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Old 02-08-2021, 10:32 PM
334 posts, read 137,958 times
Reputation: 422


Originally Posted by Tombstoner View Post
Not trying to engage in a back-and-forth about something that is, ultimately, not about truth but preferences. I would only ask what "headlines" this is driving (outside the world of architecture listservs and height fetishists) and if it's remotely true that Chicago's architectural "reputation" depends on buildings that are more than 300m tall (gee...if only we could be world-renowned and admired like Shenzhen!). If you equate supertalls to a city's architectural worth, then that kind of logic is spot-on. But if you admire cities' architecture for things other than height-of-skyline/# of supertalls... not so much. Not trying to be a jerk, but the headline "Toronto Surpasses Chicago in Amount of Skyscrapers" is not the stuff of nightmares for me--it actually made me giggle a little. I thought to myself ""Really??? That's what someone thinks we should give a s*** about?? Of course, if it's important to you, that's your thing (god bless)... but to me it's like someone being humiliated that no one in their family ever won a hotdog-eating contest. I'm sure I value things you think are silly as well.

I absolutely agree with you that the current raft of tall buildings are NOT covering Chicago in glory; lots of mediocrity among a few decent additions. But that's an entirely different topic. New York is erecting some spectacularly beautiful and and innovative buildings (high-rise, tall and supertall) and that's something to which we could rightly be a little envious (the proposed Hyatt next to GCS is stunning IMHO). They are also building some real (but very tall!) duds. To me, a 1400 ft version of Salesforce Tower would not be a cause for celebration, but it might be for you. Think of all the headlines!
You sound like the typical "all about design" elitist that thinks supertalls equal "doesn't engage the street well" and "they create sterile environments" yada, yada yada...I've debated many of your ilk. Pretending height can't be paired with visionary design is quite the paradox your type creates that is proven false time and again. Portraying height as purely fulfilling one's vanity is disregarding why height is the most awe-inducing aspect of "skyscrapers" to the masses.

What you fail to realize is these budget-towers aren't some inspired sculptural structures that sacrificed greater height for higher quality materials or form. They are banal designs AND plateau inducing. They are merely variations on a theme. Same color palette, materials, height, size, forms etc. Chicago isn't winning any awards on that front either. Not only are they mediocre heights, they are Miesian minimalist trash. This from the city that has created some of the most important innovations in urban-planning, design, construction and engineering. Progress was how Chicago became revered to the level of being an architectural museum with no equals. Now it is the opposite reality. You can't see how this matters? How keeping that legacy going would greatly benefit the city?

You are completely ignorant of facts if you can't see the connection between high-profile, headline making towers and perception of a city's value in the mind of residents, visitors, potential residents, business, public officials etc. There is no way to calculate the value of New York's super-boom that has placed it at the forefront of ambition/luxury/innovation and how the environment is now overrun with developers vying to build the ultimate statement tower. The civic pride and anything is possible spirit attached to such dynamic growth is reward enough without all the other factors.

Chicago's foremost selling point to investors, corporations, institutions or events etc. it wants to attract or relocate to Chicago is having tall buildings and a robust skyline. It is without a doubt the most important and valuable asset the city has. It is what separates it from your typical Midwest Rust-Belt city and in large measure how it competes with the coasts for status.

I wouldn't want a 1,400' Salesforce or even Tribune East. Now truly innovative designs that incorporate terracotta, limestone, brass, copper and bronze like New York's trophy towers would be winning on all accounts. Had Related's original proposal for the Spire site been built they would have enhanced Chicago's river-gateway, provided luxury, elegance and visual landmarks with an imposing presence for all to experience. Vista has added a St. Regis, an Alinea Group restaurant and will provide some of the most exclusive interior spaces on par with the best the world has to offer. From the outside it provides another bold visual landmark that will reign over its surroundings as a focal point for spectators, photographers and marketing material.

What those headlines and lists indicate to people is that Chicago is declining or stagnant, who still views Chicago as a global leader in architecture? It used to be solid "Big 3" alongside New York and Hong Kong for decades. You can't bow out of the architectural arms race and expect to remain a destination where developers strive to leave their masterpiece, and they don't anymore. If not for Jeanne Gang Chicago wouldn't have added one building with international recognition last cycle. I cant help you if you can't see the economic and other quantifiable benefits buildings such as Sears, Hancock, Aon, Trump Tower and now Vista give the city. The media attention and industry buzz that Chicago experienced while being the home to a future 2,000' "drill bit" by Calatrava was palpable. Not one building since has brought Chicago so much industry attention and placed us in the consciousness of people the world over for being a place where we aim for the impossible.
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Old 02-10-2021, 11:18 PM
347 posts, read 86,702 times
Reputation: 537

To all the people here praising New York's pencil middle finger towers, they're not all that great. In fact, they were built so poorly they may even be a safety hazard.

In its short 6 years of existence, 432 Park Ave has seen: numerous floods causing $10m in damage, frequent elevator outages, creaking and groaning in winds, and a host of other structural issues.

I'm glad Chicago doesn't have these. You guys seem to built stuff much better quality over there these days, even if the design doesn't look "revolutionary"
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