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editor

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  1. I saw the guy putting up the tiles on Saturday morning. I didn't realize it was a bus stop. I thought it was just to section off outdoor seating for a restaurant.
  2. The Star is now being managed by The Morgan Group. I believe this is the same org that handles all of the various Pearl apartment buildings around town. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about this company? (Staff says that The Star was sold to Morgan, but the official announcement only says the management was changed. I don't know which is true.)
  3. That makes sense. In case you, and others, don't know, the reason that people from California say "the" before the names of freeways is due to history. California had freeways before the federal interstate highway system was established, do they didn't have numbers, just names. For example, The Seaside Freeway. When the numbers came along, "The Seaside Freeway" became "The 710." It sounds weird to me, too. And as more Californians spread around the country, I've heard "The" in Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona now. Ick.
  4. Here's a semi-stupid idea: Make one side water-resistant. Then install pumps to move the water from the outbound lanes into the inbound trench, so that people can still evacuate during flooding.
  5. From your mouth to God's ears. But it's been almost 30 years. There's now an entire new generation of people running things in Cincinnati who have no idea this was the plan. Just like my generation didn't know that Cincinnati has a subway that was going to be reactivated "some day." According to Wikipedia, it's currently the largest abandoned tunnel system in America. The generation before mine forgot that the conversion of Central Parkway from a canal to a boulevard was supposed to be temporary, and that Central Parkway was supposed to be re-trenched and re-connected to Mill Creek. This is why you can't build things for "some day." There are at least a dozen skyscrapers in downtown Chicago (oh God, please stop talking about Chicago) that were not fully completed. They were designed for a particular height, but only got so far before someone decided "that's good enough" and "we'll finish it some day." Some day almost never comes.
  6. I like it. One of my doctors in the TMC has an awesome view from her office. The problem is the buildings. So few of them are worth looking at.
  7. 🎶 I was on a Montrose train... I emerged in Uptown rain... 🎶
  8. No corn dogs, but the greasy spoon under 1001 McKinney makes a fine basic hamburger.
  9. Thanks for that. I've always been curious about Tiki Island. A little too close to hurricane ground zero for my taste, but I can understand the draw.
  10. Just an update to the discussion about $134/week fee. It looks like my idea of $300/day was out of line. I checked Chicago, and found this. It's from 2014, but as near as i can figure, the fe for blocking an entire street lane varies by type of lane, how long it is blocked, and what used to be on the sidewalk. If it's a street lane with parking, fee starts (monthly) at $10/foot, with a minimum fee of $200. It goes up to $40/foot, with a minimum fee of $800/month, if you're there for 18 months or longer. (A standard city block in Chicago is 660 feet x 330 feet.) If it's a street without parking, the fee starts (monthly) at $20/foot, with a minimum fee of $400. It goes up to $80/foot, with a minimum fee of $1,600/month, if you're there 18 months or longer. If a bicycle rack has to be removed, that's $150. If a parking meter has to be removed, that's $150 per meter + the city's estimate of revenue lost. If a parking pay box has to be removed, that's $1,000 + the city's estimate of revenue lost. If a non-parking sign has to be removed, that's $150 per sign. If it's a no parking sign that has to be removed, that's free for some reason. There are some other interesting charges, like $47.88/hour if you need a city marine officer to do whatever it is that city marine officers do while your construction barge is moored alongside your construction site. Same rate for cops on horses. A flunkie to guide pedestrians around your construction is $26.19/hour. If for some reason you need a deputy chief, that's $86.54/hour.
  11. Having lived in New York for decades, I have to disagree with your assessment. But perhaps things have changed since I lived there. While I agree with you that $134/week in Houston is way too cheap, shutting down sidewalks and street lanes for private construction and other events is a common, ordinary activity in every American city. In Chicago, some aldermen send out a weekly e-mail that includes a list of the closures. Here's the one from the 42nd ward just last week: (I removed the protests and the gas main construction) --:-- Filmings The Chi The Chi will be filming at 505 N Lake Shore Drive on Tuesday, April 19. During the filming, parking at the following locations will be prohibited: North side of Illinois from Lower Lake Shore Drive to Streeter Dr (Tuesday, April 19th 4:00AM- Wednesday, April 20th) North side of Illinois St. from McClurg Ct. to Peshitgo Ct. (Tuesday, April 19th 4:00AM- Wednesday, April 20th) South side of Grand Ave. from Peshitgo Ct. to McClurg Ct. (Tuesday, April 19th 4:00AM- Wednesday, April 20th) If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Brian Fairley (location manager) at (773) 521-1509. Crane Lift: 640 N Wabash Avenue On Saturday, April 16, from 8am-8pm, there will be a crane lift at 640 N Wabash Avenue. During the lift, the following will be closed: Sidewalk on the west side of Wabash, from Erie to a point 100' south thereof Curb lane on the west side of Wabash, from Erie to a point 100' south thereof One southbound traffic lane on Wabash, from Erie to a point 100' south thereof There will be barricades and flaggers in-place throughout the lift. Crane Lift: 7 West Monroe Street On Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 from 8am-8pm there will be a crane lift at 7 West Monroe Street. Throughout the lift, Monroe, from State to Dearborn will be closed to vehicular traffic. The crane will remain on-site during the overnight hours. There will be barricades, detour signs, and traffic control on-site throughout the lift. 214 West Erie Street Renovations On Monday, December 13, Crane Construction began renovations of 214 West Erie Street. During construction, the following will be closed: Sidewalk/curb lane in front of 214 West Erie Street. The curb lane will be used as a pedestrian walkway. Crane Construction will place jersey barriers and ramps in the curb lane to protect pedestrians and provide wheelchair access. Close 100' of the north/south alley adjacent to 214 W Erie Street. This is a T alley and residents of 222 W Erie will still be able to access their parking garage from the alley entrance on Franklin and Huron. This project is expected to be completed summer of 2022 (weather dependent). LG Construction: 751 N. Hudson and 451 W Chicago LG Construction has recently broke ground at 751 N. Hudson Avenue and 451 W. Chicago Avenue, which are adjacent parcels. Work hours will be 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Throughout the project, the following will be closed: Sidewalk/curb lane/traffic lane of the east side of Hudson, from Chicago to the first alley south thereof Sidewalk/curb lane/traffic lane on the west side of Sedgwick, from Chicago to the first alley south thereof Sidewalk/curb lane on the south side of Chicago, from Hudson to Sedgwick There will be a protected pedestrian walkway in the curb lane on the south side of Chicago Avenue, from Hudson Avenue to Sedgwick Street. This project is expected to take 18 months to complete (weather dependent). 354 North Union Construction The Onni Group is constructing a 33 story residential building with 373 units. Work hours will be 8am-8pm, daily. Parking will be prohibited on North Union, from West Kinzie to the cul-de-sac west thereof throughout the project. All construction equipment and vehicles will be staged on the Onni Group’s property. This project will take approximately two years to complete. 430 N. Michigan Lobby Renovation Starting in mid-September, GNP Realty Partners will be renovating the lobby at 430 N. Michigan Avenue. Throughout the project, there will be a 40’ urban canopy on the sidewalk in front of the building. In order to place the canopy on the sidewalk, the planter bed and City Information Panel (CIP) at this location will be temporarily removed. Both the planter bed and CIP will be reinstalled upon completion of the project. The project is expected to be completed in May 2022. --:-- Now, back to that fee — Yeah, $134/week is stupidly cheap. In my estimation, it should be closer to $300/day. If I can't park a row of cars along the entirety of a city block for $134/week, a construction company shouldn't be allowed to occupy that space at that price, either. In Chicago (again, sorry for all the Chicago data points, but it is the city that I have the most familiarity with), the 1 Bennett Park building has to pay the city for a tiny slice of air above a sidewalk. There is a very small decorative arch (kinda like a gargoyle ornament) that hangs 3¾ feet over the sidewalk, 777 feet above the ground. That's $400/year in rent to the city. In Houston, I suspect that would have been ignored.
  12. Yeah, Fort Washington Way. For those of you who don't know it, it's the trenched highway that separates downtown Cincinnati from the riverfront. When American cities started embracing their waterfronts, Cincinnati was on board early. Coincidentally, it was already planning to de-tangle the I-71, I-75, US-50 mess downtown, and rebuilding Fort Washington Way was going to kill two birds with one stone. The plans that I saw when I lived there were that it would be capped with a six-block-long park that would seamlessly integrate downtown with the riverfront. That, plus a pair of new stadia would reinvigorate the whole area. It didn't happen. They trenched the freeway and then just re-build the existing street grid. I've walked between downtown and the riverfront a bunch of times, and it's just not pleasant. The National Underground Railroad Museum was actually supposed to be part of the cap over the freeway. It ended up next to it. Cities don't get big opportunities like this very often. Usually only a few times a generation. Cinti blew it with this one.
  13. This is going to be a lot cooler than it sounds on paper. I went to the funeral museum a few weeks ago, and it has a section about the Bush funeral and lots about the train. Very interesting.
  14. I won't cry if the phone store goes, but you're right — rough. The whole of Main Street looks rough. Some day when I have time, I'll walk the length of it and count the vacant storefronts. A couple of days ago, I walked past a couple of tourists trying to figure out the new touch screen on the corner of Main and Rusk. One tourist said to the other, "Where's this world-famous underground mall?" I'd like to know that, too.
  15. Talk to Google. It's not the retailers who go to Apple for these events. Apple does this to promote its wallet. FWIW, Google does promote Google Pay heavily in some places. It ad-wrapped the monorail in Las Vegas for about six months a couple of years ago.
  16. Is demolition the biggest concern? More often, I've seen buildings flip to apartments without the consent of all of the owners, and the hold-outs get shafted that way.
  17. I don't go very often, but I agree — foot traffic seems to be up. I don't know if Randall's is doing something right, or Kroger is doing something wrong, but there does seem to be a shift.
  18. Does it? Why can't transit compliment the personal automobile? Some trips are better with transit, and some are better with a car. It depends on the trip. Multiple times I have left my house, hopped on a train, and gotten to my doctor's office in under 15 minutes. If I drove, I'd spend 15 minutes just looking for parking. Depends on your situation, and the trip. For me, the train is almost always cheaper, both in time and in money. The current average new car payment is $644/month. Add $150 for insurance. And, let's say you fill up twice a month, that's another $120. That's $914, and not counting parking (which can be free or hundreds of dollars, depending on your situation), and maintenance (for some reason, oil changes have gotten really expensive lately). For $914, you can take 731 trips on Metro. But again, this just illustrates that there are no absolutes. For some people, cars are better. For some people transit is better. There was a cartoon in the newspaper today that read something like, "I never realized how few places I really needed to go, until I got rid of my car." That sounds like silly suburban pearl-clutching hysteria. On transit, you aren't accosted by randos at stop lights trying to sell you things, or clean your windshield. You aren't side-swiped by careless drivers. You aren't rear-ended by insurance scammers. You aren't shot at by people on the freeway. You don't have to deal with speeders, road rage, people flipping you off, and the thousand other pieces of violence, major and minor, that driving subjects you to. How often do we see vehicular-related mayhem on the TV news? Every. Single. Day. Sometimes several times a day. How often do we see transit-related mayhem on TV? Almost never. Transit doesn't breed violence. People do. And there's way more crazy people on the roads than in the buses. As for re-branding, I don't think a name change is in order, but it could use a unified design language, and much better signage. The light rail signs are inconsistent, confusing, and sometimes contradictory. (Many cities call their transit agencies "Metro." Except Las Vegas, where "Metro" is what they call the police force, so every time someone says "Metro" to me, I have to remember it's buses, not handcuffs. But that's my problem to sort out.)
  19. After looking at the presentation, I'm relived by what I see. This could have gone very bad, but as it is — it's fine. It's not spectacular, but it's far better than a lot of freeway trenches and caps that were poorly executed in other cities (*cough*Cincinnati*cough*). I'm not excited about the Third Ward Signature Bridges. They look very much like the ones over the existing trenched portion of the Southwest Freeway. And I expect them to be maintained just as carefully. Meaning, not at all. That set of bridges used to be a spectacular asset to the city. Now they're an embarrassment.
  20. I happened to be heading out east on I-10 recently, and swung through the area. It wasn't a thorough canvas, but I counted five existing apartment/condo buildings, and one under construction. So my estimate of about a hundred residents was wrong. It's probably closer to 250 people who disagree with the assessment that it's not a neighborhood, and is a "no-man's land." Perhaps you can't see it as a neighborhood because it's too "city" for your taste. Also, I disagree that the New Orleans warehouse district is the most famous in the country. New York's SoHo and Meatpacking District are far more famous. But that's beyond the scope of this discussion.
  21. As part of the process of shutting down the Artefaqs Corporation, I have the following domain names for sale: middleeastarchitecture.com newyorkarchitecture.org newyorkarchitecture.info pnwarchitecture.com ("PNW" as in Pacific Northwest) praguearchitecture.com southlandarchitecture.com ("Southland" as in Southern California) tokyoarchitecture.info londonarchitecture.co.uk If you're an architecture enthusiast, this might be a way to start your own web site. PM me an offer. And if you have friends in the architecture, construction, or real estate communities who might be interested, please let them know. Also, if you frequent any other architecture enthusiast fora, please let your friends there know. I'd post the information myself, but signing up for an account and immediately posting a for sale ad looks a lot like spam. I may also part with: houstonarchitecture.org towrs.com I'm not entirely sure about those two. I'm thinking about maybe holding onto them for some future use. But if you make a reasonable offer, I'll entertain it.
  22. Please read more carefully. I do not live in Dakota. I lived there at one time. There are more than two residential buildings in that area. Perhaps your only knowledge of it is only from Google Maps? Take a walk through some day. For some reason you focused on the art studios and lofts, but dismissed the other businesses: the bodega, the restaurants, the concert venue. Was this simply because it doesn't bolster your "no man's land" argument? You know, it's OK to admit you're wrong. As for no major development, I guess you missed the HAIF thread about the project turning Houston Studios into 100 apartments. I don't know anything about the Warehouse District in New Orleans, so I can't say if you're right or wrong. Moreover, I can't say that the New Orleans Warehouse District is something that Houston should aspire to emulate. So without any elaboration on your part, it's irrelevant. I do have experience with warehouse districts in several other cities. Yes, Houston's is small and bounded by geography and infrastructure. That's not news to anyone; it's just part of the history of how the city developed. I still posit that it was a good neighborhood when I lived there, and it seems to have gotten better since then.
  23. Very interesting. I didn't realize that building was vacant. I imagine on a cool day, it's a nice walk up the hill to the Red Line train, so that's good. And its proximity to the college makes it a good fit for studio apartments. Still, I've been assured in other threads on HAIF that nobody lives in that area, and it's a "no-man's-land," so I'm not sure why they don't just tear down the building and replace it with yet another surface parking lot.
  24. April 4 was the last day, according to the manager I spoke with a couple of days earlier. There was an (un)helpful sign on the door for a couple of weeks: "We're closing! Your prescriptions will be moved to ________________." The line was never filled in. Glad I wasn't counting on that CVS!
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