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Old 09-27-2014, 07:35 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,995 posts, read 102,568,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
For me it does. Walkable areas in which I am surrounded by architecture of towering concrete slabs and acres of glass give me the absolute creeps - and I lived in Manhattan for more than forty years. Decorating these types of areas with trees in huge concrete containers and then having little clots of sitting spaces and umbrella islands doesn't change the vibe for me. Some of Germany's rebuilt post-WW II cities, as well as similar U.S. attempts, make me want to flee, not walk.

I like a mix of very old, old and new. I am immensely fond of Lisbon where you will find people spaces in all sorts of old neighbourhoods and unexpected places.
Agreed!
*****************************

I also think there is a difference between "historic" and just plain "old". I'm not sure when the first term started meaning the second, but it's obviously used in this manner a lot these days. Not every old building has historical significance, or architectural significance.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,895 posts, read 7,655,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Agreed!
*****************************

I also think there is a difference between "historic" and just plain "old". I'm not sure when the first term started meaning the second, but it's obviously used in this manner a lot these days. Not every old building has historical significance, or architectural significance.
Nope. Essentially, they offer context to the buildings that are historic, or have architectural significance.

In this streetview, I'm "standing" on the Ponte Vecchio, in Florence, Italy: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.7683...Z6cZ4eOo2g!2e0

Hitler was so enamored with this bridge, that he ordered that it be saved, during WWII. In order to save the bridge, but make it unusable, they destroyed most of the surrounding buildings. So, the surrounding buildings aren't old, but they still provide much needed context.

Back here, in the US, the National Register of Historic Places classifies buildings in a historic district as "contributing" or "non-contributing."

Quote:
A contributing property is any building, structure, object or site within the boundaries of the district which reflects the significance of the district as a whole, either because of historic associations, historic architectural qualities or archaeological features. Another key aspect of the contributing property is historic integrity. Significant alterations to a property can damage its physical connections with the past, lowering its historic integrity.
Here's the wiki article about property types: National Register of Historic Places property types - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:06 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,995 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33059
I can't tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me! I think the former?
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,895 posts, read 7,655,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I can't tell if you're agreeing or disagreeing with me! I think the former?
Sorry, I had a feeling I should have been more clear. I am agreeing with you, but with qualifications.
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:10 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,560,099 times
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Not all old buildings are historic buildings--but generally, historic buildings are old buildings. The superset of "old buildings" includes buildings that are considered officially "historic" and celebrated for their appearance, the role they played or the people who lived or worked in them. Note that "historic" and "famous" are not identical--it's not just about the homes of the high and mighty.

But old buildings don't have to be officially "historic" to have value and utility, even ones that aren't officially recognized still have value as "old buildings" for the reasons I mentioned above: they provide a sense of the passage of time, and buildings that are no longer new enough to draw premium rents but not old enough to be thought of as "historic buildings" tend to offer cheaper rents, allowing economically and socially adventurous uses to take place inside them, or they can just provide inexpensive places to live.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:41 PM
 
12,689 posts, read 14,071,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Agreed!
*****************************

I also think there is a difference between "historic" and just plain "old". I'm not sure when the first term started meaning the second, but it's obviously used in this manner a lot these days. Not every old building has historical significance, or architectural significance.
Agreed.

I think the reason I used "old" rather than historic is simply that a safe, decently maintained neighbourhood of older buildings usually suggests to me another era, even if in the neighbourhood there is nothing of marked architectural or political-social historical note.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,760,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wburg View Post
Out here, the tilt-up warehouses from the 1960s are starting to become art galleries, co-working spaces, restaurants and live music venues. Being a cheap box nobody wants has real advantages for folks who can't afford high rents. The landmark buildings nearby, including the older industrial buildings (1900s-1940s brick and poured concrete) are more likely to get rehabbed into higher-end restaurants or offices--or housing.
Looking at the co-working spaces in Toronto, 11 are in pre-WWII buildings (much of them formerly industrial), 1 is in a small mid-20th century office building, 1 in a PoMo mid rise office building and 1 in a new building that's part of a mixed income redevelopment of Toronto's largest housing project. All of them are in walkable pre-WWII neighbourhoods.

The 1940s-1960s industrial buildings, at least those in neighbourhoods/industrial parks that were also built around that time, don't really seem to host the uses you describe. A lot of them are still home to manufacturing uses similar to what they were originally built for, and otherwise, it seems to be mostly more established local businesses in sectors like media, fashion, wholesale (esp food, clothing), interior design, renovation, landscaping and construction supplies, trades contracting, ethnic community centres, auto shops and the like. Vacancy rates seem to be pretty high for these sorts of buildings. The bigger industrial buildings from that era and in auto-oriented settings seem to be particularly unlikely to be re-used and often get redeveloped into something else (distribution centres, auto-oriented shopping centres, and if zoning allows - shopping).

Start up businesses, aside from being started out of people's own homes, are in large part being started in more walkable neighbourhoods, in older buildings (in which I include mid-century buildings). More affordable non-chain restaurants and art galleries are also common in these sorts of places, although you'll also have small independent businesses in older strip malls.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:14 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,995 posts, read 102,568,112 times
Reputation: 33059
^^Out my way, the small independents are more likely to be located in strip malls than in the downtowns or near large malls. That is probably b/c rents are lower in these strip malls.
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:45 PM
 
1,928 posts, read 1,556,972 times
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Anyone here been to Savannah, Georgia?

It is a brilliant example of planning. A grid system where every other block is a park with a one-way roundabout. It facilitated equestrians and now it facilitate pedestrians. It keeps auto traffic slow and yet moving.

The entire city is a historic district, the largest in the country I have been told. Many well-preserved areas, and some that are gritty, which I like to see the mix of. The patina of time as mentioned!

I love historic cities. I like seeing modern businesses in buildings that are kept mostly original and intact, and seeing districts that are expansive, i.e. it goes on for many blocks, not just a few buildings here and there.

Montréal, Charleston, Boston and St. Augustine are other great historic cities I have visited. Cobblestone or brick streets are a nice feature I'd say. I have not visited Quebec City but it's on my short list the next time I am up there near the North Pole.
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Old 09-28-2014, 12:44 PM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,560,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
Looking at the co-working spaces in Toronto, 11 are in pre-WWII buildings (much of them formerly industrial), 1 is in a small mid-20th century office building, 1 in a PoMo mid rise office building and 1 in a new building that's part of a mixed income redevelopment of Toronto's largest housing project. All of them are in walkable pre-WWII neighbourhoods.

The 1940s-1960s industrial buildings, at least those in neighbourhoods/industrial parks that were also built around that time, don't really seem to host the uses you describe. A lot of them are still home to manufacturing uses similar to what they were originally built for, and otherwise, it seems to be mostly more established local businesses in sectors like media, fashion, wholesale (esp food, clothing), interior design, renovation, landscaping and construction supplies, trades contracting, ethnic community centres, auto shops and the like. Vacancy rates seem to be pretty high for these sorts of buildings. The bigger industrial buildings from that era and in auto-oriented settings seem to be particularly unlikely to be re-used and often get redeveloped into something else (distribution centres, auto-oriented shopping centres, and if zoning allows - shopping).

Start up businesses, aside from being started out of people's own homes, are in large part being started in more walkable neighbourhoods, in older buildings (in which I include mid-century buildings). More affordable non-chain restaurants and art galleries are also common in these sorts of places, although you'll also have small independent businesses in older strip malls.
Toronto probably has a very different built environment than Sacramento. We were a relatively small city until World War II, and had lots of explosive growth after the war. A lot of our downtown industrial buildings were knocked down for the now ubiquitous tilt-up concrete industrial buildings that we call "Buzz Boxes" after the developer best known for them, "Buzz" Oates. Many are still used for industrial purposes, but the ones in the close-in neighborhoods (the ones with 19th/early 20th century historic homes) are starting to be converted to other uses--brewery/taprooms, art galleries, music venues. The old brick industrial buildings saw the same wave start 20-30 years ago when they were still inexpensive and not really considered "historic" but as they have grown in popularity they become more premium spaces.

The ones farther out from the city in the postwar neighborhoods are still likely to have industrial uses--small manufacturing, wholesale, construction. The more recent low-rise office parks I don't see much but notice a growing trend for nonprofits looking for cheap office space to locate there instead of older office buildings downtown, which are becoming premium space, converting to boutique hotels or high-end restaurants. A formerly run-down part of south Sacramento, along a former rural highway (Stockton Boulevard) has evolved into a "Little Saigon" district, with a southeast Asian population, reutilizing a lot of the old strip-mall buildings, but also drawing new construction, some of which has a more urban design (buildings closer to the street, parking alongside or in back, mixed use/multi-story) for properties that are very far from the city center (and in some cases outside the city limits.) The area is near a light rail corridor with high-frequency bus service, but overall is still very car-centric.

Startup businesses (aside from the home business or "laptop in a Starbuck's" model) tend to be in the walkable neighborhoods, in coworking spaces or the cheapest facilities available--like those "Buzz Box" tilt-ups--in the same neighborhoods. Coworking spaces are also incubators for businesses that end up expanding into their own space, making room for new tenants.
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