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Archive through April 04, 2008Greatlakes30104-04-0812:21pm
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Gotdetroit
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Username: Gotdetroit

Post Number: 137
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 12:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't float around on this board enough to know who's an engineer and who isn't. Could an actual engineer chime in?

My guess is, you put in enough explosives near the base of ANY building more than, say, 10 stories, and it will weaken the structure enough for gravity and shear weight to take it down. MCS is probably no exception.

But then I'm not an engineer.
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Digitalvision
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Username: Digitalvision

Post Number: 687
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ahh... see, I think many corporations do not want to be downtown... heck, most I talk to prefer the suburban layout and that station gives that with multitudinous options for parking. Downtown, urban layouts are not for everyone - and I think not even preferred by the majority, just a passionate and valuable minority.

It's a logistical thing - it's very easy to get on and off freeways and when you're moving a few thousand people in and out everyday... not to mention, it can be easier to secure a campus.

I can't see a non-profit or cultural organization raising the capital to make that happen.. not to mention, they'd have to buy the thing off of Matty, which adds more to the cost.
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Club_boss
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Username: Club_boss

Post Number: 364
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 12:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Indianapolis had high hopes for its Union Station, while it does have tenants today, including a Holiday Inn, the original idea of a festival Marketplace did not happen.
I think renovating the structure back in the 80s certainly helped the city and the entire area benefited from it.
However its planners certainly had higher hopes for Union Station than the handful of odd tenants that call it home today-at least they got it renovated-inside the Grand Hall (just a small part of Union Station) is breath taking.

Outside the Grand Hall

Outside the Grand Hall



Inside the Grand Hall

Inside the Grand Hall
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1985
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 12:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Do any of you realize how few people actually ride the train?


The trains are pretty much running at capacity...we need to add more trains. If you couldn't come to town from the west on I-94 until the early afternoon or head out of town to the west after dinner time, how well used do you think the highway would be.

And I wasn't talking about the current station as a building. I was talking about long term plan to build a permanent station south of the tracks on Woodward between Amsterdam and the tracks.

Bad location...regardless of what might be built there. VIA rail service to Toronto is an important part of intercity transportation in Detroit, the international metropolis.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2953
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Ahh... see, I think many corporations do not want to be downtown... heck, most I talk to prefer the suburban layout and that station gives that with multitudinous options for parking. Downtown, urban layouts are not for everyone - and I think not even preferred by the majority, just a passionate and valuable minority.

It's a logistical thing - it's very easy to get on and off freeways and when you're moving a few thousand people in and out everyday... not to mention, it can be easier to secure a campus.



Well then maybe we shouldn't worry about trying to bring to Detroit those companies that don't want to be located in cities. When a city tries to compete against a suburb in a competition of being a suburb, guess who will always win?

As for MCS, it was originally a train station because it was the perfect place for a train station. It still is the perfect place for a train station. The only thing that changed was Detroit stopped using trains.
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Greatlakes
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Username: Greatlakes

Post Number: 168
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:03 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And people wonder why things stagnate in this town...
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Flyingj
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Username: Flyingj

Post Number: 121
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Iheartthed, I like your thinking but Digitalvision's right, the idea of a sudden amazing train resurgence in Detroit is unlikely

Greatlakes, nice round-up Kansas City's Union Station(home of the "Massacre") is in a lousy neighborhood, the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is great(Alex Toth used it for the "Hall Of Justice" on the "Superfriends" cartoon. Buffalo turned theirs into a hotel-Nashville has no passenger trains did the same. Roanoke, VA did a nice job turning their historic train station into a museum-the MCS is so isolated from everything else though.

The New Center Amtrak is NOT an Amshack, I rode out of Detroit's Amshack(down the tracks from MCS a ways, as I remember) in '89 & '94 it was depressing(St Louis made THEIR train station a great mall, & used an Amshack-but not w/o its fans; http://www.riverfronttimes.com /2004-12-08/news/save-the-amsh ack/ )
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Greatlakes
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Username: Greatlakes

Post Number: 169
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MCS is about as isolated as Cincinnati Union Terminal.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 2115
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Flying: I call all those stations AmShacks, whether they are or not. Not very fair of me, perhaps, but I like to tease Amtrak.

But I did ride out of the AmShack just west of MCS in 1988, the year after they closed the station, and it was totally depressing. Instead of gazing upward at chandeliers and rich architecture, you sat in an orange plastic chair contemplating the Frito vending machine. Somehow, it's not the same. :-)
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Digitalvision
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Username: Digitalvision

Post Number: 688
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Iheartthed,

You're assuming that the city is homogeneous... it is definitely not. In fact, a good portion of the city looks like the suburbs do; and as to competing with the suburbs, I'm not willing to give up that fight. Different people want different things and thinking that Detroit is going to rebuild 100% urban is a fallacy. It's just not. We should protect areas that are - but areas like Jefferson are long gone, as one esteemed person put it at an FSC, "to the biffs and buffys," and that is A.O.K. since they pay taxes too and the place was practically vacant anyway.

And if the suburbs always won, then we wouldn't have American Axle, Bing, PVS Chemical, a major UPS hub... yes more industrial, but there is little that makes their locations any different than being in Troy.
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Hunchentoot
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Username: Hunchentoot

Post Number: 80
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It is also true that we are heading into an era where driving and flying all the time will be so expensive as to be a completely dysfunctional way to get around. If Detroit doesn't improve its transit by that (perhaps near) future time, the whole area is doomed no matter what other development takes place. It would be nice to have MCS as a train station again, but too many people who are actually in positions of power just want it gone. Too bad it is owned by someone who is simply evil.

I'm glad a passenger port is planned on the riverfront.

So what do we do with Roosevelt Park when it has no focal point? Build a monumental building at one end of it?
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Marauderkev
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Username: Marauderkev

Post Number: 8
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Exactly D-nerd
And train travel will come back when gasoline is no longer affordable.
VIA service in the Windsor-Montreal corridor is always booked solid and it really is a comfortable way to travel.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 1357
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hudson's was just as overbuilt as the MC Depot. Enough explosives will bring down anything.

My prediction for what will happen to the MC Depot: One day pieces of it will start to fall, and Moroun (or his handpicked successor) will get an interest-free loan from the city to tear it down.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2954
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 1:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

You're assuming that the city is homogeneous... it is definitely not. In fact, a good portion of the city looks like the suburbs do; and as to competing with the suburbs, I'm not willing to give up that fight. Different people want different things and thinking that Detroit is going to rebuild 100% urban is a fallacy. It's just not. We should protect areas that are - but areas like Jefferson are long gone, as one esteemed person put it at an FSC, "to the biffs and buffys," and that is A.O.K. since they pay taxes too and the place was practically vacant anyway.



Detroit has been trying to do this very thing for 40 years and it has not worked. For logistical reasons, Detroit just cannot compete with the suburbs on space and cost. One, the city only has so much space; two, the city has to spend money to maintain the infrastructure that it already has built.

The way Detroit does compete with suburbs is through services. The biggest plus Detroit could offer would be transportation services. To pay for services Detroit has to build density.

If MCS were to be a major train hub, it could be nothing but a plus for the economy. First and foremost, Detroit is almost exactly midway between Chicago and Toronto. Second, you have 5 other midsized cities across Ohio and Indiana that are within 250 miles of Detroit.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1986
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

a sudden amazing train resurgence in Detroit is unlikely


If you were talking about Detroit as an island, separate from the rest of the world, you're right. But the entire nation has already taken half a step to make it so for everybody.

http://www.govtrack.us/congres s/vote.xpd?vote=s2007-400

This act (which passed the senate with a veto-proof majority) would help bring about these improvements:

http://www.midwesthsr.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M idwest_Regional_Rail_Initiativ e

But forget for for a minute expanding service...what about getting the 4 trains to and 4 trains from Toronto (every day) to cross the border into Detroit.

Tear it down or refurb it...either way, that spot is the best bet we've got for intercity rail.
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Marauderkev
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Username: Marauderkev

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 2:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Exactly D-nerd
And train travel will come back when gasoline is no longer affordable.
VIA service in the Windsor-Montreal corridor is always booked solid and it really is a comfortable way to travel.
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Darwinism
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Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 726
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 2:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We need people with power and wealth to amplify our collective voices here.

The facts are clear - gasoline prices are rising rapidly, driving and flying are quickly becoming expensive. Commuting and even transporting goods are quickly hurting everybody's wallet.

This city, as always, will end up being affected most severely among everywhere else in the entire country.

Train travel will happen a lot easier and a lot faster in other cities that are well-prepared.
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Marauderkev
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Username: Marauderkev

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Are there actually any cities that are well prepared??
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Wilus1mj
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Username: Wilus1mj

Post Number: 258
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Create a fine of $10,000 for abandoned buildings that are not up to code and double the fine every month nothing's done. Even billionaire Manny would notice that eventually.
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Digitalvision
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Username: Digitalvision

Post Number: 689
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Detroit has been trying to do this for forty years..."

And I think Detroit has done a crap job of it for the most part. The reason of the failings has more to do with incompetent administration and poor record-keeping than anything else. You can't sell what you don't even know you own.

We can also add in the fear factor - just had a client ask one of the guys who works with me, just nigh on an hour ago, "Why on earth do you live in Detroit?"

Almost every client who comes downtown is worried about their car, worried about this, that... and these are the folks with money.

I'm now six for six in the last 30 days now that I'm having clients come regularly downtown where they strongly talk about their dislike of having to come to the city or their fears about the city.

And folks with money don't want to be afraid their stuff is going to get stolen.

Whether it is urban or suburban development, Detroit has to improve it's services before either can happen on a mass scale, esp. public safety.

And as to train culture... I love it but keep dreamin'. It's just in Americans to do that, we're drivers and will hold onto driving as long as possible.

Technically, driving already isn't very affordable for a majority of the population (remembering a TRU study that if you make $12 an hour or less, you can't afford a car) but it's still being done anyway.

If you fixed the safety problem, you'll have all the other stuff fall into place. When people are for the most part afraid to be somewhere, you won't get them investing.
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Gotdetroit
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Username: Gotdetroit

Post Number: 138
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Create a fine of $10,000 for abandoned buildings that are not up to code and double the fine every month nothing's done. Even billionaire Manny would notice that eventually."

Second
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2955
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

I'm now six for six in the last 30 days now that I'm having clients come regularly downtown where they strongly talk about their dislike of having to come to the city or their fears about the city.



Imagine how much they'd dislike driving down there if it were functioning at even 60 - 70% capacity. They would probably spend a good 3 hours sitting in traffic each way.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 2119
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Digital sounds like a lot of people who've never left Detroit or the Midwest. Those who've seen the transformations in even stubbornly troubled cities know better, and know well that people are willing to give up their cars when the government subsidizes other forms of transit.

Maybe we should start an exchange program where people who've never left have to spend a year working in Toronto or New York, taking transit to work. Or they could sit in their car in traffic at rush hour on the 59th Street bridge or 401 and, um, sit there.
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Jsmyers
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Username: Jsmyers

Post Number: 1989
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

and know well that people are willing to give up their cars when the government subsidizes other forms of transit.



Should say: "and know well that people are willing to give up their cars when the government subsidizes other forms of transit as much as highways.
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Marauderkev
Member
Username: Marauderkev

Post Number: 11
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

And that's exactly what they do. Sit in traffic.
We have the capacity to almost double our rail service in the Hamilton/Toronto/Oshawa corridor, but instead of putting $ into this, our stupid elected leaders try to squeeze another 2 lanes on these horrible highways
At least we have a reasonably adequate light rail system.
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Treelock
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Username: Treelock

Post Number: 310
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seor Moroun is very bad, greedy man. He is the enemy. That is what I think when I look through that slideshow.
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Sean_of_detroit
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Username: Sean_of_detroit

Post Number: 59
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It has been said on here that it would take almost as much money to demolish as it would take to restore (not really sure if this is true). It could also just be that the building is actually unsafe to continue to use.

Are their any preservation groups currently working or interested in working on restoring the Michigan Central Station building? I have some ideas I would love to share with them. It might be totally pointless, and a waste of time, but I really think I might have found a interesting solution that would benefit everyone involved (including the current owners).

Again, this might end up not being viable, but running extremely rough numbers, I think It could be. I think I'm going to continue to work on this, and see if I can do better. If we can at least prove it could be renovated, and turn a profit, well we'll see if that can happen, but it'd be nice to find out before the last minute comes, and anyone feels they have to resort to chaining themselves to a fence (that is kind of silly if you ask me). If it is viable, and we can find, or form a group willing to undertake the task, then that will be even better.

Anyone with any information or help can post it, or E-mail me at Sean_Of_Detroit AT Yahoo.com

(Message edited by sean_of_detroit on April 04, 2008)
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2956
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Digital sounds like a lot of people who've never left Detroit or the Midwest.



No offense to him, but he sounds like someone who thinks Detroit should use a screw driver for the job of an allen wrench. Suburban office parks in Detroit? The place is only so big.

Trying to reinvent the wheel is what got Detroit into so much trouble in the first place. They can build those suburban landscapes in places like Indianapolis because it's four times the size of Detroit area-wise, and a smaller population.

Detroit doesn't have that much room. Detroit is pretty much in a similar situation as cities on the East Coast that had to revert back from trying to re-create lower densities in the inner-city in order to stabilize themselves. It was built to be a dense environment and then they took away what allowed it to be such a place.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 2120
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 3:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

JSM: Thanks for clarification. I'd add to highways airports as well.

IHTD: Well, I'm trying to be charitable. And, in truth, the city was dense right up until the advent of the cheap auto and government-subsidized roads of the 1910s and 20s. After that, density was no longer encouraged. And, in the end, density wound up being actively targeted for removal.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 6624
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 6:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think that the MCS should be left "as is" as an early 20th century ruin (similar to what Jose Camille Vergara wanted downtown).

In Trier Germany they have the 1800 year old Porta Nigra (black gate), the northern gateway to the Roman Empire:





The MCS could be the northern gateway to the USA.

P.S. I'm only sorta only half serious here, but why not leave it until it either falls down (likely never), or until a use is found. After all it does make for a fabulous ruin, and won't hurt any other building nearby if it ever did collapse. Just keep the scrappers and people at bay. Even the Roman Colleseum would be dwarfed by this leviathan.

(Message edited by Gistok on April 04, 2008)
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Digitalvision
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Username: Digitalvision

Post Number: 690
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Friday, April 04, 2008 - 6:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You'd be interested to know that I HAVE seen those resurgences and am decently well traveled in the US. I also take the bus when I can.

Look, I think transit is vital. But few of those resurgent cities have the crime or racial division we do. We need to get realistic about where we're at and address those basic challenges.

Our city was never as dense as others... If you look back I to history city council specifically banned the type of high density construction that happened in other cities, in order to control the spread of the minority population that tended to move into apartments and high rises.

It seems this board has amnesia as it tends to forget there are neighborhoods that have blocks upon blocks of nothing or say one house on a block. I love downtown but there are 120 plus square miles that so many tend to forget about.

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