Today’s Headlines for Tuesday, January 9

  • After Community Pressure, Obama Foundation Agrees to Move OPC Garage Off Midway (Reader)
  • Redevelopment of Morton Salt Site on Elston Will Include New Riverwalk Section (Tribune)
  • 2 Children Ejected From Car, 1 Killed After Crash in Canaryville (NBC)
  • City College Headquarters at 226 W. Jackson Will Be Converted to Apartments (Tribune)
  • TOD Planned for 3300 N. Clark Loses Density, Adds Parking (Curbed)
  • John Discusses Why Chicago Avenue Needs Bus Lanes More Than Bike Lanes (Sun-Times)
  • Lynda Lopez Discusses Gentrification With WBEZ’s Natalie Moore on “Chicago Tonight” Today at 7 PM
  • Hearing on Proposed Development Near North/Clybourn Station This Thursday (Curbed)

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  • Courtney

    Yes for more bus only lanes!

  • Carter O’Brien

    I really try not to bash the suburbs, but is there some kind of unwritten requirement that TOD has to equal bland suburban-style intrusions into Chicago’s urban fabric?

    Density, parking and height issues aside, the proposed building at 3300 N. Clark
    is ghastly when compared to that larger strip of Clark’s vintage apartment
    complexes that are architectural gems. This is pic is of the building at the SW corner of Clark and School. It’s dense, may have a few parking spots at most, and offers bay windows which allow more sunlight and fresh air to residents. Why isn’t this the model? Just make it taller if that’s really the prohibiting factor.

  • Cameron Puetz

    The short answer is money. That brick and terracotta tile façade to a team of skilled artisans a long time to build. Bland buildings are much easier and cheaper to build.

  • planetshwoop

    It’s interesting to hear about the Morton site being redeveloped. I’m curious, of course, what happens to it as a bike lane after that.

    I feel like it was one of the first bike lanes, and for a long time, is a super fast way to get anywhere because it has very few lights outside of the major cross-streets. Over time, it has slowly developed from an industrial corridor to a ghastly big-box corridor. This has meant more and more curb cuts and dangerous intersections (I’m looking at you, David’s Bridal). It was never beautiful, there are alternative routes, but as the needs of the city change from industrial to entertainment, it seems to be dying a slow death.

    The Morton site re-development (and the Shangri-La of Chicago getting H2) mean it will become a pretty dangerous place to bike, which is OK — it’s good that a city changes. It’s OK that Elston isn’t industrial. Just a little sad how things change.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Certainly plenty of truth to that, but this reflects such a short term mentality. This is where the City could (if not should) be leveraging the profit potential that comes with a zoning bonus. You (the developer) want an additional 3 stories worth of buildable FAR? Then make it worth society’s while.

    Also worth noting that this work was likely more affordable when we had factories and artisans within the city limits churning it out – we have a “Terra Cotta Row” just a bit SW of here for just that reason.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Yes, obviously the 20th Century labor rights revolution had an overwhelmingly positive net impact for American society, but the downside is that you can no longer pay someone a dollar a day to carve gargoyles.

  • Tooscrapps

    Not only that, but most developers aren’t really in it for the long run. Why build a timeless (and more expensive) building that might be around for 100+ years if your investment horizon is 5 to 10 years.

  • Jared Kachelmeyer

    Wasn’t a lot of the terra cotta ornament mass produced? Or at least not custom made? I thought it was just a certain material poured into a mold which doesn’t seem like it would be that expensive to build.

  • Carter O’Brien

    Yeah, the “hand crafted” thing seems likely to also just be an excuse/urban legend. How is this quote below for irony? It doesn’t seem likely a building material in use since antiquity couldn’t be adapted for use today.

    “the chicago terra cotta company was inundated with orders for terra cotta to help in rebuilding commercial and residential structures within the “burnt district.” the company’s output consisted mainly of cornices, window hoods or “caps,” keystones (see example below), and other ornament that could be furnished more cheaply than iron or stone. after the fire, the company developed several “stock patterns” made available for purchase through their product catalogs distributed to builders and architects alike.”

  • Deni

    With all the development that has gone on in that part of the city, and with Morton Salt and Lincoln Yards on the horizon, when is CTA going to finally look at adding Clybourn and Elston bus routes?