|click images for larger view|
|image courtesy The Chuckman Collection|
Finally, in 2005, ground was broken for the four-story Block 37 shopping mall, which upon its opening promptly became a huge white elephant. Where Lord and Taylor and Harrods of London had once been mentioned as tenants, there was, instead, a mall without an anchor, its top floors completely empty.
While the angled walkways and central light court give the interior a certain elegance, on the outside, it's a numbingly generic building. Shorn of the artwork value-engineered out of the original plan, the exterior finds its only relief from the visual monotony in undulations in the metal facade that, if you're lucky, self-animate when they reflect the light from signs on adjacent buildings such as the Oriental Theater . . .
Eventually the original developer lost control of the project, which was taken back by the lender, Bank of America, for $100 million, and then sold it to CIM Group for $84 million two years ago. While 64% of the mall's 275,000 square feet remained empty, CIM has recently struck a deal for a new restaurant and earlier this month, another with AMC to bring an 11-screen, 44,000 square foot cinema complex to the tumbleweed-populated fourth floor.
Solomon Cordwell Bunez to break up the monotony of the curtain wall facade of their new skyscraper, with a giant zipper of incised windows running up the full height of the tower about two thirds in on the Randolph Street side.. The roof of the mall structure will become home to an "amenity deck" for the apartment residents, including an outdoor deck, pool, spa and fitness center. According to the building permit, structural work will include "a 5′-6″ matt transfer slab, steel transfer trusses approximately 30′-0″ tall, post-tensioned concrete slabs, concrete columns and concrete core-shear wall."
25 years of trials and tribulations at Block 37
Broken Glass Boogie Woogie at Block 37's 22 West Washington
Tales from the Crypt: City to Bury $300 Million Mistake under Block 37
Can Signage Save Block 37?
Block 37 Regains a Third Dimension
Hope at Block 37? - Ownership Changes Still Again
The Emperor of Dirt
Block 37 - The Curse Lives!
The Entombment of the Plug Bug
Planning and its Disconnects: The Cautionary Tale of Block 37