Twelve years after the Chicago Housing Administration announced its intention to overhaul the 1930s housing projects, the fate of the site remains unclear. Lathrop Community Partners—a team counting among its partners Related Midwest, Studio Gang Architects, Wolff Landscape Associates, Farr Associates, bKL, and Bauer Latoza Studio— revealed a draft master plan [PDF] this month that aimed for compromise between restoration and scaling up.
Submissions to the “Redesigning Detroit” competition matched the enthusiasm of its sponsor, Rock Ventures / Quicken Loans, in envisioning a future for the once iconic J.L. Hudson’s department store on Woodward Avenue downtown. Demolished 15 years ago, the 25-story tower left a physical and symbolic gap in the city’s urban fabric that the competition asked its entrants to repair.
“You couldn’t ask for a more exciting piece of property to redevelop, and one that can have such a profound impact on how Detroit feels about itself and sees itself,” said Reed Kroloff, outgoing director of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and advisor on the competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.