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I do agree that some are too quick to pounce on costs without providing context. For many, they simply see the word "million", and it makes no difference if its 5 million or 40 million, its just a big number to them and deserving of outrage. And I can sympathize, because most people have no way to comprehend what goes into an infrastructure project. That being said, I do think the US has a serious problem with how much it takes to build infrastructure, especially when you look at European and Asian countries who are often able to build something comparable for far cheaper. We also have a serious problem with build quality, despite the amount spent. One simply has to look at the mess that was the Brown Line reconstruction. All that money, and yet we couldnt afford full awnings over platforms, or benches to sit on. And speaking of platforms, gotta love how all the wood is being replaced after only 2 years because they weren't sealed properly. Its things like this that sow distrust among the general public.
I'd be happy with just some more places to sit. The portions on West Wacker often only have two or three benches for the entire span (inbetween the steps), and are usually quickly taken during lunch hours. Many of the portions are also dark and dingy, with the roar of lower Wacker directly behind; truth be told the private riverwalks on the North end are usually more welcoming and bustling as they are attached to existing buildings. Even just planting some ivy along those walls and adding some landscaping would go a long way to softening the south end. But yea....more benches!
Please make it stop.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2011 on Lagrange joining VOA Associates at Cityscapes
How disposable have we become as a society when a building not even a generation old, and one blessed with noteworthy architecture no less, is already at threat of demolition? I understand hospital and research environments get outdated quickly, but the physical structure itself surely can be used for other purposes. It displays a staggering lack of creativity or imagination on the part of the university.
Can someone show me where the demand is for a 4,000 seat concert venue? What kind of shows would they be putting on there that would draw those numbers on any kind of regular basis? Sounds like it would be empty just as much as the current convention hall is.
This trend seems to change in and out of fashion as often as the weather. Just look to Oak Park which recently tore down the Marion Street pedestrian mall and re-opened it back up to traffic after only a couple decades. Once it matured, it was a nice oasis from the city with cafe tables and shady trees, but the business owners always maintained not having auto traffic hurt their exposure.
I wish Chicago would do more connected canopies. They dont have to be extravagant, but aside from serving a practical purpose of shielding riders from the elements (crucially important in a city like this), they also create a defined sense of place which is kind of lacking in the more traditional designs.