WBEZ | urban redevelopment http://www.wbez.org/tags/urban-redevelopment Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en New York City firm picked to redesign Navy Pier http://www.wbez.org/story/new-york-city-firm-picked-redesign-navy-pier-97327 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-15/jcfo_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The team led by designer James Corner is the winner in a competition to revamp Navy Pier’s public spaces or Pierscape. New York City-based James Corner Field Operations was in charge of converting an unused elevated railway into <a href="http://www.thehighline.org/" target="_blank">Manhattan’s High Line</a> and is currently working on a plan for reviving <a href="http://waterfrontseattle.org/" target="_blank">Seattle’s waterfront</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.navypier.com/vision/JCFO/JCFO_Design_Book_LR.pdf" target="_blank">The winning design proposal</a> calls for adding a pool that in winter could be used as a skating rink. The designer’s renderings also show the construction of an amphitheater at the Pier’s east end.</p><p>The board of Navy Pier, Inc. voted on Thursday to select James Corner from among five finalists. NPI Board Chairman Sarah Garvey pointed to the practicality of Corner’s design as one of the deciding factors.</p><p>“They dreamed big, but were able to do it in a way that we can actually pay for it,” said Garvey.</p><p>The board also pointed to Corner’s work on the High Line.</p><p>"It's not that different from here. They were working with an existing space that needed redevelopment," said Garvey.</p><p>She also said the High Line project showed Corner was open to taking into account public input on the design.</p><p>A committee of NPI board members is scheduled to meet with the winning team in the next months to work on a final design proposal. Garvey said they are still planning on staying within the initial proposed budget of $85 million. She hopes a good part of the Pierscape will be built by 2016.</p></p> Thu, 15 Mar 2012 16:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-york-city-firm-picked-redesign-navy-pier-97327 Developer's plans for old post office is a tall order http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-22/developers-plans-old-post-office-tall-order-89506 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-22/324326225_26d076a968_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Watch out Willis Tower--there may be a new contender for Chicago’s tallest building. British developer Bill Davies has revealed plans to build a 2,00-foot skyscraper at the site of Chicago’s old post office. The complex overlooking the Eisenhower Expressway has its own architectural chops, including a Beaux Arts-inspired lobby. But the new development isn’t a done deal yet. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey" target="_blank">Lee Bey</a> blogs about architecture at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/" target="_blank">wbez.org</a>; he joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to discuss the plans.</p><p><em>Music Button:&nbsp; DJ Matt Warren spins Bebel Gilberto's "O Caminho" with live violin accompaniment by Katarina Visnevska</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 Jul 2011 13:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-22/developers-plans-old-post-office-tall-order-89506 A steel mill site’s second act http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-07-07/steel-mill-site%E2%80%99s-second-act-88844 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020676 R.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Dave Matthews Band Caravan comes through Chicago Friday, the concert’s musicians will be playing at a site with a lot of history.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.dmbcaravan.com/">three-day festival</a> features 39 bands curated by DMB, who will headline the show each night. The tour’s first stop in Atlantic City in June drew an estimated 70,000 fans, and Jerry Mickleson, cofounder of Chicago-based concert promoter Jam Productions, which is producing the Chicago stop of the tour with Live Nation/Ticketmaster, says he expects the Chicago show to be just behind Lollapalooza in terms of attendance. According to the Chicago <em>Sun-Times</em>, Lollapalooza attracted 240,000 attendees in 2010, or 80,000 each of the three days.</p><p>They’ve chosen an unorthodox location for the show, further afield than Lollapalooza’s Grant Park or Pitchfork Festival’s Union Park. The land they’ve found is overgrown and somewhat hidden, on a scale that’s hard to imagine.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020678 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The nearly 600-acre parcel runs along the lake between 79<sup>th</sup> St. and the Calumet River. Who knew there was this much empty land within city limits?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020476 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>Mickelson, for one. He grew up on the North Side but drove past the site regularly as he made his way to his grandmother’s cottage in the Indiana Dunes. “I would go down the street before they put up the fences and marvel at how beautiful it was,” Mickelson says. “I always had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to use it as a concert site.”</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020504 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>So what is this place?</p><p>This site was once home to a giant steel mill -- U.S. Steel's South Works facility. Built in 1880 and strategically located at the mouth of the Calumet River, South Works would become the third biggest steel mill in the world by the time it turned 75.</p><p>During its roughly hundred-year lifespan South Works made I-beams and angle bars for building and bridge construction. They made the kind of large steel girders used in skyscrapers, including (together with U.S. Steel’s Gary Works facility just over the border in Indiana) 42,000 tons of steel used to erect the Hancock building. At its peak South Works employed nearly 20,000 workers, most of whom lived in surrounding South Side neighborhoods.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/overview 2.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 278px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>You wouldn’t know it now. The plant closed in 1992, and most of the signs of its industrial history are gone.</p><p>But there are remnants. Case in point, the ore walls.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020641 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The ore walls run parallel to what would have been the docks right on the water. Now, they look like strange monoliths or ruins from some ancient civilization. Really they’re all that’s left of the facilities used to store the raw iron ore shipped into the steel plant.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/historic ore walls photo.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 681px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020562 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 749px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020572 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020569 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020614 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020618 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 749px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>The site was once considered a brownfield, contaminated by more than 100 years of heavy manufacturing. However, the site has undergone significant remediation, including a project spearheaded by the University of Illinois’ Sustainable Technology Center to relocate over 900 tons of reclaimed topsoil from the bottom of Lake Peoria as part of their <a href="http://www.istc.illinois.edu/special_projects/il_river/mud_to_parks_photos.cfm">Mud to Parks program</a>. The Illinois EPA has certified that the site is now suitable for residential and commercial redevelopment.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020680 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020590 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 749px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020596 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 749px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>Still, there are significant changes forthcoming that, if executed, would transform this portion of Chicago’s South Side. U.S. Steel’s Real Estate Division has <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/29/realestate/commercial/29chicago.html">plans to co-develop the site</a> with Chicago-based McCaffery Interests, which has also developed sites in Chicago at 669 N. Michigan Ave. and in River North.</p><p>The development, christened <a href="http://www.facebook.com/robin.amer/posts/2022642158820#%21/ChicagoLakesideDevelopment">Chicago Lakeside</a>, would be massive. Phase 1, scheduled to break ground in late 2012, calls for 840,000 square feet of retail, 250 residential rental units, 136 townhomes, and three high-rise towers.&nbsp; Future phases include plans for an additional 12,500 residential units, 16,600,000 square feet of commercial space, a new harbor, and an <a href="http://www.chicagovelocampus.com/">indoor cycling facility</a>. (Construction has already begun on a temporary outdoor cycling track, which is scheduled to open later this summer.) In total, McCaffery says they plan to invest nearly $4 billion into the site.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/P1020676 R.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px; margin: 5px;" title=""></p><p>WBEZ’s Kate Dries and Meghan Power will be at the Dave Matthews Band Caravan this weekend, looking into the relationship between the event and the surrounding neighborhood. They’ll have photos of the site as it looks revamped for the show and other coverage next week.</p><p><em>Historic photos courtesy of U.S. Steel. </em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 18:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-07-07/steel-mill-site%E2%80%99s-second-act-88844 Detroit: A boom town goes bust http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-23/detroit-boom-town-goes-bust-84135 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-March/2011-03-23/Detroit Skyline Flickr Luke Duncan.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 491px; height: 369px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-23/Detroit Skyline Flickr Luke Duncan.JPG" alt="" title="" /></p><p style="text-align: left;">For almost a half century last century, Detroit was a boom town. Between 1910 and 1950, few cities grew faster, were wealthier, were more attractive to those seeking success than what became known as the Motor City.</p><p>But for the past 60 years, the decline has been long and relatively slow &mdash; until the year 2000. Since then, Detroit has lost one-quarter of its population, as the<a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/03/22/like-other-places-in-the-midwest-michigan-cities-shed-population/"> 2010 census figures</a> released on Tuesday showed.</p><p>The reasons for its decline are numerous, but can be summed up in two words: jobs, and demographics. In 1950, when Detroit had 1.8 million people, about 200,000 were employed in manufacturing, according to <a href="http://history.osu.edu/people/view/AllFac/665">Kevin Boyle</a>, the author and professor of history at Ohio State University, who is a native Detroiter. That was about one of out every 10 people in the city.</p><p>Now, fewer than 20,000 of Detroit&rsquo;s remaining 714,000 people work in manufacturing, or about one in 50 residents.</p><p><img width="300" vspace="7" hspace="7" height="204" align="left" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-23/detroit-2-300x204.jpg" />Sixty years ago, car makers from Chrysler to Cadillac, Studebaker to Dodge had plants in or near the city limits. There were hundreds more parts plants, steel mills, foundries and parts depots, where the products built in Detroit factories were sorted and sent on to the vast networks operated by the auto companies across the country.</p><p>People in all parts of the city could walk to work, or take a streetcar or bus. Some of them chose to drive, because they earned enough to afford to vehicles they were making (something their parents and grandparents might not have been able to do).</p><p>Professor Boyle says that in Detroit&rsquo;s glory years, from 1910 to 1950, the city was a boom town, equal to any of the gold rush towns of the American West.</p><p>It has a mirror in Calumet, Mich., known as Copper Town, which swelled in <a href="http://www.uppermichigan.com/coppertown/history.html">population </a>as high as 70,000 people between the late 1800s and early 1900s when people from all over the country swarmed there to work in the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula. (Legend has it that in 1910, one out of every 10 people in Calumet was a millionaire.)</p><p><img width="150" vspace="7" hspace="7" height="150" align="right" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-March/2011-03-23/big_map2-150x150.jpg" /></p> <p>Visit Calumet, now a town of 799, and the mansions built by those mining barons remain, as does the impressive opera house. But like Detroit, it is another ghost town with a glorious past.</p> <p>Now, there are just two big car factories left in Detroit, Chrysler&rsquo;s Jefferson North Assembly Plant on the east side, and General Motors&rsquo; Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant just north of I-94. While some of those smaller factories remain, dozens are empty, their structures dotting the city&rsquo;s landscape like dandelions on a spring lawn. All that&nbsp; presents an enormous challenge to Mayor Dave Bing in his efforts to <a href="http://www.changinggears.info/2011/02/14/leadership-dave-bing-reimagines-detroit/">reinvent</a> the city.</p> <p>Some of that job decline actually was due to the auto companies&rsquo; growth strategies. From the 1940s to the 1990s, the auto companies branched out across the country, pursuing a strategy of building vehicles closer to their customers. The jobs that might automatically have gone to Detroit, or in G.M.&rsquo;s case, to Flint, Mich., instead went to places such as Doraville, Ga., Framingham, Mass., Tarrytown, N.Y., St. Louis, Fremont, Calif., and elsewhere.</p> <p>Many of those outlying factories are now closed, too, but there was a key difference. A car plant was part of those places&rsquo; economy, not its sole focus. In Detroit, the car plants and everything they fed became the dominant force.&nbsp;</p><p>Beyond the job loss, demographics played a role in the shift away from Detroit. A century ago, as planners were looking at where the city could grow, they envisioned three centers of commerce: downtown, the <a href="http://www.newcenter.com/">New Center</a> area about 10 minutes drive north, and a third area in northwest Detroit, the area known as<a href="http://www.palmerwoods.org/"> Palmer Woods</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The first two areas, and surrounding neighborhoods, filled in by World War II and the thought was that the third area, from New Center to the city&rsquo;s northwest boundaries, would then come to life after the war.&nbsp;</p><p>But as veterans returned, and their families were born, the suburbs beckoned. Rather than move back to their city neighborhoods, they headed beyond Detroit&rsquo;s borders. That demographic change, as much as the &ldquo;white flight&rdquo; so talked about after the Detroit riots of 1967, had an equally important influence on the city&rsquo;s drop in population.</p><p>Those shifts were underway well before 2000. They help explain what led up to the latest, and stunning drop, in the city&rsquo;s population. But why leave now? And where did those people go?</p><p>Those are questions we will be looking at over the next few weeks at Changing Gears. If you&rsquo;ve left Detroit in the past 10 years, we&rsquo;d like to hear from you. Where are you living now? Why did you leave? If you&rsquo;re still there, tell us why, too, and what you&rsquo;d like to see happen in your city.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Micki Maynard is Senior Editor of <a href="http://www.changinggears.info">Changing Gears</a>, a public media project about the future of the industrial Midwest.&nbsp; It's a collaboration between WBEZ Chicago, Michigan Radio, and Ideastream in Cleveland, and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.</em>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 23 Mar 2011 16:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-03-23/detroit-boom-town-goes-bust-84135 Redeveloping Wacker Drive, and Chicago’s riverfront http://www.wbez.org/story/architecture/redeveloping-wacker-drive-and-chicago%E2%80%99s-riverfront <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//riverwalk dan perry.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="../../../../../../blog/justin-kaufmann/video-sarah-jindra-gives-birds-eye-view-wacker-drive-traffic">Traffic has been snarled</a> in the Loop this week thanks to the second phase of <a href="http://www.wackerdrive.org/projects.cfm">Revive Wacker Drive</a>, a major reconstruction of the famous double-decker street. This three year, $366 million endeavor will shore up the stability of the north-south portion of the roadway and will rebuild the Congress Parkway interchange that leads to I-90/94 and I-290.</p> <div>The first phase of Wacker&rsquo;s redevelopment started in 1999 with improvements to the east-west portion of the street. And although it was not the project&rsquo;s primary goal, a second set of redevelopment opportunities arose along the Chicago River. Wacker Drive is just one part of the complex built environment along the river, and Mayor Daley encouraged the project managers to reclaim some of the area in front of the river for public use. You can see the results in the form of the Chicago Riverwalk, which runs along the east-west portion of Wacker near the Michigan Ave. bridge.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The Riverwalk was the first part of a patchwork of plans past and future to improve public access to the downtown portion of the Chicago River. The city&rsquo;s vision for the riverfront was laid out in a 2009 plan developed by Chicago firm <a href="http://www.som.com/content.cfm/www_home">Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill</a> and includes wide pathways for walking and biking, a new market district, and theater space. If completed, the project would transform the face of Chicago&rsquo;s downtown. (You can see the entire Skidmore, Owings &amp; Merrill proposal in the extras section below.)</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>One key player in drafting plans for future improvements to the riverfront was Michelle Woods. Woods describes herself as a &ldquo;bridge builder,&rdquo; and in this case her meaning is literal. She is a bridge engineer for the Chicago Department of Transportation and was so heavily involved with the development of the under-bridge connections at Michigan and Wabash Avenues in 2009 that she joked they should rename the bridge &ldquo;Michelligan Ave.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the audio excerpt posted above, Woods explains what it took to transform the riverfront area along East and West Wacker. (Among other things it took creating new land in the middle of the river and securing an act of Congress.) It&rsquo;s a good reminder of how much work would be involved in developing the north-south portion of the river along Wacker, too. But if you&rsquo;ve been stuck in traffic this week you probably already knew that.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div><a href="../../../../../../series/dynamic-range"><em>Dynamic Range</em></a><em> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Michelle Woods spoke to an audience at the </em><a href="http://caf.architecture.org/"><em>Chicago Architecture Foundation</em></a><em> in May of 2010. Click </em><a href="../../../../../../episode-segments/chicago-riverwalk"><em>here</em></a><em> to hear her talk in its entirety, and click </em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast. </em></div></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 17:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/architecture/redeveloping-wacker-drive-and-chicago%E2%80%99s-riverfront