A daily blog on architecture in Chicago, and other topics cultural, political and mineral.
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Although I don't think this is a good solution to use all the time, it does allow for the facades of some nice buildings (that are otherwise useless in comparison to modern offices) to be preserved. If they do a good job like they did with the Heritage, then I'll be fine.
Facade preservations have come a long way from the clumsy work of the 1970's. If these are as well done as the ones behind the Cultural Center, it will be a another great preservation achievement that allows new growth and revitalization to occur while preserving key elements of the past.
This type of effort is a pretty good compromise. It still preserves the street level/pedestrian experience (because not much of a building is perceived by a pedestrian beyond the 3 floor) but allows for economic reuse/expansion of the site.When I was in Spain last year, I noticed many old buildings where basically only the facades were preserved and the interior was completely gutted and rebuilt. Therefore, the exterior aesthetic was maintained (and historical context/continuity), but the interior is brought to contemporary standards of technology and space.
You said, "but the interior is brought to contemporary standards of technology and space."In the case of these buildings on Wabash, that means parking spaces hidden behind historic facades. I suppose that is contemporary standards of technology and space. In suburbia. Parking should never replace an underused building in an urban core, even if hidden away. Apartments, loft style, would have been the better use for the buildings of Wabash.
I used to go to Kroch's frequently in the 1970s. It was one of my favorite places to go in the loop, and I was sad when the bookstore went bankrupt in the 1990s.Now virtually all the little places I went to in the Loop are gone, and now I find the space that was Kroch's is gone and only the facade remains.I am sorry, but I think it all stinks.
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