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wolverine

Ilitch asks for OK to partially demolish Fine Arts

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I think most of us know by now the Fine Arts is very close to collapsing. So, it appears the back portion will be demolished and the facade will be saved if Ilitch gets the ok.

If a new building is to be constructed behind the facade, it would be cool to see elements from the old building preserved. I'm a bit worried that even if a door were to removed, the whole place would come crashing down though.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/apps/pbcs.dll...=73275739022826

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It's my understanding that they've shored up the building from the interior temporarily so that at least the entire building isn't being held up by that one inch thick piece of wood anymore. Exploring that place is always fun, since you have to jump over holes and balance on the tops of walls to actually get to the front half of the building. Then there's the matter of the little 3 foot dip in the floor that you have to walk across to get roof access.

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It seems like the best option. It's sad the building actually got to the state that it's in, but it always appeared to me that any renovation couldn't possibly be an accurate restoration, anyway. And, if Presevation Wayne has given its blessing to this, I certainly won't complain. I'm just glad that there is finally a plan for the building. Hopefully, we'll be hearing about the UA and such, soon.

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They are still evaluating the Blenheim & the UA. The UA Theater is totally trashed, and they've made no efforts to stop the deterioration despite the work they've done to the office building. It's unfortunate that we're loosing that gem of a theater, but I guess we can't win them all.

A little birdie who works for an architecture firm tells me that they are working on the plans for a new hockey stadium behind the Fox. Accordingly, the Hotel Vermont is coming down soon, which doesn't surprise me, seeing as how I've known that this was the plan for a couple years now.

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I'm unfamiliar with the Hotel Vermont. Where is its location (i.e. intersection)? Is that all that will be in the way?

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I suppose that something is better than nothing, especially where the Ilitch family is concerned. Let's just hope the rest of the building doesn't magically collapse during reconstruction.

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Hotel Vermont is on the north side of Columbia between Clifford and Park. It's a little 4-story brick hotel that has been vacant for as long as I can remember. I have no idea what kind of shape it's in...not a real big loss.

I'm not exactly sure of the footprint of the new stadium, but there are two small apartment buildings in the way. They could easily be moved to another location if need be, although they aren't really anything too spectacular either. I'm not sure how they plan on working around the Iodent or the fire station, or if they plan on acquiring those and tearing them down too.

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I can't believe Illitch would put historic preservation ahead of his own financial interests, but if he's willing to save the facade then I'm all for it. Seems like a good compromise.

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I don't think it's much of an issue since the building would have needed to be gutted and probably rebuilt on the inside anyway. I just hope this isn't a way of getting it in an even worse condition so that the entire thing gets torn down. I can't imagine having the building's facade sitting there for very long. I think it would be really unsafe. Hopefully this means that something will be done with the building.

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I'm not exactly sure of the footprint of the new stadium, but there are two small apartment buildings in the way. They could easily be moved to another location if need be, although they aren't really anything too spectacular either. I'm not sure how they plan on working around the Iodent or the fire station, or if they plan on acquiring those and tearing them down too.

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I can't see him tearing it down either, but you never know. The Ilitches did fight the Iodent renovation, most likely because they wanted the property for their stadium. Fortunately for us, they lost that battle.

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Hopefully the Iodent can be integrated into a stadium plan along with any other historical or architecturally significant structures.

Anyone know if the empty lot west of the Fine Arts is owned by Illitch as well? Id love to see that incorporated into the facadectomy of the FA to complete the street wall there.

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:scared:

Hopefully the Iodent can be integrated into a stadium plan along with any other historical or architecturally significant structures.

Anyone know if the empty lot west of the Fine Arts is owned by Illitch as well? Id love to see that incorporated into the facadectomy of the FA to complete the street wall there.

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I believe the parking lot between the Fine Arts & the Kales is owned by the Kales Building.

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I think it would be interesting if they created faux-streetscapes along Park Ave and Montcalm St. to give the Arena a more neighborhood-friendly appearance.

wingsarena.jpg

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How do false streetscapes help a neighborhood? I'm not being diffiicult here- I'm just curious about how a false streetscape could help an urban environment....Real streetscapes maybe. Retail at street level? False windows don't usually help much.

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I didn't say they helped an urban environment. I said they'd give it a more neighborhood-friendly appearance as opposed to a blank wall of metal.

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If the current Joe Louis was built on that side, and then pushed against Clifford, there would be a space about as wide as the Iodent Building along Park. They could be developed to act as single buildings, although they'd probably be attached to the stadium on the ground floor. I don't know if that would actually work out, or if it would be in Illitch's interests to do that, but I think it would be cool.

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I really do hope that we get an "urban" arena. Im hoping for something that has retail incorporated into it to help create a 24 hour district and neighborhood there. Does anyone know if any such type of arena or stadium exists? I know Ford Field was designed to have elements like that but im thinking ground floor around the building instead of located in just one spot.

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I wish they never build this arena in Downtown anyways. The biggest mistakes Detroit made in development was the location of our two current stadiums. Those parcels should have been preserved as they were with historic and new buildings. Not two structures that sit empty half of the year, and do nothing but get people inside when they are open. Now we're about to make another mistake and dismantle our beautifully designed downtown streets and leave no room for future growth. Just like other major cities including New York and Chicago, these things belong outside of the downtown area. (i.e. Tiger Stadium). Better in the neighborhoods, even if it means a sea of parking lots, which I don't buy. Parking structures can just as easily be built in the neighborhoods than in Downtowns.

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Mistake? What about all new life they brought to the surrouding areas? Just on Park Ave alone, in the past couple years has gone from dead to a farily thriving street. There's no lack of room for furture growth and that land would still be sitting empty today.

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Mistake? Wha aboutt all new life they brought to the surrouding areas? Just on Park Ave alone in the past couple years has gone from dead to a farily thriving street. There's no lack of room for furture growth and that land would still be sitting empty today.

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From a long term standpoint of good urban planning, it is a mistake. Yes, the arenas do bring people downtown creating interest in the city, and there is a bunch of redevelopment surrounding the stadiums, but I'm curious as to whether that would have happened reguardless.

The problem with arenas is they create massive superblocks. They tend to draw people away no matter how urban friendly you try to make them. You can pack 90 retail shops along the perimeter wall of the arena, but you also need smaller retail buildings seperate fromt he project to make it feel like a real functioning neighborhood.

I'm picturing Detroit becoming an arena city. It's already full of huge overscaled buildings... the rencen, ford field, comerica, the prison complex, mgm casino, etc. It really leaves little room for a continuous mat of smaller scaled development to occur. Stadiums don't create neighborhoods, they destroy them.

It's not the city I want to see, or even live in. It's really sad because I think there's a lot of people looking for a downtown with stores and restaurants on every street. But whenever I step out of Greektown, I'm looking down a street of parking structures, stadiums, or office buildings with banks, cell phone stores, or sandwhich shops on the ground floor.

There's also nothing thriving or even fairly thriving about Park Ave. There is such a long way to go. I'll agree its nicer and safer, but do you really want it ending up looking like Brush St? (bland as hell)

So I was a bit hard in this post, but I'm critical of what Detroit does in terms of development because there really is a right and wrong way. I understand the goal of creating a downtown entertainment district, but I wonder if creating seperate "sports districts" would be more appropriate. I'd rather see the arena go up somewhere in New Center. Eventually the demand for new development will occur on all those empty lots behind the fox, even if it takes 20 more years.

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I was thinking the same about the New Center Arena. Infact, I think that's a good name for it too. :)

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The damage has already been done, though. At this point, adding another arena couldn't do anymore damage than the other two have already done in terms of an urban environment. I mean, you already have the superblock of the MGM, then these parking lots, then the Fox, then Comerica, and then Ford Field linning the whole northern border of downtown. And, the Fisher was what really killed any chance to make this a cohesive heighborhood, anyway.

I guess I'm indifferent to the whole plan, and can see it argued either way.

That said, I do like the idea of a New Center Arena. But, with Ilitch behind this, this would never happen.

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