Libeskind Memorial Fans Political Feud in Columbus

Other
Monday, July 22, 2013
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Rendering of Libeskind's memorial design and the mock memorial. (Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind; Alex Holt / Columbus Dispatch)

Rendering of Libeskind’s memorial design and the mock memorial. (Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind; Alex Holt / Columbus Dispatch)

A frustrated Ohio State Senator announced his decision to resign Wednesday after more than two decades in office, in part because of a dispute with Gov. John Kasich over plans for a Daniel Libeskind-designed Holocaust memorial on Statehouse grounds. Richard H. Finan was so upset by such a prospect that he ordered state employees to build a slapdash mockup of the memorial out of plastic pipes and tarp painted with a blue Star of David. The 78-year-old Republican submitted his resignation effective on Oct. 30. He told the Columbus Dispatch it was partially in response to his feud with Gov. Kasich, who called for the memorial in 2011:

“I don’t think the board is performing the way it was meant to anymore. I’m frustrated but I can’t do anything about it. I think it’s time to leave.”

For her part, Nina Libeskind clarified to readers of the Dispatch:

“It is a clear attempt to show what is not real and subvert the process. This is not what we presented.”

The $2 million memorial will be privately funded, but the state will pay for site preparation.

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Illinois Developer Plans To Buy Detroit’s Dilapidated Packard Plant

Midwest
Friday, July 19, 2013
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Preliminary sketch of a rehabbed Packard Plant. (Albert Kahn Associates)

Preliminary sketch of a rehabbed Packard Plant. (Albert Kahn Associates)

Detroit’s Packard Automotive Plant is one of Albert Kahn’s most well-known designs. But while this 3.5 million-square-foot behemoth remains iconic, it’s not exactly enduring.

Collapsed roofs, asbestos, and an ocean of debris (apparently navigable) are among the foreclosed property’s less attractive qualities. But Bill Hults thinks a $350 million renovation project could revive the plant, which closed in 1956, perhaps positioning it at the center of a metro-area rebound.

Continue reading after the jump.

Scaled-back Lathrop Homes Redevelopment Plan Aims for Compromise

Midwest
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Greenscapes: Bird's Eye View of Site Looking South, a potential redevelopment plan for the Lathrop Homes. (Farr Associates)

“Greenscapes: Bird’s Eye View of Site Looking South,” a potential redevelopment plan for the Lathrop Homes. (Farr Associates)

Its unique plan and handsome brown brick buildings landed the site on the National Register of Historic Places, but Chicago’s Julia Lathrop Homes face an uncertain future. As hundreds of units sit vacant, tensions and expectations are high for this historic riverside housing project.

Preservationists called foul on a redevelopment masterplan released last year, which they said shortchanged the 1938 development. Though Lathrop sidestepped outright demolition, the Homes south of Diversey Avenue would make way for new buildings under a new plan proposed by a development group led by Related Midwest.

Continue reading after the jump.

NBBJ to Overhaul Lexington’s Rupp Arena, Convention Center

Midwest
Friday, July 12, 2013
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Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. is targeted for renovation. (NBBJ)

Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. is targeted for renovation. (NBBJ)

NBBJ‘s Los Angeles office will lead design on renovations to Lexington, KY’s Rupp Arena and the city’s convention center.

With more than 23,000 seats, Rupp is the largest arena designed specifically for basketball in the United States. NBBJ, which will be working in collaboration with Lexington-based EOP, elected renovation over expansion or replacement after studying the 3-year-old arena. Renovation, they concluded, would save the city $215 million in construction costs.

Continue reading after the jump.

Columbus Art Museum to Add New Wing

Midwest
Thursday, July 11, 2013
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Columbus Museum of Art's new wing. (DesignGroup)

Columbus Museum of Art’s new wing. (DesignGroup)

In August the Columbus Museum of Art will break ground on the third and final phase of its renovation and expansion project: a new 50,000-square-foot wing that will bring the facility up to par with other major art museums in Ohio.

“In 1931, when we owned 500 pieces of art, we had 10 gallery spaces,” reads a statement on the museum’s website. “Today our collection numbers more than 10,000, yet those same 10 galleries remain.”

Columbus-based architecture firm DesignGroup is heading the $37.6 million project, which also includes renovations to the nearly 40-year-old Ross Wing and lobby area.

More renderings after the jump.

Cleveland Eyes Red Line for Rails-to-Trails Project

Midwest
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
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cleve_rail_trail_04bcleve_rail_trail_04a

 

“The Red Line” could be Cleveland’s answer to New York’s High Line or Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, rails-to-trails projects that have captured the imaginations of their respective cities as an answer to questions surrounding transportation, aging infrastructure and urban placemaking.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland is pushing the idea of a three-mile greenway connecting five city neighborhoods to downtown. That would make the old RTA Red Line trail longer than both the High Line and the Bloomingdale Trail.

Continue reading after the jump.

Giant Sea Creatures To Invade Chicago’s State Street

Midwest
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
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(Chicago Loop Alliance)

(Chicago Loop Alliance)

The Chicago Loop Alliance will wrap the Century Building at 202 S. State Street with a mural depicting a downtown overrun by giant sea creatures.

“Float,” by St. Louis artist Noah MacMillan, calls to mind one of the many action movies in which outsized monsters have laid waste to the Loop in computer-generated battle royales of late. But these octopi and puffer fish appear to float along benignly.

MacMillan’s surreal illustrations and designs have been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, the Washington Post and elsewhere. His 500-square-foot mural, which will be unveiled Tuesday July 16, was commissioned by building owners The General Services Administration, who asked MacMillan to ponder the relationship of citizens and their government. The 16-story building was designed by Holabird and Roche.

Chicago Loop Alliance’s other recent programs include of the Pop-Up Art Loop, a year-long art gallery series, and The Gateway, a “people plaza” on State Street.

"float" by noah macmillan (Chicago Loop Alliance)

“float” by noah macmillan (Chicago Loop Alliance)

Reading nest roosts in front of Cleveland Public Library

Midwest, Newsletter
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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(Mark A. Reigelman II)

(Mark A. Reigelman II)

If you drop by the Cleveland Public Library to get lost in a book, you may find reprieve from modern life outside the library’s walls, thanks to a giant reading nest custom designed by New York artist Mark Reigelman and LAND Studio. The installation is the fourth in a series, called “See Also,” which brings public art to the library’s Eastman Reading Garden. It will be in place through October 18. Read More

Doomed to Demolition, Northwestern Names Three Firms to Design Prentice Successor

Midwest
Friday, June 28, 2013
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Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago. (ChicagoGeek/Flickr)

Bertrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago. (ChicagoGeek/Flickr)

Perkins + Will, Goettsch Partners, and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill will compete to design a successor to Bertrand Goldberg’s celebrated Prentice Women’s Hospital, which Northwestern University will soon demolish.

Booth Hansen will serve as the local architect of record. Northwestern, whose politically expedited approval from the Landmarks commission angered preservationists, selected the three firms from a larger pool based on their responses to a Request for Qualifications.

The winning firm will be chosen by December, according to their written timeline, but no construction work is planned until March 2017, according to Curbed.

Goettsch also designed Northwestern’s lake front Bienen School of Music, which is currently under construction.

Divvy Up: Chicago Launches Bike-Share Program

Midwest
Friday, June 28, 2013
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Get on your bikes and ride — Chicago’s long-delayed Divvy bike share program launched Friday, kicking on 65 solar-powered docking stations and unleashing 700 “Chicago” (read: powder) blue bikes.

But some West and South Side residents may have to wait for the program’s full benefits, if they get them at all. Optimized for short trips in high-density areas, the Divvy system requires a credit or debit card and few of the initial stations serve the far West and South sides. The Department of Transportation plans to rollout a total of 400 stations and about 4,000 three-speed bicycles in all.

Chicago’s Department of Transportation unveiled its bike share plans in April, tapping Portland, OR–based Alta Bicycle Share, which also runs DC’s bike-share program. The rollout follows a similar program, Citibike, which launched in New York in late May.

If you’re riding Divvy today, watch out for stragglers from the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade.

Related Eyes Chicago Spire Debt as Speculation On New Life Swirls

Midwest
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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The Chicago Spire site, currently the city’s most-watched hole in the ground, has had false starts before. This week The Wall Street Journal reported that Related Cos. of New York signed on to buy the stalled project’s debt, raising suspicions that development might proceed on the riverfront site.

Santiago Calatrava’s twisting tower design was to stand 2,000 feet high and house condos, but the $64 million land bordering Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville sat idle after the recession hit in 2008. The troubled project has been tangled up in litigation ever since.

Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency put the project’s $93 million in debt on the market earlier this year. While Irish developer Garett Kelleher’s firm still holds title to the parcel, and Related’s reported deal remains up in the air, speculation swirls around the site which not long ago was prepared to house the nation’s tallest building.

Roman & Williams to Design Hotel in Landmark Chicago Athletic Association Building

Midwest
Friday, June 21, 2013
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The Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (C. William Brubaker / Courtesy UIC Digital Archives; Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois)

The Chicago Athleltic Association Building. (C. William Brubaker / Courtesy UIC Digital Archives; Rolf Achilles / Courtesy Landmarks Illinois)

The landmarked Chicago Athletic Association will soon be home to a boutique hotel designed by Roman and Williams, whose Ace Hotel in New York opened to acclaim in 2009.

Developed by AJ Capital Partners and Commune Hotels & Resorts, the 240-room hotel will include a large ballroom converted from the existing gym and running track, as well as a large greenhouse on the roof. The historic second-floor drawing room will serve as a “living room for a new generation,” Roman and Williams said in a statement, while a new sports room/pool hall/bar will call back to the Athletic Association’s past.

More after the jump.

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