Design Competition Reimagines Detroit’s Hudson’s Department Store Site

Midwest
Thursday, July 25, 2013
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First place winner, “MINICITY Detroit,” by Davide Marchetti and Erin Pellegrino.

First place winner, “MINICITY Detroit,” by Davide Marchetti and Erin Pellegrino.

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.

Read More

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.

SCAPE, Rogers Marvel to Design Water Works Park in Minneapolis

City Terrain, Midwest
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Water Works

The new park in Minneapolis will be developed adjacent to St. Anthony Falls, where the city’s milling industry once thrived. (Minneapolis Parks Foundation)

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board have announced that two New York-based firms, SCAPE / Landscape Architecture and Rogers Marvel Architects, will collaborate to design Water Works Park, part of the city’s ongoing RiverFirst project.

Slated for completion in early 2014, Water Works Park will be incorporated into the existing Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park above St. Anthony Falls, the only true waterfall along the Mississippi River and an important part of Minneapolis’ history. The park already draws 1.6 million visitors each year, a number that officials expect to increase with the addition of the year-round, multi-use park.

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)

A Beach Island for Downtown Detroit Aims to Activate the Campus Martius

Midwest
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
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(Screen view from video / Free Press)

(Screen view from video / Free Press)

For Detroit citizens escaping to the beach just became as easy as taking a trip downtown. The city’s urban beach opened at the end of June in Campus Martius, transforming one Detroit’s downtown traffic islands on Woodward Avenue into actual island oasis complete with 150 tons of sand.

Downtown Detroit Partnership was motivated to bring a temporary beach to the  neighborhood by France’s Paris Plages plan that creates temporary sandy strips along the Seine river. For Detroit the sandy retreat is integrated into the city’s greater revitalization efforts to create economic development and bring active and accessible public spaces into everyday life. And while there are no rolling waves crashing in on Detroit’s sand island it still offers a place to lunch, socialize, or just kick back. So if you’re in Detroit this summer throw on your flip-flops and head for the shores of Woodward Avenue.

Watch a video after the jump.

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.

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