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richyb83

Does BR Need a New 2nd Tallest?

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What do you think of Baton Rouge's Skyline? Likes or dislikes?? It has improved over the past 10 years...many new state buildings in the 8-12 story range; Shaw Center for the Arts; II City Plaza & Courthouse both at 12-stories...but nothing new over the tree line in the horizon....nothing has been built in BR 20+ stories since the late 80's...that's too long IMO!

Contrary to popular belief, "BR does NOT have a height ordinance" with the 450'ft State Capitol..the Capitol Park provides a large enough buffer that it would not be engulfed by taller skyscrapers..but in this turbulent economy I wanted to be realistic about any new future high-rise ever surpassing it...here on UP Dan326 has shown us his signature skyscraper in the heart of the CBD & SUSAstudent envisioned Shaw Plaza off Essen as BR's Tallest?? BOTH great ideas!

At approx 310'ft One American Place(built in 1974)is BR's 2nd Tallest building...it was OK for the 70's & 80's; but not for this new century.. it's simply too plain(many say ugly) not for this new century! + here on UP recently stated, it virtually disappears at night...

It would be nice to see a new tower between 310-450 feet tall...whether it be 370' or 425'...and light it up at night PLEASE!

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The boxy One American Place towering over the 8 story Cap One Bank & old Commerce bldg

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The Colors do change depending on the sun angle or clouds

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A NEW 2nd Tallest ever surpassing One American Place may be a serious "longshot" with the economy...But I say "Don't Give Up BR"!...tough it has failed many times..

>Like the 30-story Fidelity Bank Tower in the late 80's...would have easily surpassed One American Place just a block away and at it's tip nearly rivaled the height of the State Capitol

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The Riverside Towers(mid 80's) at the Centroplex would have given One American Place a run for it's money as 2nd Tallest..but it too failed

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The 30-story Centre Regency hotel way out on Bluebonnet in the 80's was just a pipe-dream

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In the late 90's Laurel Plaza would have looked it eye-to-eye

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Richard Preis third design for RiverPlace...a 36-story condo tower could have been nearly as tall as the State Capitol

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The latest design (4th) for RiverPlace is a down-sized condotel at 30-stories; could be BR's new 2nd Tallest..but we just keep waiting & waiting :dontknow:

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Trahan Architects Riverfront office tower remains a "vision"

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Too many businesses opt for the burbs' these days instead of downtown due to...

*lack of parking

*not enough room to grow

*not close enough to where employees live

*too expen$ive to build up

*far away from current location

What would downtown BR look like if Shaw, Jacobs, Blue Cross, Amedysis, Lamar or Turner decided to build their Company HQ's downtown?? + BR's Tallest Hotel is NOT even in downtown; but about 4 miles away...

I realize skylines are not the only thing to a city...street level storefront's with sidewalks full of activity being a more vital componet to a vibrant urban-core...so a new 2nd tallest would need this; instead of empty blank walls!

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river center with those 2 buildings would be nice, i hope in the soon future some company or developer will get bold and upgrade our skyline. if mobile can do it, so can "us"

Edited by hagetaka

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I've been imagining a new tower for a while. Trahans design is fantastic and would be the signature tower until a new tallest is built. If only the citys other many towers were built downtown we would have a more vibrant workforce downtown along with a denser skyline and brighter too. I hope the River Center builds a hotel that rivals the Marriot on Corporate. I've been wanting BRs large companies like Jacobs, Shaw, Blue Cross, or Turner would build an office tower downtown. We need more activity in downtown, and with it's small space it will fill up quick and look very vibrant. I can see River Place Tower coming back into proposal once the economy betters itself. Very good topic. I can talk for days about this.

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I'd like to see a signature tower, our skyline looks spread thin and dated.

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I'd like to see a signature tower, our skyline looks spread thin and dated.

I'd personally like to see a signature tower in Baton Rouge. The downtown area, although it has become pretty popular, still SUCKS when it comes to having ANYTHING to do besides a club on Third Street. I'm a regular @ the Shaw Center and the lounge @ the Hilton, but that just about sums up downtown ! lol I would LOOOOOOOVE to see a signature mixed use tower (much like Canal Place in New Orleans, though much more attractive) that would attract shoppers in the area as well. The advantage is that occupancy in downtown BR is really high, so there's somewhat of a demand for more office space there. I guess it's that "build it and they will come" mentality. And I believe if One American Place doesn't do some sprucing up, occupancy will be pretty low. I know of two tenants that moved from OAP to II City Plaza.

As far as a design is concerned, I'm really big on Louisiana culture. I would love to see something ultra modern built downtown, but I only see it as standing out from the skyline.

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You've summed it up pretty good. It's very dead compared to Lafayettte and New Orleans, I think a Dave and Busters would suit downtown well. It could possibly fill the first floor of a new tower. I believe Baton Rouge should build modern and attempt to attract tech companies to base in BR. Trahans modern tower and the crazy structure that reaches over Lafayette street along with the new library could spark a modern architecture movement downtown. And to counter I'd like to see a mix of older styled buildings like Bank of America Center in Houston. We need someone to start building downtown to start it, no one wants to risk relocating to a dead and expensive part of town. Possibly a college campus can build downtown and offer dorms, providing a constant pool of people living and using everything in downtown feeding its progress. LSU or SU should fill this IMO. Or maybe just a smaller graduate school, no dorms but a constant supply of students who can feed downtown what it needs to thrive.

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Antrell,

You hit it right on the money! Often times, universities will build new tech parks or dorms in downtowns to revitalize them and provide a permanent consumer base. However, when LSU needs to expand, they don't build in and around downtown, the spend millions of dollars buying a flood plain near Gardere and call it "South Campus." This was a huge missed opportunity and has left me rather upset about the lack of vision our Universities have in this town, about their roles to promote sustainable development.

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The good thing with a school is people will always go there. UH-Downtown here in Houston has built a beautiful campus directly outside of downtown. The rail provides transportation and it doesn't use a large footprint of land. But with things going as they are, it's merely a matter of time before we see some major businesses locate downtown .

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Hey yall...thanks so much for the great feedback! So many good points...very true! I hear ya Antrell...I could talk about this for days and will be adding many more replies to this thread in the New Year! :thumbsup:

LSU's only real contribution to downtown so far is the Museum of Art choosing it's location at the Shaw Center for the Arts instead of on campus. The new River District along the Nicholson corridor btwn Downtown & LSU holds some long-term promise...the northern edge near the I-10 Bridge could have been a MUCH better expansion for LSU's downtown campus integrating it into the urban fabric with nice infil; covering many blocks out to that BRCC/Vo-Tech school.... great location for emerging Digital Arts industry with more mid-rise residential development....rather than the South Campus way down on the flood plain off GSRI like buckett said.

It seems BR is at a disadvantage with "downtown" not in the geographical center of the city(like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston,etc); but instead on the western edge along the river...+ Exxon being to it's north(blocks of Southern U.)...with the mentality around here I'm supriseed some people haven't opted to move the State Capitol out to Independence Park!

While some nice condo (or a hotel) towers would work nicely along the riverfront blocks....my best location for a new iconic "signature" tower would be between One American Place & Chase Towers at the single story property/parking lot slated for demolition at the corner of Fourth Street & Laurel...

Sorry I don't have photo-shop skillz; but quick sketch-up of the location in reference to the skyline

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At one time BRAC & BRAF were looking for office space at the old Advocate location; for a short time a 30-story mixed-use tower was hinted at(would not have looked good at that location making skyline look too lop-sided)...but that plan was quickly scraped.

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Cool idea Richy. :) That's a good location to make a dramatic peak in the skyline. Another location would be south of the Chase towers, or to the right lookin from Port Allen which would really help balance the heavier side anchored by One American.

Not to be cynical or anything but I kinda believe Baton Rouge got its signature tower when the new State Capitol was built. By the time we get one 1500ft will be the new 1000ft, and 1000 ft will be the new 750ft and we'll probably just be breaking 450ft.

Edited by dan326

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I'm so happy the capitol building is offset to the north though. It will never be disrupted in any view and the state buildings that surround capitol park provide a short, dense buffer to keep the capitol visible. I would never want our skyline to be too tall, but I think anything under 7-800ft would be ok as long as the tower doesn't stick out like a sore thumb and has some taller towers around it to fill in the dead space.

Can anyone edit a picture of the skyline with the buildings that were supposed to go up?

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I'm starting to see downtown Baton Rouge with more of a European influence. Not necessarily in terms of architecture, but in height. The majority of cities in Europe have lower lying, dense skylines, with very few "skyscrapers" in the mix.. The same as Washington DC. I think that downtown BR needs to focus on building taller 12-20 flr, energy efficient buildings, to bring in businesses. I can also see a smaller, scaled back version on Perkins Rowe (maybe three buildings housing retail and residential; 6-8 flrs). This will dub downtown Baton Rouge as an entertainment hub as well as bringing up the amount of residents in the area.

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European cities also have CBDs that have gleaming towers. Downtown is our CBD. An older city such as New Orleans has the French quarter (the original downtown) and the CBD.

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The thing about the European/Washington arguement is that those places have street level density, top-notch architecture, monuments, etc. to make up for it. Not that a tall building will make Baton Rouge anymore lively, but it'll sure make it more interesting/visually exciting! :D

Edited by dan326

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Plus our downtown can't compare to DC's downtown what-so-ever. DC has probably 5 times the space we do, so building up would've left the area less dense. With our smaller footprint we have thr opportunity to build up and build dense structures between our already older standing structures.

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Thanks for all of the great feedback yall :thumbsup:

Hagetaka...That's exactly what I was thinking...if Mobile can build a new bold Tallest Skyscraper in their city; BR ought to be able to build a new 2nd Tallest

Thanks Dan...There are some surface parking lots along Fourth Street that would make for some nice "vertical" infil...and thought that the single-story building was primed for demolition at the corner of Laurel, but guess not for now? That would make the best spot in the CBD btwn Chase Towers & One American Place and help balance the skyline IMO. Yeah...the State Capitol will forever be engrained as BR's iconic skyscraper..that's why I thought a new 2nd Tallest would be more realistic. With the economy new skyscraper construction in the U.S has really slowed down; so for now we have to settle for the 12-story II City Plaza..nice building more more horizontal than vertical looking from most angles.

Antrell...sorry wish I could take a crash course on photo-shop/edit/add all of those older proposed towers into the existing malnuritioned skyline today...then BR's skyline would be flexing it's muscles :tough: w The Capitol Grounds is the perfect buffer if BR were to ever go vertical...the State Capitol will always have it's special place aside from the CBD!

SUSA Student...I like the 12-20 story buildings too if it adds density...and might take "TWO" slightly shorter high-rise (12-20)buildings over just one-single taller 30-story building?? Not sure, Tough choice :dontknow: I realize there are more pressing needs...but like the saying "Build it and they will come"..if new big businesses were to ever tout BR.

A few years back when RiverPlace was proposed to the Metro Council; such a small town mentality :rolleyes: ...they did not understand the concept of "vertical neighborhood"...asking the question."Why does it have to be so Tall?? The block/tract of land with smaller footprint = the only direction to go is UP^...

Edited by richyb83

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The economy is getting better, and downtown is becoming a better "place" to be- and that will be even more obvious when they finish the improvements on North Blvd.

I wouldn't put my faith in a giant new tower, but I would bet money that you will see hotels, new office buildings, and probably some residential spaces open up. North Blvd/4th street intersection is going to become much more valuable to developers- as will riverfront property.

Edited by cajun
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Has anybody noticed the Confederate soldier statue on North Boulevard by the Old State Capitol has been removed? While I'm not quite sure about the "values" it represented, you must admit it was a rather interesting relic from yesteryear.

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The economy is getting better, and downtown is becoming a better "place" to be- and that will be even more obvious when they finish the improvements on North Blvd.

I wouldn't put my faith in a giant new tower, but I would bet money that you will see hotels, new office buildings, and probably some residential spaces open up. North Blvd/4th street intersection is going to become much more valuable to developers- as will riverfront property.

With previous proposals I can put my faith in a new tower completed within 10 years. I'm not old enough to remember Baton Rouge's earlier missed opportunities but even in the downturn the country is facing BR is fairing well and we are growing still. Also the work that is being done to revitalize downtown and the entire city is going to improve the value of building in downtown. Or I'm being hopeful..

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Has anybody noticed the Confederate soldier statue on North Boulevard by the Old State Capitol has been removed? While I'm not quite sure about the "values" it represented, you must admit it was a rather interesting relic from yesteryear.

i think they moving him to the OSC grounds

Also the work that is being done to revitalize downtown and the entire city is going to improve the value of building in downtown. Or I'm being hopeful..

some folks don't feel that way. I want the city to be complete. downtown, other towns, and all. a city

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i think they moving him to the OSC grounds

some folks don't feel that way. I want the city to be complete. downtown, other towns, and all. a city

I am thinking the same way you are. Mid-City all the way to Zachary then to Gonzales.

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I hope so cajun...I'm curious to see what will become of the newly acquired property at the corner of Third Street @ Florida...

For now...This is Baton Rouge's version of a "vertical neighborhood" on North Street :rolleyes: This ugly apt building is acceptable to residents of Spanish Town?...yet they blast away at the proposed Capitol Lofts?? Those three blocks of prime riverfront properties are screaming for a mixed-use/vertical neighborhood!

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Edited by richyb83

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