Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by flyingember » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:26 pm

marieantoinette wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:13 pm

I would have to *strongly* disagree. People care about buildings that currently have no function, just because of the unique architecture or other aesthetic benefits. In terms of why we love a place/city, I think it goes deeper than functionality, or maximizing the utility of land.

Not to say unused old buildings should exist for the sake of existing, but perhaps people don't want to lose these charming old buildings because today's development is typically not very charming or interesting at all - and at little fault of the designers, I believe. Someone mentioned that clients just don't care to pay for these extra details... and why would they?

I don't disagree that our urban land should certainly have a purpose. However, purpose is not the only component that makes a place worth caring about. 135th Street corridor has its purpose, but is also a total abomination.
Why are only old, ornamental buildings worth saving?

Isn't this the very cause of the problem this idea is meant to stop?

Parts of 135th st have more ornamentation than Town Pavillion does. One of the most unique buildings in the region is on that corridor. It shows why ornamentation representing value is a silly argument. The developer and client paid for the extra details and you dismissed their efforts.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by AlbertHammond » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:01 pm

I think this tweet is a good example of the divide between "designers" and the average citizen. Read the comments.

https://twitter.com/SFGate/status/1094569556272603136

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by FangKC » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:46 pm

AlbertHammond wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:01 pm
I think this tweet is a good example of the divide between "designers" and the average citizen. Read the comments.

https://twitter.com/SFGate/status/1094569556272603136

Image
It's a horror to see them do that to a house that only needed to have the exterior repainted. I don't care what they do inside to update it. They should have left the outside alone. At least they left the texture in the wide-clapboard walls.

San Francisco is full of those plain, stucco, square box houses that look tired and low-rent 20 years after they were built.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by FangKC » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:06 pm

flyingember wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:26 pm
marieantoinette wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:13 pm

I would have to *strongly* disagree. People care about buildings that currently have no function, just because of the unique architecture or other aesthetic benefits. In terms of why we love a place/city, I think it goes deeper than functionality, or maximizing the utility of land.

Not to say unused old buildings should exist for the sake of existing, but perhaps people don't want to lose these charming old buildings because today's development is typically not very charming or interesting at all - and at little fault of the designers, I believe. Someone mentioned that clients just don't care to pay for these extra details... and why would they?

I don't disagree that our urban land should certainly have a purpose. However, purpose is not the only component that makes a place worth caring about. 135th Street corridor has its purpose, but is also a total abomination.
Why are only old, ornamental buildings worth saving?
We shouldn't be tearing down any buildings that are functional--whether they have ornamentation or not. Buildings should be reused as many times as possible. One of the reasons buildings sit empty, and perhaps not maintained properly, is because we--as a society--approach the built environment as disposable.

Society keeps allowing developers to build new, competing buildings further and further out from the center. These new retail centers, or office buildings, only draw tenants away from the older ones. They often are not the result of bringing in entirely new businesses. We have seen this play out in the Northland. Zona Rosa drew tenants away from other shopping centers, and now we are seeing that Zona Rosa is struggling.

Society also doesn't factor in the environmental cost of constructing and demolishing buildings, and assign a penalty for the pollution and contribution to climate change.

I will cite the example of the Bernstein-Reid building designed by Moshe Safdie on the Plaza. It was a fairly large office building. It was built and never occupied. It was demolished and a new building constructed. No penalty for the carbon gases the whole fiasco created. No benefit to society.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by flyingember » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:28 am

On the reusability subject, let's look at Corbin Park on 135th again. Several of the buildings have *more* ornamentation than old brick buildings downtown.

The building with more ornamentation is supposed to have more practical value because the ornamentation makes the building prettier, despite being made of metal studs, stucco and foam???? That makes no sense.

Does the lack of pre-war ornamentation somehow make 1901 McGee undesirable? It has a clear post-war facade with the metal windows at street level.

Why is an art deco building like Union Carbide or the Bryant Building more valuable than 1960s skyscrapers with less ornamentation? Is the Commerce Tower somehow uninteresting because it has a simple design?

I would much rather have a solidly built building without ornamentation that can be reused over a pretty building made of foam like so many are today.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by flyingember » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:51 am

FangKC wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:46 pm
AlbertHammond wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:01 pm
I think this tweet is a good example of the divide between "designers" and the average citizen. Read the comments.

https://twitter.com/SFGate/status/1094569556272603136

Image
It's a horror to see them do that to a house that only needed to have the exterior repainted. I don't care what they do inside to update it. They should have left the outside alone. At least they left the texture in the wide-clapboard walls.

San Francisco is full of those plain, stucco, square box houses that look tired and low-rent 20 years after they were built.
I found their permitting system. They raised the house up by a foot to add ~880 sq ft to the home. (75% increase in size) So that explains the stairs.

So let's move onto the next thing, earthquake protection. At 120 years it predates the 1906 earthquake. They'll have a hard time selling a reno if they didn't protect the building to current codes.

I bet they decided to lift the home by a foot (I looked in the Oakland permitting system) because doing the earthquake work is most of the way there, especially if the foundation is crumbling (uncertain if it was). And if you're going to add structural ties at the foundation and you already took off some siding, since I bet it's balloon framed the easiest way to add structural ties is to take off the exterior siding all the way up and do this from the outside

I could argue they should have recreated a more historic look but that's a different subject. This does feel like a home where their lack of ornamentation doesn't fit with the overall look. It didn't need to be corbels, even more trim would help.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by chaglang » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:05 pm

horizons82 wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:55 pm
AlbertHammond wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:51 pm
TheLastGentleman - Bravo to all your comments and rebuttals. All arguments against you are merely uninformed excuses. Great points.

Ornament or other human scale details are critical to making buildings worth caring about. Every building that is built that lacks that detail will never make the city more loved. This detail is no longer taught or admired in the design professions and is making our world less satisfying.
Oh for god's sake. Designers of today were taught and understand "the detail", they just don't practice in the way you would like. If you asked most competent architects to design a Beaux Arts building, they could do it. One style of architecture isn't inherently better than another.

I've been receptive to the arguments for more buildings with classical ornamentation. Varitety is the spice of life. But there's an underlying current here that people discount the minimalism or intricacy of modern works too. Visit Zaha Hadid's MAXXI in Rome, Peter Zumthor's Therme Vals in Switzerland, or heck Steven Holl's Bloch Building here in KC. If you can't appreciate what the modern architect can do with light, volume, finish, nature, and massing, that's a true shame.

The banality of your typical new midrise has always been there in every age. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous. Past is prologue and eventually contemporary architecture will be whittled back to structures like those I highlighted.
TheLastGentleman wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:39 pm
Then why is ornament so ubiquitous in prewar architecture, even in common buildings? What drove them to spend the extra money on ornament? How could they afford it? Even warehouses had ornament, just look at the West Bottoms. They didn't need ornament, so why is it there?
I would argue this is an indictment of American capitalism and how we handle real estate today; more than it is one of architecture and design.

At one time, building ownership was far more decentralized than today. Today a few key players run many markets. Many companies owned their own buildings. Today you have a property built by a developer, sold at completion to an ownership group, managed by a separate conglomerate, that then leases space to some employer. The incentive to create a personal showpiece, a statement of success, has been stripped from your typical building.
This is the best post in this whole personal preference debate. Well done. On economics, the real dollar cost of buildings now vs 100 years ago is also an important thing to pay attention to.

The only other thing that I'll add is that I've never had a client ask for more ornamentation. Even on east coast university campuses that are renowned for their traditional architecture. As is typical with client requests, if they had asked, it would have happened. That's my own experience and by no means universal.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by marieantoinette » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:52 pm

[/quote]

Why are only old, ornamental buildings worth saving?

Isn't this the very cause of the problem this idea is meant to stop?

Parts of 135th st have more ornamentation than Town Pavillion does. One of the most unique buildings in the region is on that corridor. It shows why ornamentation representing value is a silly argument. The developer and client paid for the extra details and you dismissed their efforts.
[/quote]

I NEVER said ornamental buildings are the only things worth saving, and I did not intend to say that ornamental elements makes for a better building.

I am saying that the reality is that people care about buildings for more reasons than just whether or not it is being utilized by society. That should be apparent, especially in Midtown KC.

I personally don't think ornamentation is necessary to creating a human-scale place, but it sure does help produce interest from the pedestrian's perspective.

I'd take a contemporary-style walkable environment over the 135th Street ornamental, sample board, suburban shitstorm any day of the week.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by flyingember » Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:54 pm

marieantoinette wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:52 pm

I am saying that the reality is that people care about buildings for more reasons than just whether or not it is being utilized by society. That should be apparent, especially in Midtown KC.
Except you have to ignore the history at we tore down thousands of homes to get to the current buildings we have today.
The very buildings often used as examples in midtown are 2nd or 3rd generation structures.

People really don't care about buildings, they care about shopping and jobs and having places to live. The anti-opus group at most had less than 1% of the midtown/plaza population seriously involved. This single building will hold more people than that when complete.

If people cared about design you would see people not moving into buildings based on how they look. We know this isn't true because people don't tend move out of massive public housing blocks over the architecture, it usually is because of crime and schools and proximity to jobs.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by FangKC » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:39 pm

What you are saying may be true. However, when I was being shown houses to buy, I ruled out some immediately because of the way the exterior looked. PumpkinStalker doesn't post much anymore, but I know he is incapable of living in a Dutch Colonial house. The thought of it makes his flesh melt off. :lol:
Last edited by FangKC on Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by marieantoinette » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:41 pm

I totally agree. If *most* Americans cared about design, our cities wouldn't look the way they do. It at least isn't at the top of everyone's priority list.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by normalthings » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:48 pm

https://twitter.com/nextkansascity/stat ... 08194?s=21

During public testimony, a developer called the process relating to Plaza Bowl corrupt and suggested Shields should recuse herself from the process or resign.

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by KCPowercat » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:58 pm

That was awesome

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Re: Plaza move-ins (ongoing)

Post by FangKC » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:27 pm

The City Council voted 13-0 to pass expansion of the Plaza overlay.

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