gman430

New downtown federal courthouse

134 posts in this topic

Apparently, the GSA has chosen the AGFA building at the intersection of Academy and West Washington Streets for a new federal courthouse. The current building on site will be demolished and a new five story building will be constructed on site. It will be designed by Neal Prince Architects. <_< Once again, our government has proven to be nothing short of useless. Everybody wanted the parking lot site between the Greenville County Courthouse and the current federal courthouse for the building, but as usual the federal government has to go the other way and choose a site with another midrise instead of highrise. It is expected to be funded under the Recovery Act passed by Congress earlier this year.

Edited by citylife

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How underwhelming. There better be some kick-ass architecture to make up for the lame height and location. Though, I'm not sure that firm will deliver. :dunno:http://www.neal-prince.com/

I wonder if we'll have the pleasure of receiving a surface parking lot to go along with the building? The site seems failry large. :sick:

If one good thing comes out of this, it is this: North Street still has the possibility to transform into a pedestrian activity corridor connecting North Main and the Bilo Center/Gateway site/Pettigru district.

Other than that, the negatives far outweigh anything else I can think of right now. It looks like Washington Street will become our Federal axis downtown with the Bankruptcy Court at the current Federal Courthouse site on East Washington, the new Federal Courthouse and the main Post Office on West Washington. Interestingly enough, this street also serves as the vertical axis for the downtown cross formed by the City's five original churches, additionally meaning that we have a LOT of land along this corridor that is not conducive to pedestrian activity, mixed-use functions, etc.

Edited by GvilleSC

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:sick:

UGHH! Check out the "on the boards" section of the designer's site, the architecture is very boxy and run-of-the-mill. This is an awful site. Any chance the city could override the selection site? If not, what a waste!

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Apparently, the GSA has chosen the AGFA building at the intersection of Academy and West Washington Streets for a new federal courthouse. The current building on site will be demolished and a new five story building will be constructed on site. It will be designed by Neal Prince Architects. <_< Once again, our government has proven to be nothing short of useless. Everybody wanted the parking lot site between the Greenville County Courthouse and the current federal courthouse for the building, but as usual the federal government has to go the other way and choose a site with another midrise instead of highrise. It is expected to be funded under the Recovery Act passed by Congress earlier this year.

Hey. Where did you get that info?

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Hey. Where did you get that info?

There was an article about it in the Greenville Journal which you can read here: http://www.journalwatchdog.com/index.php?o...0&Itemid=45 No, the city can't override the selection eitehr because it's a federal government project. All they can do is try and persuade the GSA.

Edited by citylife

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Apparently, the GSA has chosen the AGFA building at the intersection of Academy and West Washington Streets for a new federal courthouse. The current building on site will be demolished and a new five story building will be constructed on site. It will be designed by Neal Prince Architects. <_< Once again, our government has proven to be nothing short of useless. Everybody wanted the parking lot site between the Greenville County Courthouse and the current federal courthouse for the building, but as usual the federal government has to go the other way and choose a site with another midrise instead of highrise. It is expected to be funded under the Recovery Act passed by Congress earlier this year.

If the buidling is only going to be 5 floors, I at least hope is exciting architecture. I was in another southern city this past week that is building a new federal courthouse, and I all can say is....UGLY. The side panels of the building looked like something straight from a federal PRISON. Horrible.

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The article says it is less expensive to build up, thus the larger site slection. I have always heard it less expensive to build up as a lot less is spent in foundation, site clearing, etc. Also, in this case, it seems the site across fromt he courthouse would make more sense as less would have to be spent on land purchase, and there is no (perfectly viable BTW) building to be removed first. What are they thinking? :dontknow:

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If the buidling is only going to be 5 floors, I at least hope is exciting architecture. I was in another southern city this past week that is building a new federal courthouse, and I all can say is....UGLY. The side panels of the building looked like something straight from a federal PRISON. Horrible.

I'm hoping that it at least looks as nice as the one in Phoenix. The new federal courthouse there isn't very tall but is stunning looking in my opinion.

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Isn't there suppose to be a competition for the building's design? :dontknow:

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I'm hoping that it at least looks as nice as the one in Phoenix. The new federal courthouse there isn't very tall but is stunning looking in my opinion.

Just googled an image of the Phoenix building.....very nice. :thumbsup: It looks to be 5 or 6 floors as well.

Maybe there is hope for the Greenville building.

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How disappointing! They had a chance to build a nice 10+ story highrise on E. North St. very close to other court buildings as well as many attorney offices, which would have created density (not to mention been a responsible use of land). Instead, they chose a boring piece of land on Academy Street for a bland 4-5 story building.

We should not be surprised, because this is the federal government we're talking about here. The chances of them doing anything architecturally significant or dense is a very slim possibility. Expect bland architecture and plenty of surface parking. :(

Edited by Greenville

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I have heard that the Judges themselves have swayed the GSA towards the site chosen.

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I have heard that the Judges themselves have swayed the GSA towards the site chosen.

I know that in other courthouses in other cities, the judges hold a lot of sway in the design and location of these courthouses.

I don't know if it was ever considered but the parcels behind the current Courthouse which includes the Jim Beam gas station, a warehouse and another building that front on McBee, would have been a great location. Perhaps it would have been too close to the Church St. bridge though.

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I also looked up the photos for the Phoenix courthouse; not a fan!

For something around 5 stories, I would much prefer something more like this in New York:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_bF4hOshJHC8A..._brooklyn_s.jpg

But for the highrise, I would have liked something more like this in St Louis:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_bDv9OshJeLAA...t%2520Louis.jpg

Edited by distortedlogic

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I also looked up the photos for the Phoenix courthouse; not a fan!

For something around 5 stories, I would much prefer something more like this in New York:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_bF4hOshJHC8A..._brooklyn_s.jpg

I like that a lot as well, distortedlogic. I almost wish they would go with something that looks old and classic, rather than something government-inspired from the 1960s.

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^^To each his own. You know that with its budget, such an elaborate building would come out looking like a cheap Disney World edition of an elegant style of architecture. No thanks.

I hope it plans to face Academy Street. Too many things have a cold shoulder feel on Academy (one of the major commuting routes into downtown). It could use a major overhaul like the one that they have planned for Church Street, with plantings, wide sidewalks, etc.

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If they go with something traditional in nature, I hope the architect produces a larger version of the Federal Courthouse we already have. I'd much rather have the stone than a red brick. Though, they could easily do it brick in "keeping the other buildings". That, unfortunately would be a MAJOR FAIL. The precedent for material would be the out of place colonial architecture of the Water building and the First Citizens building.

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For something around 5 stories, I would much prefer something more like this in New York:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_bF4hOshJHC8A..._brooklyn_s.jpg

I hope the cheap faux facades like this New York example stay in the suburbs with the outdoor shopping centers.

For a government office, just something clean, modern and functional.

In the current print and spend, print and spend, print and spend mentality that exist in DC, anything elaborate should be frowned upon.

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I hope the cheap faux facades like this New York example stay in the suburbs with the outdoor shopping centers.

For a government office, just something clean, modern and functional.

In the current print and spend, print and spend, print and spend mentality that exist in DC, anything elaborate should be frowned upon.

I agree with you in principle about not having something elaborate given this economic climate, but if other cities are getting elaborate federal courthouses why can't we? It's the least they could do for us since they chose such a crappy site.

Something like Phoenix's courthouse seems to be out of the question if we are trying to refrain from elaborate construction designs.

As it stands, I'm concerned that we will have something akin to the law enforcement buildings.

Edited by Greenville

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I also looked up the photos for the Phoenix courthouse; not a fan!

For something around 5 stories, I would much prefer something more like this in New York:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_bF4hOshJHC8A..._brooklyn_s.jpg

But for the highrise, I would have liked something more like this in St Louis:

http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_bDv9OshJeLAA...t%2520Louis.jpg

For a second there, I thought I was going to be the only one that felt this way. To be honest, I kind of threw up in my mouth a little when I saw the Phoenix building.

And I'm not sure what was meant by cheap faux facades. How can using classic traditional materials be considered cheap or faux? Even further, how can building a ghastly glass box be considered a wise use of federal funds in these times, as one says?

Greenville - I'm tracking with you on definitely stearing away from the law enforcement building.

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I guess we're just going to have differ on opinions then. I find the highrise distortedlogic posted to be nothing short of ugly while the Phoenix federal building to be lovely. I love the glass on the front of the building.

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:silly: Different strokes...

I guess we all can't be pleased; but I think most of us would agree that a LEC type building would be absolutely depressing. As for the Phoenix building citylife, I like more glass in a highrise, but not in a low-midrise. For low-rise, glass cubes don't look right to me, but classic style buildings with more character do. Even something more like the Palmetto building would do fine; just please, not more LEC or "Next" building stuff!

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And I'm not sure what was meant by cheap faux facades. How can using classic traditional materials be considered cheap or faux? Even further, how can building a ghastly glass box be considered a wise use of federal funds in these times, as one says?

I meant exactly what I wrote....cheap faux facade. The government will not use real stone, marble, etc with the construction techniques available today. From what I've seen of new Fed construction in other cities, much of the outside is made of prefab panels.....much like the way Palmetto Bank was built with prefab panels and then painted with a faux finish.

I'm not pushing the exact Phoenix building, but I think something clean, modern and functional would be great for Greenville. A one of a kind identity.

Some southern cities might be comfortable with a more traditional look.....Greenville IMO, isn't one of those cities. No large scale project in the last several years has really been traditional, from Liberty Bridge, to Riverplace, to ICAR, etc, etc. All have a modern aesthetic. The new GO Center will have a modern aesthetic. Would like to see this building follow the same pattern.

The traditional New York example that was shown would be sorely out of place in Greenville, IMO, and really uninspiring.

My opinion for what it is worth. :rolleyes:

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If the AGFA site is really the chosen location for the new courthouse, I would love to see something that compliments the recent architectural "masterpieces" in that vicinity, namely the unique First Citizens Bank (originally Duke Power) and Greenville Water System office buildings. The main difference though, in my opinion, should be the addition of either a large public plaza or great lawn. Of course, a building of only five stories and over 250,000 square feet would require a large footprint. My main hope is that the federal government will not leave Greenville with an eyesore to regret for generations to come.

EDIT: I also forgot to mention the proposed future sanctuary for St. Mary's Catholic Church, which should be a large stunner.

Edited by Skyliner

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