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GRguy

Dwell Magazine comes to GR...and likes it

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Just got my Dwell magazine and there is a big article about the Midwest. Grand Rapids was featured and the article was quite positive. They just needed some of GRDad's photos...

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Just got my Dwell magazine and there is a big article about the Midwest. Grand Rapids was featured and the article was quite positive. They just needed some of GRDad's photos...

Thanks GRguy! I think I have the EXACT same Marriott construction photo that they had. GRUrbanist posted the article here too:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=30080

The writer was given a walking tour of downtown by Andy Guy of MLUI. I'll have to see if I can dig up some quotes, or you can pick it up at the bookstore for about $4.99.

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Lets see....

"Grand Rapids is really kind of the model in Michigan right now, of urban revitalization" Andy Guy

and:

"We walk through downtown, with Monroe Avenue full of people, a warehouse district full of remodeled factories and lofts, and up on the hill a huge new medical complex under construction signaling Grand Rapids' intent to attract health-industry jobs"

and:

" you feel an actual change in the air, a place becoming a place again"

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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BTW: The loft condo project in Kansas City that they highlight is very cool. I can't believe it was built for about $75/square foot (I believe to white box).

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Thanks GRguy! I think I have the EXACT same Marriott construction photo that they had. GRUrbanist posted the article here too:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=30080

The writer was given a walking tour of downtown by Andy Guy of MLUI. I'll have to see if I can dig up some quotes, or you can pick it up at the bookstore for about $4.99.

Hmmm. An article so nice, we posted it twice! :rofl:

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Just got my Dwell magazine and there is a big article about the Midwest. Grand Rapids was featured and the article was quite positive.

The article in Dwell is part 2 of a 3 part series on 'Transportation' underwritten by Saturn, the GM subsidiary.

The fact that the writer journeys from Detroit to GR to Chicago is interesting. After seeing Downtown Detroit, with it's strange mix of faded glory, useless 'People Mover' and marginally useful new construction, and then getting lost on I-94 on his way out of Detroit, the writer seemed relieved to be in GR.

The focus of the series is transportation issues, so he touches on the Rapid --but only briefly-- noting it doesn't go to Meijer Garden. His final remark...a city where you can sense the future...'or at least a future' seems like damning with faint praise.

He saves most of his enthusiasm for Chicago, and how the L is so central to life there.

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The article in Dwell is part 2 of a 3 part series on 'Transportation' underwritten by Saturn, the GM subsidiary.

The fact that the writer journeys from Detroit to GR to Chicago is interesting. After seeing Downtown Detroit, with it's strange mix of faded glory, useless 'People Mover' and marginally useful new construction, and then getting lost on I-94 on his way out of Detroit, the writer seemed relieved to be in GR.

The focus of the series is transportation issues, so he touches on the Rapid --but only briefly-- noting it doesn't go to Meijer Garden. His final remark...a city where you can sense the future...'or at least a future' seems like damning with faint praise.

He saves most of his enthusiasm for Chicago, and how the L is so central to life there.

Precisely, I did notice that too concretepoem. And right after the sentence about "a future", he follows it with "It may be wishful thinking, but as you walk through town, following the new signs, seeing the new buses, noticing the people on the street who are out of their cars....a place becoming a place again" But that was the only instance of condescension that I noticed in the article. But when you're anticipating a visit to Chicago for an article on transportation, it's hard for any city to compete with Chicago's transit system and the neighborhood explosions that have taken place along its lines. I think overall the article was pretty complimentary, but perhaps I missed other back-handed compliments. I thought it was an honest assessment.

On another note, why is there a picture of a monstrous "cottage" overlooking Grand Traverse Bay in the GR section? He didn't even talk about Traverse City. Was he trying to draw a connection in the "unfamiliar" reader's mind between GR and Traverse City, that they're in the same area? Strange. Perhaps Andy Guy can chime in here and fill us in.

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Got my issue last night in the mail. The fact remains, Chicago has the best public transporation system in the country and Michigan has next to nothing. His comments about the People Mover were spot ON.

I thought his words about the Rapid Central Station were very complementary, but overall I took the placement of Grand Rapids, in the context of the D and Chicago, as the direction and inevitable future for our city.

Kinda wish the writer had called Meijer Gardens more than just a "greenspace." It's like calling the Hearst Castle in California a quaint cottage.

Sidenote: Why were there two images of northern Michigan? Did I miss a page in the article?

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Got my issue last night in the mail. The fact remains, Chicago has the best public transporation system in the country and Michigan has next to nothing. His comments about the People Mover were spot ON.

Greedo, Do you think Chicago's system is better than say New York City's Mass transit system? Or were you emphazing your point that Chicago has a great system while right next door is Michigan with basically nothing to speak of for mass transit.

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On another note, why is there a picture of a monstrous "cottage" overlooking Grand Traverse Bay in the GR section? He didn't even talk about Traverse City. Was he trying to draw a connection in the "unfamiliar" reader's mind between GR and Traverse City, that they're in the same area? Strange. Perhaps Andy Guy can chime in here and fill us in.

Yes, that was somewhat out of context, although land use and sprawl issues were mentioned. The editors of Dwell hate traditionaly houses like that with a passion, so maybe it was an intentional dig at us ignorant midwesterners. Dwell continues to reveal its 'left coast' bias, as when its Founder-Owner, in her letter in this issue, says she's an ex-midwestern who doubts whether there are 'many people in the midwest interested in modernism.'

Let's see: Frank Lloyd Wright, the Saarinens, Cranbrook School, Albert Kahn, Skidmore OM, Herman Miller, Steelcase...just what does the midwest have to produce to earn the respect of NY, LA, SF, etc as a place where modernist ideas actually exist?

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Simple, the midwest doesn't need to earn their respect.

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Greedo, Do you think Chicago's system is better than say New York City's Mass transit system? Or were you emphazing your point that Chicago has a great system while right next door is Michigan with basically nothing to speak of for mass transit.

My question too. As far as I'm concerned, NYC (along with London and Madrid) has one of the best 3 mass transit systems I've been on. Chicago is nice, but not quite on a par as I find myself walking further to get to L stops in Chi-town than in any of my personal big-3.

It sure beats the pants off Paris though. :)

Also, I've never been anywhere in Asia, so I have no idea how Tokyo compares, or the BART in San Fran for that matter.

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My question too. As far as I'm concerned, NYC (along with London and Madrid) has one of the best 3 mass transit systems I've been on. Chicago is nice, but not quite on a par as I find myself walking further to get to L stops in Chi-town than in any of my personal big-3.

It sure beats the pants off Paris though. :)

Also, I've never been anywhere in Asia, so I have no idea how Tokyo compares, or the BART in San Fran for that matter.

really??? i loved the metro in paris, it goes everywhere!!

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The CTA is a great bus and rail system overall, but their advantages over cities like NYC are really with customer service investments.

New, industry-leading technologies like rechargable fare cards and bus mapping/tracking systems are making public transit safer, quicker and more user-friendly.

They're also on a mission to make every stop and bus ADA compliant. Something you definitely can't say about the NY subway or elevated system.

Seriously, best in the country.

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I believe The Rapid will soon have bus mapping/tracking systems installed soon.

I've been riding the Metra and the girl rides it everyday to goto school and we haven't yet been let down except for customer service. Oh, and the occasional drug dealer flipping his jeep on the tracks and exploding the vehical delaying me for a hour. I don't know if the Metra or CTA are govern by a single body.

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Yes, that was somewhat out of context, although land use and sprawl issues were mentioned. The editors of Dwell hate traditionaly houses like that with a passion, so maybe it was an intentional dig at us ignorant midwesterners. Dwell continues to reveal its 'left coast' bias, as when its Founder-Owner, in her letter in this issue, says she's an ex-midwestern who doubts whether there are 'many people in the midwest interested in modernism.'

Let's see: Frank Lloyd Wright, the Saarinens, Cranbrook School, Albert Kahn, Skidmore OM, Herman Miller, Steelcase...just what does the midwest have to produce to earn the respect of NY, LA, SF, etc as a place where modernist ideas actually exist?

Well he did meet in Detroit with representatives from the Michigan Land Use Institute, which is based out of Traverse City (?). Perhaps you're right in that the writer was taking a subliminal jab at Traverse City (and West Michigan in general) like "Nice try guys (snicker, snicker)".

The Kansas City article, now that I think about it, was a tad condescending as well. The coastal elitists will never change though. There's no use trying.

You're strongly making me consider throwing it away now, LOL.

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Seriously, best in the country.

Everyone has his or her opinions. I don't mean to spark any fires or anything, but I have used both NYC and Chicago's systems (including busing) and in my opinion, I like the NYC system better. That doesn't mean that I think it is the best in the country, becuase I haven't used many other transit systems in the country or world. I do know that NYC is also using the rechargable/reusable Metro cards which are very handy. I do not know about making every stop ADA compliant in NYC though. I know they have spend large amounts of money in renovations of different lines. Mostly I guess, I like the fact that most of it is underground verses having large steel structures covering streets and going along buildings and such. Again this is just my opinion.

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I don't mean to spark any fires or anything
Agreed. I consider myself a connoisseur of public transportation, so it's my opinion based on my experiences in NYC, DC and SF.

I like the fact that most of it is underground verses having large steel structures covering streets

I really like trains, and like seeing the city as I commute, so an elevated experience for me is more rewarding. Plus it's fun to marvel at the fact that you can walk under a 30-ton 8-car train.

I don't know if the Metra or CTA are govern by a single body.

Metra, CTA and the Pace bus are three distinct organizations aligned under a single Regional Transit Authority. They coordinate schedules and routes, but don't share fare cards or staff.

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Yes, that was somewhat out of context, although land use and sprawl issues were mentioned. The editors of Dwell hate traditionaly houses like that with a passion, so maybe it was an intentional dig at us ignorant midwesterners. Dwell continues to reveal its 'left coast' bias, as when its Founder-Owner, in her letter in this issue, says she's an ex-midwestern who doubts whether there are 'many people in the midwest interested in modernism.'

Let's see: Frank Lloyd Wright, the Saarinens, Cranbrook School, Albert Kahn, Skidmore OM, Herman Miller, Steelcase...just what does the midwest have to produce to earn the respect of NY, LA, SF, etc as a place where modernist ideas actually exist?

If you want to see a great example of truly modern designs in the Midwest, go to Midland, Michigan. My mother just moved there a year ago. Her home was built by Alden Dow, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and son of the Dow Chemical founder. Go to http://www.abdow.org/tour_info/tour_info.htm and check out the photo gallery. Her house is the 2nd he built and very similar to his. It's like living in a piece of modern art. Alden is the only architect laureate of Michigan and also built many public buildings - the Center for the Arts in Midland for example and an entire town of Lake Jackson, Texas.

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My family on my mother's side is from Midland and I have to agree about the architecture. Though a lot of it doesn't look that out-of-the-ordinary now, at the time it was built I'm sure it was something. I think the church my grandmother went to was designed by Dow. It's a little dated, but in a good way.

-nb

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While the CTA pilot programs such bus trackers are all well and good, I can tell you first hand that this is at best an adequate public transit system. While we are lucky to have such extensive public transportation system it remains dirty and unreliable. A good deal of the employees are not concerted about getting you from point A to point B, but only of their paycheck.

The CTA is a bureaucratic nightmare, a true government agency with too many proposed programs and not enough money. The system has been in finical distress for a number of years which has resulted in threats to reduce and cut service. Last year the state agreed to bail them out for a short while, but requested a full review of their financials, which are suspect at best.

A project to completely renovate the Brown Line was be finished in 2004, and as of this month they just finishing up two of the 18 stations. The project is now well over budget with no end in sight. Most recently new maps were posted on trains with glaring errors which resulted in $75,000 in emergency fixes to the maps.

There are many transit systems in the US that are run very well; I defiantly wouldn

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My family on my mother's side is from Midland and I have to agree about the architecture. Though a lot of it doesn't look that out-of-the-ordinary now, at the time it was built I'm sure it was something. I think the church my grandmother went to was designed by Dow. It's a little dated, but in a good way.

-nb

I wouldn't be surprised if that was the Methodist church right downtown in Midland? Mom goes there now - it was designed by Dow. When you consider like Mom's house was built in 1933 it was WAY ahead of it's time. My family has a deep love of architecture passed down from my Mom. We probably never would have known much about Midland if my brother hadn't gotten a job at Dow. He is a veterinary pathologist and we fully expected him to have to stay on the East coast because it's such a specialized field. He was teaching in upstate New York at Cornell when he got the call from Dow. We were overjoyed that he could come back to Michigan. He's been there 15 years, met a wonderful lady, got married and had 2 girls. My Mom went up to go on a school field trip with the girls and decided she missed them too much, the Dow house she really liked happened to be for sale, so she sold her beautiful Victorian down here and pulled up stakes. It was pretty gutsy. She's widowed and lived in Byron Center for 72 years but most of her friends spend the entire winter in Florida now - or are dead - it was a good move for her. My brother is over there every day and the girls are running in and out all the time and have sleepovers at Grandma's. I live by myself with my cat so it's real easy to throw some stuff in a bag and leave extra kitty food down. I spend many weekends up there. I love Grand Rapids and don't ever want to leave, but Midland has grown on me. When she first moved, I thought it was the end of the earth but there's a surprisingly vibrant arts and music culture there - just tons of cool stuff to do.

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Yes, she did attend the Methodist church downtown. I didn't realize it was designed by Dow until you brought him up in another thread and I made the connection.

-nb

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Yes, she did attend the Methodist church downtown. I didn't realize it was designed by Dow until you brought him up in another thread and I made the connection.

-nb

I went to Christmas Eve service with her there last winter. It's pretty cool. If you're ever up that way, her house is on the corner of W St Andrews right across the street from the Center for the Arts and Dow Gardens, it's the one with the very funky fence (green, white, blue, red, yellow) in all different sized squares. It has become our new spring project to repaint it each year.

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