Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Mid-Med Lofts Previous Next
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Leland_palmer
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Username: Leland_palmer

Post Number: 247
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 11:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The exterior work is almost complete.


http://www.fadeddetroit.blogsp ot.com/2007/03/mid-med-lofts-u pdate.html
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Scs100
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Username: Scs100

Post Number: 615
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Friday, March 16, 2007 - 11:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking good. I'll be down there tomorrow.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1016
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I like the project and any redevelopment in Detroit. I do think they ruined the facade. The brick is different, they got rid of the little details. It was a kind of pathetic attempt to replace them with lower quality materials. I don't like the windows either.

But hey, at least they didn't demolish the old building. Good for Detroit, I'm happy people are moving back in.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 291
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yes because renovating a building is so easy.

And developers have all the money in the world to throw into expensive windows and such.

Sorry to be an ass, but I've worked for a firm that has done a ton of historical preservation and renovations to old buildings and this shit is not easy. There's a big difference in cost between windows that fit the historical character of the building exactly right, and ones that get by. It's about money and time, and there isn't always a whole lot of it. I'm glad you are happy they didn't demolish it because believe me, there are hundreds more buildings like this that will be demolished very soon in the future.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1018
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 1:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess it just depends on how much they can sell them for. The higher the price they can sell them for the higher quality the renovation will be. If they can only sell for 200K, then the renovation won't be as high quality.

It may be hard to renovate an old building nicely, but it can be done. There are numerous examples I can point to in my own city. This is just the first of many redevelopments in Detroit. I know they will be of higher and higher quality.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 2082
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 9:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Milwaukee: I'm not seeing what you're seeing. I don't believe that they took anything away from the original facade, only cleaned up the brick and concrete ornamentation and everything as a whole, and added some additional details and lighting. I think the difference is due in part to the available daylight...first photo taken on an overcast day, latest photo taken on a somewhat sunny day which makes the brick look lighter. Please provide specifics on your perspective. Thanks.
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Leland_palmer
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Username: Leland_palmer

Post Number: 248
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 10:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As far as I know the facade is the same. They demolished everything but the exterior walls. They did replace/add some of the decorative stones, and replace the brick at the top of the building.

The colors don't match (different cameras/time of day/sky) other than being clean. It's all the same.
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Innercitydoc
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Username: Innercitydoc

Post Number: 25
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 11:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I went to look at the place yesterday. Good renovation but the bedrooms are puny in many of the units. They must be in high demand because the price keeps going up.
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Brandon48202
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Username: Brandon48202

Post Number: 152
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did any of the sales staff mention how many of the units were sold/reserved?
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Eric
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Username: Eric

Post Number: 707
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think it looks just fine and this has been one the more impressive projects in city. Reusing just the facade of a building is not uncommon in other major city, but this may be a first for Detroit.
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Billpdx
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Username: Billpdx

Post Number: 32
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree, Milwaukee... the new windows were a poor choice. (Are they even operable?) Otherwise - Everything else looks great. Good to see projects like this getting done.
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Thejesus
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Username: Thejesus

Post Number: 744
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 1:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

wow
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Chub
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Username: Chub

Post Number: 471
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not that I'm in the market for a loft in Detroit right now, but if I was, I would never even consider buying one at Mid-Med just because I'm so offended by those ugly windows. But hey, that's just me.
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1805
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Username: 1805

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 1:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

With the additions of MOCAD, 55 W Canfield, Mid-Med, and soon South Village, this is preparing to be one swingin' pedestrian section of Woodward.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1019
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 1:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you look at the bigger picture, you can see the details much better. On the old one there are arches on the first floor. The new building has those too. The difference is, the first one has old stone that appears to jut out of the facade. The new building has flattened (possibly concrete pavers) stone. In the new building, the brick looks much different. It has a very grey look to it. In the older photos it has a very red and worn down look. Only the top of the building looks original. It still has the red brick look and those concrete things.
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 270
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 2:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Milwaukee--I work across the street from the Mid-Med, so I've seen the work that's been done every single day. What you are describing are differences mis-perceived from the variations between photographs, not the materials. Specifically, the first-floor arches look flattened because they are freshly painted.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3830
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 2:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I also agree that I don't like the windows. Otherwise, it looks great!

We can look at these lofts to get some idea at what the Ilitch folks are going to have to do with the Fine Arts Building (Adams Theatre). From what I've heard they were only planning on saving the facade.

Of course had they put a new roof on the building when they first purchased it in the early 1990's, they could have saved the building in its' entirety.
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Downtown_remix
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Username: Downtown_remix

Post Number: 10
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 2:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

These windows are in every other city, their for young hip types. I think their cool.Wat a breakthrough to see this building go from a hollywood set wall to a real building.
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Steelworker
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Username: Steelworker

Post Number: 831
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 3:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

its a nice pedestrian corridor with no short term parking,
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Royce
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Username: Royce

Post Number: 2119
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 3:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The windows look funny because they only have two sides instead of four. Whenever you go from a four section window to a two section window it's going to look weird. Also, I think the new windows are flushed evenly with the walls whereas the old window were set back three or four inches.
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1805
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Username: 1805

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 3:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't understand, Steelworker. Mid-Med has a connected garage, MOCAD has its own lot in back, South Village will have a garage... where's the parking deficit?
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Innercitydoc
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Username: Innercitydoc

Post Number: 26
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote: Did any of the sales staff mention how many of the units were sold/reserved?

12 of the 37 units have been reserved
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 190
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 5:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't quite understand the critique about the windows. Isn't a window a window? At least the place has them now! :-)

Other than the front wall, there was no historic preservation with this project. It is all new construction. It would be nice if the new brick matched the old, but I think that is extremely minor considering that it's nice to have different colors along the front side of the complex up to the corner of John R.

Re parking: I'm not a fan. The great thing about this project is the use of a garage in the connected building. That's a nice perk to have when selling the units. Of course there is street parking as well.

But it is because of those two huge parking garages across John R. for the medical center that I would have a hard time making my home in the Mid Med. Not to mention the big lot across the street, which hopefully the developers will build a phase II or something on. Where's the urban planning? For people, not cars.
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1805
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Username: 1805

Post Number: 9
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 5:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What's to happen with the Whitney's adjacent surface lot on Woodward? In renderings put out by Wayne State, a future phase of the South Village plan is situated on that lot. I thought the Whitney's new owners intended to keep the lot and "enhance" it, aesthetically.

(Message edited by 1805 on March 17, 2007)
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 194
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 6:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know, but I see that the South University Village is breaking ground in a ceremony being held this Wednesday at 3:30 pm. YA-HOO!

www.wayne.edu
(click refresh if you don't see the ad the first few tries)
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Leland_palmer
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Username: Leland_palmer

Post Number: 249
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 7:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've posted my entire collection of Mid-Med photos.

http://www.fadeddetroit.blogsp ot.com/2007/03/mid-med-lofts-u pdate.html

The majority of the brick and stonework is original. It is quite obvious where new brick was added or replaced. The middle sections on the East and West sides of the building are new. Also there was extensive patching/reconstruction at the top of the facade. The keystone for the center arch was replaced. Some decorative diamond shapes were added along with the stone/concrete at the base of the building with the reconfiguration of the doors.

Everything else looks to have been simply clean or refinished.

(Message edited by leland_palmer on March 17, 2007)
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3835
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Rocket_City, "A window is NOT a window". There are thousands of window styles. Everything from mullioned windows to Frank Lloyd Wright.

What they did is the equivalent of replacing an English Tudor house's mullioned (multipaned) window with a Hanson 2 pane window.

It looks awkward.
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Craggy
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Username: Craggy

Post Number: 230
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 10:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This place cracks me up. I used to drive by that building every day for years. It was totally abandoned, and the "Grog Shop" that used to be at the corner looked as if it had been closed for at least two decades.

Now, the building is being redone, and we complain about the windows.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3837
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 2:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It takes a trained eye to be able to tell the difference between good and bad windows in a historic structure. Not everyone has that... :-)
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 196
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 3:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh, I guess I don't know my windows. It looks ok to me, so long as there's glass in the frame. I appreciate the said differences though.
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3841
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 3:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

OK, Here's an example of good windows (at the most basic level)...





I hope that helps! :-)
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1030
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 4:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Now, the building is being redone, and we complain about the windows."

if you're going to redo it, redo it right. Use quality materials. Don't destroy all the old details. If you do, then its not a renovation. It's just a shity new building.
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Swingline
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 738
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 4:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gistok said:
quote:

It takes a trained eye to be able to tell the difference between good and bad windows in a historic structure. Not everyone has that...

I disagree with you Gistok.

There are certain fundamental rules of proportion and shape that resonate with almost all humans. This concept is most commonly recognized in both art and architecture by the "golden ratio" Philosophy geeks can write hundreds of pages on the topic; I don't go much deeper than the Wiki one sentence summary:
quote:

The golden ratio, usually denoted ('phi'), expresses the relationship that the sum of two quantities is to the larger quantity as the larger is to the smaller.

Many of the folks commenting above are not trained architectural professionals but they immediately recognize how the windows detract from this project. I agree with them. The windows are horrendous.

The developers clearly cut corners on this very important detail. Interestingly, their website includes the architect's rendering that retained the original side by side, double hung, one over one configuration. The later move to the tall, oversize single pane casement configuration introduces a vertical element to the Canfield Street elevation that is clearly out of scale given that the elevation on that side of the building is about as wide as it is tall. The thin mullions between the new windows are also completely out of proportion with the sturdy and heavy stonework of the first story of the building.

Yeah, the real estate types will exclaim that the developers did what they had to do to make a buck on the project, and they know what they're doing and blah blah blah. But in this case, using those windows was just stupid. The Canfield elevation probably contains 5% or less of the glazing square footage in the whole project. It looks like there only six units plus the ground floor that have those windows. Proper new windows could have been installed for a minimal additional per square foot cost. The added cost for these few windows should have been able to be easily absorbed by a project that has positioned itself for the luxury market in Detroit.

And for those developer types who say that buyers don't look at things like windows, and that they are only interested in the bells and whistles like fancy kitchens and the like, I also disagree. A person with the resources to spend $240 per square foot on a residence in Detroit is going to be educated and have an aesthetic viewpoint. Whether their viewpoint is drawn from historicism or modernism, people buying lofts in Detroit are drawn in large part by the urbanism and the built environment. Many of these people are going to look at the building and be struck by the discordant note permanently played by these windows. It's a note of cheapness, as if some kind of "remodeler" was hired out the Yellow Pages to do the design work for the project. It's not a stretch to conclude that a thinking potential buyer is going to wonder what other elements, visible or hidden, are also playing the same note. And this applies to buyers of any unit, not just to ones interested in units in the front of the building.

The developers should have put up the extra funds and added $2000-$3000 to the sales price of each unit. They would have sold their units a lot faster.

I wonder if the architect is cringing at the final product or couldn't care less.

(Message edited by swingline on March 18, 2007)
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 199
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 4:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lol, thanks, Gistok! I get it now. I live at Cathedral Tower, and I've been thinking they need to install new windows there, especially over the winter when the wind sounds like a freight train rolling through.

I will have to take this model to management as suggestions! :-)
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 292
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 5:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jeez people, give it up. The effing windows are installed! Yes, just keep sitting at your computers complaining about something that is out of your control.

If I was developer, I'd do my best to make a building look as good as possible if it was financially feasible, but this is one building, in a city of many that a developer chose to use a cheaper type of window.

I'm sure the developer doesn't give a crap about what any of you think and either will the future tenants. I agree, the window aren't all that great, but what is the sense in complaining about it over and over again throughout this thread?
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3842
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 6:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh for crying out loud.... lighten up..... I guess I should have put on the "SARCASM ALERT"...

You'd think all those smiley faces I added meant I was dead serious or something....

Ditto for the "trained eye" comments. Geez...

At least Rocket_city understands.... :-)

Those windows aren't what I would have chosen, but hey look at all the trouble they went thru to save the facade. So a little gaffe is no big deal. I can live with it... it will still blend in nicely with the neighborhood.

(Message edited by Gistok on March 18, 2007)
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Sharmaal
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Username: Sharmaal

Post Number: 1024
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"if you're going to redo it, redo it right. Use quality materials. Don't destroy all the old details. If you do, then its not a renovation. It's just a shity new building."


Milwaukee, you seem to have a great deal of knowledge on this subject matter. Can you post some pictures of the renovations you've worked on? They don't have to be from Detroit, pics from Milwaukee would be fine.
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1041
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 10:45 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I haven't personally worked on any renovations, but I would be very very happy to send you some pictures of great renovations in Milwaukee.

Please send me an email if you're interested.

john_nll@yahoo.com
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1042
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 10:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Milwaukee or Chicago.

This offer is open to anybody. I have no shortage of pics from both cities.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 293
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 11:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gistok I wasnt directing my statements at you or anyone in particular. Obviously none of you have ever worked on renovations before with a few exceptions on this forum. But Im just going to let it go. Chat on about it all you want.
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 200
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 7:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I haven't kicked my Wolverine yet today...

"PUNT'd!"

Ahhhh, much relief. :-) Joy

btw: when are we going photo-journeying again?
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1805
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Username: 1805

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 7:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I think it looks great. There, solved.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 690
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 7:49 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

in an attempt to end this thread, some window mullions are (or can be) installed after the windows are already in. They could still possibly put some on the interior or exterior surfaces if someone so desired that at a later point.
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Billpdx
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Username: Billpdx

Post Number: 34
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't recommend doing that. Those fake mullions look like crap. Nobody is fooling anybody with those... except blind people, maybe.
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 283
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 9:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Blind man!"

I spent a good amount of time staring at the windows this afternoon.

I believe that the major difference isn't the (absence of) mullions or how far the windows are (not) set back from the brick. It's the silver of the frames--versus the dark originals--that brings the windows into the perceptual foreground.

A Forumer with Photoshop skills could test this hypothesis by darkening the window frames in the posted images.
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Bvos
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Username: Bvos

Post Number: 2126
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm guessing that historic rehabilitation was a big part of this project. The developer wouldn't have gone through the extreme trouble of saving the facades if it wasn't a big part of it.

Putting Hanson's slider windows on this building is like putting plastic hubcaps on a fully restored '57 Chevy. Sure you can save some money, but if you've gone through the trouble to do everything else right, why not get a little (and relatively inexpensive) detail like windows correct? The cost between those slider windows (or possibly inoperable windows) and double hung windows with mullions isn't that big of a difference.

If the developer is going after historic tax credits (which I suspect they are given the saved facade), these window's won't pass inspection. They'll have to do the double hung with mullion windows.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 694
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

True Bvos. If they want the historic tax credit, replicating the windows is a HUGE part of that. It will 100% for sure not pass that inspection with these windows (unless of course someone can pay off someone).
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Apbest
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Username: Apbest

Post Number: 488
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think historic preservation credits have pretty specific restoration guidelines that would exclude a total demolition and new construction except the facade
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Gumby
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Username: Gumby

Post Number: 1541
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If I remember right the old windows wern't exactly all there and if you ask me broken out windows detracted from the beauty of this building more that the new windows do. At least the building will be standing in another ten years if they decide to change the windows. Would you rather have let the building rot and eventually become a surface lot or would you rather have a vibrant building with ugly windows?
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Milwaukee
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Username: Milwaukee

Post Number: 1047
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 - 10:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why not a vibrant building with half way decent windows?
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Swingline
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Username: Swingline

Post Number: 742
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 - 10:48 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The project is an NEZ but there is no way that it is receiving historic rehabilitation tax credits. The tax credit guidelines relating to window repair and replacement are mandatory and are quite strict. The hack job on the front elevation of this project doesn't even come close to satisfying the guidelines.

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