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Old 03-03-2011, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Midtown Atlanta
747 posts, read 1,354,797 times
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I believe it's the Hyatt; you can't miss it as it's the only huge eyesore on River Street. How did this building get pass the Historic Review Board? Or was that not in place at the time?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:22 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
10,287 posts, read 21,192,658 times
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I ask myself the same thing every time I'm on River Street. Abomination.

Yes, I think you're probably correct in your guess, or at least the process did not have the same teeth it has today.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Sunny South Florida
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I seem to recall the developer(s) originally wanted that adobe-colored box to be 14 stories high, and Historic Savannah Foundation and other allies whittled their plans down to six stories during 10 or 11 years of bickering. The hotel has been open since (I believe) 1980, and people have been wrinkling their noses up at it ever since.

Of course, River Street wasn't always a nice touristy kind of place, so perhaps when the plans were drawn up, this was better than what was there.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:44 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,301,163 times
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Yes the The Hyatt is ugly .. but not as ugly as the DeSoto Hilton which was built in the late '60s I believe? Adding insult to injury, they tore down the grand old historic DeSoto Hotel to build that thing! I'm just grateful that the Hyatt is set back from the street and doesn't impose on City Hall. How they ever got the air rights to build over River Street is beyond me. But that was a different time ... different politics. Back then, this kind of investment was regarded as URBAN RENEWAL! Remember, this is the city that tore down its historic City Market to build a parking garage. And paved over one of its squares to make room for the Civic Center. And then of course there's Drayton Tower ... "Luxury High-rise Living" back in the 1950s!
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Midtown Atlanta
747 posts, read 1,354,797 times
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Yes, the destruction of the Desoto and the City Market were low points in Savannah's preservation history. How do you guys in Savannah feel about the Civic Center? Hasn't there been talk of building a new one?
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
10,287 posts, read 21,192,658 times
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There are plans to build a new one somewhere out West Gwinnett St., or over there on the east side at Savannah River Landing, I think. And I've heard various proposals to divide up the parking area on the site of the existing Civic Center and use it for other purposes. That's in combination with a number of other ideas, none of which I've been keeping up with.

I like the idea of redeveloping the Civic Center site and think the west side of downtown would be preferable to the east in terms of traffic and access. I'm not sure how the residents of W. Gwinnett will feel about the likelihood of gentrification or commercial development in their area; but I'm sure a lot of ordinary Savannahians, who are already afraid to go downtown, won't support it by attending events there.

More than likely, nothing will happen in the next decade.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA
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A new ARENA to replace the current one was to be funded by the last SPLOST and other projects (like a jail addition) had to come first. The recession put a serious dent in the amount of revenue coming in, so now there may not be any left for an arena at all. Even so, turns out the SPLOST would have only brought in about half what it would actually cost (nobody thought to consult an architect), and the city never did a feasibilty study to determine a best site. The West Gwinnett location was tossed out as a means to win voter support. Now that it looks like there's nowhere near enough money to build the thing, or even a suitable place for it, who knows what will happen? If it had gone through, however, the MLK Arena portion of the old Civic Center would have been torn down and the Johnny Mercer Theatre remain. What they planned to do with the big gapinlg hole in the ground? Who knows.

BTW: The other "lost" square two blocks north on Montgomery Street is where you'll find the absolute uglilest, most criminal "modern" building in all of downtown Savannnah: The Chatham County Courthouse. There is nothing redeeming about this hulking montrosity -- from the awkward way it is set back from the street to the weird faux tabby finish or the long narrow rows of windows that define each floor. Ugly and depressing.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Savannah, GA
24 posts, read 95,488 times
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The Hyatt monstrosity was a political/economic compromise. As others have mentioned it was proposed as a midrise hotel tower. Not wanting Historic Savannah to become a midrise/highrise city that was rejected but bowing to the need for economic investment the compromise was to allow the Hyatt to bridge River Street, thereby getting a workable number of rooms at a lower floor height. Unfortunately, the building is a major barrier in the center of River Street. Conversely the new adjacent Bohemian Hotel shows how good design can enhance River Street and neighboring properties.

The Civic Center future seems to be pretty wide open (and hugely underfunded) at this point. However, restoring the squares around the Civic Center would be an improvement. Montgomery Street really destroyed a few of them and the massive CC parking lot isn't doing much for the ambiance of Orlenas Square.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:27 PM
 
3,317 posts, read 4,911,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post
BTW: The other "lost" square two blocks north on Montgomery Street is where you'll find the absolute uglilest, most criminal "modern" building in all of downtown Savannnah: The Chatham County Courthouse. There is nothing redeeming about this hulking montrosity -- from the awkward way it is set back from the street to the weird faux tabby finish or the long narrow rows of windows that define each floor. Ugly and depressing.
After reading this post, I decided to check out for myself what the courthouse looks like.

Ouch.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA
13,708 posts, read 18,301,163 times
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^^^^ That courthouse is a building that defies all boundaries of logic and good taste. First, some architect (or team of architects) actually drew up the plans for that thing, stood back and said, "That looks good!" Then some county officials looked at those plans and said, "Yep! Let's build it!"

How in the hell could anybody think that building attractive? EVER?!
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