Archived

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

GRDadof3

In my utopian world....

37 posts in this topic

...downtown Grand Rapids would have......

You're in charge. Full power to approve anything you want. Since we seem to have a much broader audience then when we did this back in July 05, let's hear some new ideas :thumbsup:

I would totally like to see a Renewable Energy "Tech Park" downtown, like I thought Project X might be <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


A major corporate tower as an icon to the skyline.

More urbane residential housing (which I know is coming).

A retail prominade with a few cinnemas.

Light rail!! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ligh rail :)

-A real river walk with public art integrated into the design

-Sculptures downtown with seating circles around them

-Steelhead fishing contests!

-Return of the rapids

-and then a list of about 100 things, just thoes above are in my mind at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...downtown Grand Rapids would have......

You're in charge. Full power to approve anything you want. Since we seem to have a much broader audience then when we did this back in July 05, let's hear some new ideas :thumbsup:

I would totally like to see a Renewable Energy "Tech Park" downtown, like I thought Project X might be <_<

The Renewable energy tech park might end up in Greenville :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Renewable energy tech park might end up in Greenville :D

R&D, not manufacturing :D

I would also like to see the crumbling concrete cleaned up in front of the Gerald Ford Museum :sick: Come on you guys!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the Greenville plant could produce solar shingles for all the new home projects going on around town...too bad a developer wouldnt put any interest into that matter (otherwise the homes itself would be ridiculously priced)...I think the push for being greener (and mass transit) would be the top priorities...and more downtown shopping and things-to-do places (coinciding with river grand project)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- I'd like to see a monumental piece of artwork downtown.

- I'd like to see a Landmark building (whether large or small) that would make people say "hey, that's Grand Rapids" (like Seattle's Space Needle, etc. etc.).

- I'd like to see the Post Office move - Yesterday.

- I'd like to see a festival downtown that had corporate sponsors, big acts, beer flowing in the streets.

- I too would love to see the rapids rebuilt with a Kayak park (hey, we discussed this long before Project X came to town).

- I'd like to see Calder Plaza redeveloped. Keep the Calder, get rid of all the unused, pedestrian un-friendly space.

- Smaller retail space. We build everything big in these parts. In bigger cities, restaurants seat 50, but there will be 2 restaurants a bar and a retail store in one building.

and, and, and...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I always thought it would be really cool if GR were to bulldoze the city hall and those ugly buildings, and build an office the shape of the calder itself. Think that would be tricky to do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, my turn! I love these topics.

-Move the Press

-Move the Post Office

-Use both of the above spaces for high-rises

-Make the Rowe Hotel a hotel again

-Stop construction of the GRAM and make them build a decent looking building

-Build a high rise at Fulton/Market

-Build a high rise at Lyon/Ottawa

-Build something at Monroe and Lyon

-Build light rail lines

-Build a high rise in the 5/3 parking lot

-All designs would have to be approved by His Awesomeness, Supreme King-for-Life Torgo the Great, so we don't end up with a bunch of blank walled bunkers

-We would have more and healthier street trees

-The sidewalks would have interesting pavers, though not all the same

-Heated snowmelt system throughout DT

-All bridge lights would be functional

I could on but I would just bore you to death :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-condos for families with kids

-affordable downtown units incorporated into every new condo project over 30 units

-finished bike trail between canal st. and riverside park

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-condos for families with kids

-affordable downtown units incorporated into every new condo project over 30 units

-finished bike trail between canal st. and riverside park

Affordable condos for first time home buyers, that are bigger than a closet.

Continued growth of N. Monroe. Maybe the Icon can bring that.

Statue of the Geha.

Bring back the water features of the old ampitheater, and integrate it into Rosa Parks Circle.

Clean the huntington building off, it just looks dirty.

TallHouse/Riverhouse actually being built.

Clean up the N.W. side, in the leonard area.

Redo the ford freeway, downtown east to the beltline.

Move the Press building/post office, find a tenant for the Olds Manor building.

Take the Varnum lettering off of Bridgewater place.

Land a national tenant to build a super-highrise downtown, maybe N.E. of the Ledyard building, where there is a surface lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- Light Rail

- More Renovation of existing buildings on the west side as residences for students.

- Prominent Historic Plaques of important, valuable buildings in GR. Along with this, a walking tour provided by the Gerald R Ford Museum (lord knows, that one needs some spicing up) of the tumultuous and corrupt history of Grand Rapids politics and growth.

- Light Rail

- The return of Yen Ching downtown

- A park with a commanding piece of eastlooking interractive architecture/artwork occupying that beautiful view at the end of Sunset on the West Side. The prettiest view on the west side ought to belong to everybody.

- Something iconic and progressive, a sustainable building with "the works" (Greenroof, LEED certified, blah blah blah). It should also be zoned commercial and occupied by a business that can't fail (Meijer?) to serve as an example to other businesses of the profitability of such a building.

- Light Rail

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The return of Yen Ching downtown
??? Isn't XO the same family that owned Yen Ching

Something iconic and progressive, a sustainable building with "the works" (Greenroof, LEED certified, blah blah blah)

If it's all just blah blah blah what do you want it for then? A high performance building is done for a purpose not just to win medals and arm wrestling contests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the bike path idea from downtown to Riverside park. Let's take that further and go from downtown to Millenium park.

Light Rail

A Grand Rapids signiture/landmark building

More local downtown retailers, No more big box stores

Get rid of the big stone wall across from Devos place

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


-Move the Press

-Move the Post Office

-Use both of the above spaces for high-rises

-Make the Rowe Hotel a hotel again

-Stop construction of the GRAM and make them build a decent looking building

-Build a high rise at Fulton/Market

-Build a high rise at Lyon/Ottawa

-Build something at Monroe and Lyon

-Build light rail lines

I would second all of these. But would add the caveat that most buildings that reside outside the most intense core of downtown should be kept to the 4 to 6 story maximum height, with exceptions granted on a per building basis. The intent being that these midrise type buildings could be more sustainable during future energy depletion problems and that they create better overall urbanism (like most of the buildings on Ionia).

Also all new buildings need to be at least 2-stories, so that mixed use can occur. No more of this single story stuff.

I also think the GRAM comment is the best one I have heard. I really am beginning to think that this building will be an absolute eyesore right in our core city. I am still holding out hope, but that hope is fading.

In addition to that I would add...

1. Downtown full service grocery store with essential items and not just gourmet stuff.

2. More retail, more retail and more retail. All sizes and all types. Focused on locally owned and operated!!

3. Better schools (whether perception, reality or test score based).

4. Re-use of existing historic schools, rather than building new non-urban forms.

5. Re-use of as many historic buildings as possible (we seem to be doing a good job of this currently).

6. Return of more middle class families with kids.

7. Maintaining and building upon the fine grain of urbanism that currently exists. No single use enclaves of tech parks, office areas, housing towers, etc. Integration of uses only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although criticism is more than fair game, it seems a little out of place in a "In my utopian world . ." thread.

As far as XO being owned by the same family, I haven't been yet. Of course, there is more to a restaurant than ownership. Yen Ching had that old sign, the same CD playing on the inside every time you came, the same curt unfriendliness, and the same good food. THATS all I'm saying.

As far as "Green Roof, LEED certified, blah blah blah". . . . The point is that a building which was to incorporate all of the attributes under that broad label "sustainable" would set an EXAMPLE. Well done things become replicated in architecture, Nitro. Look at the explosion of prairie houses or miesian office buildings. When something is gorgeous, well done, and serves its purpose well, it becomes a type. (Although I am no steel and glass box fan, as far as fulfilling "less is more" and being functional, the adjective miesian receives an A+) THAT is what I'm talking about. I'm not saying that sustainable architecture in this case would come at the expense of what makes sense to construct, but there is such thing as building with a specific purpose in mind.

Stating it in less eloquent terms, IE: "the Blah Blah Blah" is an acknowledgement that most terminology involving sustainable architecture is a little bit overly self important. I'm still not comfortable with spouting off a sentence like "The spactially programmatic elements of the over head condition contextual field at the end of the vertical cul de sac serve as an imago mundi of the context as a whole, one which preserves and expands the compressive order of flora within the site itself"

Maybe being immersed in architecture pedagogy has made me too rebellious to eloquence.

But you can forgive me for wanting to be a little less grandiose and a little more down to earth?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-An actual grocery store with a large selection of items - so many items you could use a cart instead of just a basket. I'm thinking a mini Knapps Corner-style Meijer. I live in Fulton Heights and would shop downtown if such a store existed. With all the housing being developed, such a grocery store is essential to support those living DT.

-Movie Theater with mainstream movies. Love UICA and Wealthy Theatre, but I'm thinking about those who might not be up for the latest French or indie film.

-More quaint restaurant choices. Echoing someone else's comment - everything DT does not have to be huge!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

??? Isn't XO the same family that owned Yen Ching

I want to say the family that owned Yen Ching retired from their restaurant and sold to the developers of the condominiums. I almost think XO is a separate family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Utopia, the city govt. could find a way to keep a pool open for far less than $4,700 per day.

from Mlive.com

"Mindful of past budget battles, Kimball will tell commissioners they can expect to spend $715,530 this summer if they decide to reopen three of the city's seven outdoor pools for about seven weeks. "

Does anybody know where that money goes? $100 per day to clean it? Do they drain it every day?

Two lifeguards for ten hours each per day times $20/hr.? $200 a day to clean it? Even those numbers are not even close to $4,000 per day. I just don't get it. Do the pools need major renovation to keep them going? Anybody know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to try not to repeat anything anyone else has already said. I drove down Monroe/Market to Wealthy yesterday to get a feel for how downtown will flow into Project Geha. I think something needs to be done between fulton south to the S-Curve. All we have on the South/West corner is parking and Charley

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh Utopia Rapids, a wonderful town, where the giant electricity transformer no longer blights N. Monroe at the boat launch and a Calatrava pedestrian bridge connects Canal Street Park with the Fish Ladder.

Where Grand Rapids encourages public art as an integral part of every building and the city creates a colossal piece of sculpture in the middle of the river, between Pearl St. and the Blue Tressle Bridge.

Where angel investors donate the $60MM to complete the Van, the triangle lot at Fulton/Market has a modest office tower and in a partnership between Greedstein Enterprises and Ellis Parking, a magnificent, 80-story, LEED certified, centerpiece that dominates the skyline and integrates into McKay Tower in the spirit of the Hearst Magazine tower in NY, designed by Rem Koolhaas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh Utopia Rapids, a wonderful town, where the giant electricity transformer no longer blights N. Monroe at the boat launch and a Calatrava pedestrian bridge connects Canal Street Park with the Fish Ladder.

Where Grand Rapids encourages public art as an integral part of every building and the city creates a colossal piece of sculpture in the middle of the river, between Pearl St. and the Blue Tressle Bridge.

Where angel investors donate the $60MM to complete the Van, the triangle lot at Fulton/Market has a modest office tower and in a partnership between Greedstein Enterprises and Ellis Parking, a magnificent, 80-story, LEED certified, centerpiece that dominates the skyline and integrates into McKay Tower in the spirit of the Hearst Magazine tower in NY, designed by Rem Koolhaas.

Greedstein Enterprises! :rofl: Nice!

Just to add some visuals to your vision:

Hearst Magazine Tower:

Hearst2.jpg

Calatrava Pedestrian Bridges

katehaki.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes...that Heart Magazine Tower is just puke-tacular

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yikes...that Heart Magazine Tower is just puke-tacular

Torgo, is there any architecture you DO like? :rofl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.