big.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

renderingFeb06Big.jpg

It does resemble a textile mill.

Looks like a parking garage to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very instructive collection of pictures, because they provide a testament to how broken development practice is in Greensboro.

The Proximity looks like a prison, except that the big, low-slung modernist canopy in front of the main entrance lets you know that this building is designed to be part of Auto Slum Nation, not a real community.

Next, the current O Henry is luxurious, but the public realm is so degraded, does it even matter? The present O Henry is trapped in a sea of parking and suburban dendritus with a 7-year design life. The O Henry isn't about luxury, it's about trying to pretend you're not really staying at a frypit-covered highway intersection in Greensboro.

Google Satellite View of Current O Henry Area

The fact that the original O Henry was demolished to install a parking deck shows you how little care Greensboro gave to its history and architectural heritage. Maybe this is changing with the care being paid to downtown, but the Proximity is a reminder that outside of our urban cores, which people are slowly realizing have value, most of the stuff being built in NC urban areas continues to be of low quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so that's what that crane is for! i was wondering what they're doing over there. the o.henry is a nice place to stay. green valley grill is a decent restaurant as well. get the potato leek soup! it's super yummy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur: it does look like a parking garage regardless of any architecture ties to the region's textile past. I also agree that the O'Henry. beautiful as it is, could have been built downtown as one of the main focal points of the downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an architect, I have to be an advocate of good architecture and this hotel's design is not good architecture. I know this will be provocative, but not only is the Proximity Hotel ugly, so too are the O'Henry and Grandover. I don't understand why so much bad architecture gets built in Greensboro and NC in general - did anyone involved in these projects actually go to architecture school?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


As an architect, I have to be an advocate of good architecture and this hotel's design is not good architecture. I know this will be provocative, but not only is the Proximity Hotel ugly, so too are the O'Henry and Grandover. I don't understand why so much bad architecture gets built in Greensboro and NC in general - did anyone involved in these projects actually go to architecture school?

I agree with your comments on architecture in NC. But the more I see what comes out of architectural schools, the more I think that they are institutions that can adequately credential people to build structures that will stand up, but nothing more.

John Massengale, a noted architect and new urbanist, has been flaying Tulane Archiecture Dean Reed Kroloff for weeks now, and his criticisms are right on the money. Massengale on Kroloff

Kroloff represents the pinnacle of the establishment in architecture, which is to say that he is, in fact, a complete idiot when it comes to thinking about how people actually live.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It (the Proximity Hotel) looks like a bunch of giant stackable crates to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an architect, I have to be an advocate of good architecture and this hotel's design is not good architecture. I know this will be provocative, but not only is the Proximity Hotel ugly, so too are the O'Henry and Grandover. I don't understand why so much bad architecture gets built in Greensboro and NC in general - did anyone involved in these projects actually go to architecture school?

I do not know why you consider the O'Henry hotel bad architecture. I have only driven past it on Wendover but if these pictures are illustrative of the interior and exterior then it is a step above most hotels I have been in and I have been in quite a few in my life. It is distinctive and not all like the econbox hotels like the Marriotts or Sheratons which I think are cheap hotels masquerating as upscale establishments whose only driving feature is location and perhaps service.

For Winston, we only have the Marriott and Embassy Suites (both ex-Adam's Mark) downtown as the best that Winston has to offer. There is probably not enough of a market to justify a really distinctive luxury hotel in Winston but the bed and breakfast inns downtown do compensate somewhat if you are looking for an alternative choice for accomdations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with your comments on architecture in NC. But the more I see what comes out of architectural schools, the more I think that they are institutions that can adequately credential people to build structures that will stand up, but nothing more.

John Massengale, a noted architect and new urbanist, has been flaying Tulane Archiecture Dean Reed Kroloff for weeks now, and his criticisms are right on the money. Massengale on Kroloff

Kroloff represents the pinnacle of the establishment in architecture, which is to say that he is, in fact, a complete idiot when it comes to thinking about how people actually live.

Personally, I support the general urban planning tenets of "New Urbanism." I support dense, compact, walkable, mixed-use cities - which is why I have chosen to live in cities like Copenhagen, Washington, DC and New York. I have great disdain for gated subdivisions with non-sensical names, strip-malls, acres of parking and big-boxes. My disagreement with New Urbanism lies in its belief that the architecture should conform to a historicist model. It's fine if it is a pre-existing condition, but the success of a new urban space is not reliant on whether or not there is a pitched roof and various decorative (but otherwise non-functional) elements.

I'm sorry but John Massengale is a noted architect in the way that Bill O'Reilly is a noted journalist. While I haven't been following Reed Kroloff's plans for New Orleans, one thing I can say about him and other representatives of "the establishment" is that he is being thoughtful about the way we live. That is precisely what architects are trained to do - think about how we live and propose new ideas about how we may live in the future.

Massengale's approach to architecture and thinking about cities and space, on the other hand, is anti-intellectual. Sure, he can count Prince Charles as one of his allies, but what does the Prince know about how people actually live. The problem with his approach is that he wants to arbitrarily cut off progress in thinking about our physical environment. I don't know if he's chosen the year - 1890? 1920? 1930? - when it was all well and good in his eyes, but he seems to want to deny all architectural scholarship of the last 70-80 years.

What tradition is it that we think we are protecting? It's certainly not an American tradition and the rest of the world, particularly our closest allies and peers in intellectual thought and economics, the Europeans and the Japanese, have not halted progress in the name of traditions that actually trace their origins to them rather than us. London, a city dating back to at least the Roman Empire, is building some of the most thoughtful and interesting architecture anywhere in the world. Paris has built countless "non-traditional" edifices in neighborhoods that pre-date the American Revolution, and it remains one of the greatest cities in the world. Then there's Greensboro (circa 19th century) which is not renowned for being a great city, but rather is known for sprawl and poor planning. Yet, somehow adherence to historicist architecture in opposition to architecture that is reflective of its site, its zeitgeist, its program, new technology, etc. is going to yield a better city. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Greensboro, it's just like the majority of other cities across America - development in Greensboro just happens to be the subject of this particular thread.

What I'm against is the lack of sophistication that distinguishes our society from other "Western" societies. Why is it that when I go to a museum in New York like MoMA the majority of non-New York visitors there are European, Asian or South American? Yet, when I go to Times Square, I'm likely to find American tourists running from Red Lobster to Toys R Us. I guess I shouldn't expect much sophistication from a population that elected a president who thinks he talks to God and values the fact that he's not an intellectual. I guess it's bad form to reveal my political leanings, but I do think it is symptomatic of larger societal issues and particularly our society's relationship to intellect, whether it's in the arena of science, the arts, religion, culture/the social sciences, etc.

I know I'll get a lot of angry, hate mail for this post so let the vitriol begin. Just know that I am not in anyway commenting on the intelligence of anyone on here - personally, I tend to agree with 99% of transitman's posts and find many of the posts from many of the UP members to be well-reasoned regardless of whether or not I agree with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not know why you consider the O'Henry hotel bad architecture. I have only driven past it on Wendover but if these pictures are illustrative of the interior and exterior then it is a step above most hotels I have been in and I have been in quite a few in my life. It is distinctive and not all like the econbox hotels like the Marriotts or Sheratons which I think are cheap hotels masquerating as upscale establishments whose only driving feature is location and perhaps service.

For Winston, we only have the Marriott and Embassy Suites (both ex-Adam's Mark) downtown as the best that Winston has to offer. There is probably not enough of a market to justify a really distinctive luxury hotel in Winston but the bed and breakfast inns downtown do compensate somewhat if you are looking for an alternative choice for accomdations.

I would in no way defend the architecture of Marriotts and Sheratons that pollute our landscape, but while they masquerade at being something they are not, so too does the O'Henry. It pretends to be a hotel from a different time and I would argue that it could be every bit as "upscale" and "luxurious" as it portends to be and be of our time rather than an historicist attempt at 1920s hotel design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's way too gray for me. I can see how you could think it's a parking garage. The O'Henry's demolition is so tragic, especially since it was torn down for a parking garage. I've always thought Greensboro had too much of a "just back from urban renewal" feel, but that might just be me. You can find a great deal of information about the O'Henry at the Library of Congress's website. They quite a few pictures of the O'Henry on it, and one of the things that really struck me is how none of the buildings around it exist anymore either.

Website

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would in no way defend the architecture of Marriotts and Sheratons that pollute our landscape, but while they masquerade at being something they are not, so too does the O'Henry. It pretends to be a hotel from a different time and I would argue that it could be every bit as "upscale" and "luxurious" as it portends to be and be of our time rather than an historicist attempt at 1920s hotel design.

Well, I do not think no one on this board thinks it is worth a fight over Greensboro hotels. :D

Architecture does have to move forward otherwise people would still be living in castles and thatched roof huts. But I think why a lot of people shy away from modernistic buildings because it all seems far too futuristic almost alien. It is like a too great of a leap forward with no transition from the familar to the future which I think architecture of the past succeeded in moving forward because it was done incrementally allowing people to get use to the new for awhile before the next step forward. It is like the skyscrapers of the turn of the 20th century. By design they were not much different than the buildings that existed at that time, just taller by a few more stories. Their real advance was the way they were constructed with steel girders and concrete but outwardly they were familar. Then they built them higher and the tops started to invoke the spires of catherdals. They stayed with the familar and so it went on for much of the 20th century.

Then you have something like the Guggenheim Museum they built in Bilbao Spain that look like a stack of cylinders. Museums were stately looking buildings for so long but people in a way expect a museum that exhibits modernistic art would in way be built to reflect its theme. But on the other way, a museum that displays 19th century artifiacts should be more like the buildings of that time.

With hotels, people generally look for the familar, a place of comfort that will substitute for home. If you get too radical, people feel that do not belong there and will opt for something safer.

For Americans as compared to other nationalities you mentioned, I guess one factor is the relative newness of the country and its culture. Other cultures can look back at archtecture in their cities and countries that can span hundreds of years showing the transition of history. They feel more comfortable in moving forward by great leaps because they have that to fall back on; not so in much of the United States where much of the architecture spans mere decades. Again, it is what people here are probably familar with.

But I think if architects here do proceed a bit more incrementally and not radically then people will accept change and at some point catch up with the rest of the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's way too gray for me. I can see how you could think it's a parking garage. The O'Henry's demolition is so tragic, especially since it was torn down for a parking garage. I've always thought Greensboro had too much of a "just back from urban renewal" feel, but that might just be me. You can find a great deal of information about the O'Henry at the Library of Congress's website. They quite a few pictures of the O'Henry on it, and one of the things that really struck me is how none of the buildings around it exist anymore either.

Website

DCB Id like to thank you for the link to those old photos. I was 4 months old when those photos were taken. Its good to see pics of the old O'Henry. It is tragic that the building was torn down. But back in the 70s, we were trying to copy Charlotte by destroying old buildings. during that time, old buildings werent considered attractive. I think if the building had exsisted today, They would remodel it instead of demolish it. These are different times in which preservation is far more important. The exterior of the Proximty is a bit plain and boxy. Hopefully the final outcome will look better. You kno w how it is with renderings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I support the general urban planning tenets of "New Urbanism." I support dense, compact, walkable, mixed-use cities - which is why I have chosen to live in cities like Copenhagen, Washington, DC and New York. I have great disdain for gated subdivisions with non-sensical names, strip-malls, acres of parking and big-boxes. My disagreement with New Urbanism lies in its belief that the architecture should conform to a historicist model. It's fine if it is a pre-existing condition, but the success of a new urban space is not reliant on whether or not there is a pitched roof and various decorative (but otherwise non-functional) elements.

I'm sorry but John Massengale is a noted architect in the way that Bill O'Reilly is a noted journalist. While I haven't been following Reed Kroloff's plans for New Orleans, one thing I can say about him and other representatives of "the establishment" is that he is being thoughtful about the way we live. That is precisely what architects are trained to do - think about how we live and propose new ideas about how we may live in the future.

Massengale's approach to architecture and thinking about cities and space, on the other hand, is anti-intellectual. Sure, he can count Prince Charles as one of his allies, but what does the Prince know about how people actually live. The problem with his approach is that he wants to arbitrarily cut off progress in thinking about our physical environment. I don't know if he's chosen the year - 1890? 1920? 1930? - when it was all well and good in his eyes, but he seems to want to deny all architectural scholarship of the last 70-80 years.

What tradition is it that we think we are protecting? It's certainly not an American tradition and the rest of the world, particularly our closest allies and peers in intellectual thought and economics, the Europeans and the Japanese, have not halted progress in the name of traditions that actually trace their origins to them rather than us. London, a city dating back to at least the Roman Empire, is building some of the most thoughtful and interesting architecture anywhere in the world. Paris has built countless "non-traditional" edifices in neighborhoods that pre-date the American Revolution, and it remains one of the greatest cities in the world. Then there's Greensboro (circa 19th century) which is not renowned for being a great city, but rather is known for sprawl and poor planning. Yet, somehow adherence to historicist architecture in opposition to architecture that is reflective of its site, its zeitgeist, its program, new technology, etc. is going to yield a better city. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Greensboro, it's just like the majority of other cities across America - development in Greensboro just happens to be the subject of this particular thread.

What I'm against is the lack of sophistication that distinguishes our society from other "Western" societies. Why is it that when I go to a museum in New York like MoMA the majority of non-New York visitors there are European, Asian or South American? Yet, when I go to Times Square, I'm likely to find American tourists running from Red Lobster to Toys R Us. I guess I shouldn't expect much sophistication from a population that elected a president who thinks he talks to God and values the fact that he's not an intellectual. I guess it's bad form to reveal my political leanings, but I do think it is symptomatic of larger societal issues and particularly our society's relationship to intellect, whether it's in the arena of science, the arts, religion, culture/the social sciences, etc.

I know I'll get a lot of angry, hate mail for this post so let the vitriol begin. Just know that I am not in anyway commenting on the intelligence of anyone on here - personally, I tend to agree with 99% of transitman's posts and find many of the posts from many of the UP members to be well-reasoned regardless of whether or not I agree with them.

Wow- what an excellent post. Lots to cover here, I'll probably respond piecemeal over a few days. First, I think you are taking a common critique of NU to heart that is not necessarily true- namely, that NU is always developed with Historicist/Traditional building forms. I don't think this is true. New Urbanism is primarily about city form, not architecture.

Check out Prospect in Colorado. Look at the rowhouses in the big picture at the bottom of this page.

These buildings do the right things urbanistically (resepct the street, parking in rear, define public space, ped-oriented) without being remotely traditional. These buildings have the same "bones" as rowhouses in DC or the Back Bay, but don't do the old brick thing at all.

I think that the reason that most NU developments are "traditional" in nature is the unsophistication that you speak of, and that the lending industry that underwrites these projects is so ossified that if not building cul-de-sacs is so controversial, then the buildings at Prospect are even crazier and riskier from the lending point of view.

I'll post more later about the horrors that modernism has foisted on our cities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.