Okay, I haven’t put the time or effort into crafting my own “vision” for the old Midtown Tower, so I’m not going to be overly critical here. But I’m going to show you two concepts for Midtown that were sent to the city this week for review (and 1 wildcard concept). The first drawing (shown on the left) is from local developers Patrick Dutton and Shane Bartholf. It includes 158 for-sale condominiums with large window openings, common or public use of the former restaurant space on the 14th floor, and mixed-use office and retail on the first three floors. As you can see they’ve also added some shiny (albeit blurry) people to their drawing, as well as a lovely solar-flare effect to make the building look extra shiny…
The second drawing, from New York-based Harmony Group, is a similar layout but they’ve added a gigantic sign that says MIDTOWN PLAZA on the front of the building—OH and they’ve opted to put a gray sky in the background. Ooh, Harmony, I don’t think gray is a good color for Rochester. Not much else going on here so let’s move on to concept #3.
This third concept was done by my 4-year-old daughter. I admit I’m a bit partial here, but this proposal has its merits. Firstly, it’s completely original. She didn’t box herself into the 1960’s modernist framework of the old structure. I’m all for preserving the “old”, but that style of architecture died for a reason—let’s bury it. Also, hers looks way more pedestrian-friendly. True, the other two drawings show more people on the sidewalks, but my daughter’s people are much bigger, allowing them to step over, or around the building if necessary. She won’t even need sidewalks in her plan. Finally, and most convincingly, her idea clearly comes from the heart. These other two drawings seem to represent the quickest, cheapest path to profit for the developer. Gut the building, slap on a new pre-fab exterior, and bam! Same old same old.
The city plans to make a decision (or a decision to not decide) by the end of April 2009. Sadly, my daughter’s drawing is not in the running.
Tags: architecture, city, concept drawings, design, development plans, downtown Rochester, Harmony Group, Midtown Plaza, Midtown Tower, mixed-use, New York, NY, Patrick Dutton, real-estate, Shane Bartholf, sidewalks, skyscraper, urban planning, urban renewal, urban revitalization, vision
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 9:26 pm and is filed under Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.