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  1. jjakucyk

    Cincinnati: Western Hills Viaduct

    Is the Spring Grove Avenue connection being maintained? It could be that there's not enough room to make a wide single deck and also flare it out and ramp down to Spring Grove since it has to also stay pretty high to clear I-75 and intersect Central Parkway.
  2. According to the older CAGIS data I have (mid 1990s) there's a 10-inch water main under the north side of the street only, basically aligned with the original street.
  3. ^ There are an awful lot of ramps and thus blank walls along 5th Street, and this is for a flat site. It's very "un-activated."
  4. troeros mentioned it back on September 7. https://www.urbanohio.com/forum/index.php/topic,1114.msg936196.html#msg936196
  5. Didn't they tell the designers of 1118 to go back to the drawing board? Did they do that, or did something happen behind the scenes? That particular area is zoned CC-P (Commercial Corridor Pedestrian Oriented) which has a height limit of 85 feet (and a height minimum of 15 feet). https://library.municode.com/oh/cincinnati/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=TIXIZOCOCI_CH1409CODI
  6. I was going to post this last night but then the UO server went down. Fortunately I was able to save the text. A street wall defines space, and in the context of a plaza it creates an outdoor room by becoming the walls of that room. Blank monolithic walls like Kroger or Terrace Plaza are not the same thing in an environment like this. They still need windows, doors, activity, and a human scale to their components. This is basic urban planning and architecture. Adding more outdoor spaces...again let me reiterate...right next to one of the signature plazas in the country, dilutes and confuses Fountain Square. That's a big part of the reason why Hyde Park Square works and Oakley Square doesn't (yeah they're really not squares, they're esplanades, but let's not go down that rabbit hole). Oakley doesn't have the building frontage or the building height to properly enclose the space. Thus when you're in the square you don't feel like you're in a place, you feel like you're in the median of a highway. Hyde Park also has the benefit of a tree canopy that further divides the space in the square into something of a room within a room. If that exact same street and square existed but without the taller buildings flanking it, say replacing them with single-family homes surrounded by lawns, then it wouldn't be a place worth going to. It would be little different than Jack Casino's front "yard," Glendale's Floral or Van Cleve parks, Westwood's town hall triangle, or the Laurel "Recreation Area" on Ezzard Charles. An outdoor space for people, whether plaza, park, square, or garden, is diluted by empty undefined space surrounding it. On top of all that, multi-level plazas and parks with excessive understory (shrubs, tall ornamental grasses, etc.) repel usage because of all the hiding places for unsavory individuals. Even if there aren't any such people, the inability to see very far leads to uneasiness and fear. Thus people tend not to go to such places, further reinforcing their scary nature. They're also harder to keep clean. The best public spaces are level, or with just a couple of steps, and they're broadly open without many hiding places. Bravo to ResTark for making lots of places to sit and water to play with, but that already exists across the street. The real fraud is showing the Vine Street plaza bathed in sunlight, which it will only be first thing in the morning at certain times of the year. The rest of the day it will be a dark hole. Plus, the shape of the building looks like an aerofoil designed to funnel as much wind into Fountain Square as possible. If this were a couple blocks away, then I wouldn't mind it so much, but it's competing with Fountain Square rather than complimenting it. If they put this exact program on a two or three story podium with storefronts facing all the streets then it wouldn't be the downtown equivalent of a single-family home with a big yard next to a park. Their non-handicapped-accessible outdoor space would likely get just as much use being up there and not for public use than it will as designed, once the novelty wears off. Ok that's a bit hyperbolic but this has little appeal compared to Fountain Square itself. William H. Whyte's one hour video "The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces" is the definitive resource on this sort of thing. Unfortunately its copyright holders are meticulous in having any online copies of the video taken down, and it and the associated book are both fantastically expensive, costing hundreds of dollars. I do have a copy myself though, so maybe we can do a movie night sometime? The next best thing is Andres Duany's early 1990s San Antonio lecture which covers plazas along with a lot of other principles of new (and old) urbanism.
  7. Ugh, no conception of a street wall, just anti-urban starchitecture. They're facing one of the premier urban plazas in the country and they're proposing a blob building with wedge-shaped stairparks and skywalks. That is exactly the type of form that shouldn't be done in such a location.
  8. Demolitions haven't been as bad as they were maybe 10 years ago (especially McMillan near Stanton), but they're still happening. Several buildings went away around MLK/Gilbert because of the new interchange, and what's left is going down the toilet fast. That historic building at McMillan and Woodburn was torn down to build a parking lot. You can see some recent demos in Google Maps on Burdette, Myrtle, and Preston. Phillips Chapel at Park and Taft is now a vacant lot. It does seem like more of the neighborhood is succumbing to entropy than is being built back up, but there's some activity around the periphery (Madison & Cleinview condos, Woodburn & Lincoln, Windsor School).
  9. jjakucyk

    Cincinnati: Housing Market / Affordable Housing

    In a healthy market without all the zoning and NIMBY restrictions, it will be profitable to build mid-market housing, and possibly even low-end housing, since the market for luxury housing will quickly be saturated, driving down margins.
  10. jjakucyk

    Cincinnati's "Hidden" Streets

    Patrick Snadon.
  11. jjakucyk

    Cincinnati's "Hidden" Streets

    ^Yup. I don't know what the reason was, or if Andy even knew himself.
  12. jjakucyk

    Cincinnati's "Hidden" Streets

    Avery Lane in Hyde Park next to the Cincinnati Observatory Center is an interesting beast. At the Observatory Place and St. Johns Place ends it's basically a driveway (including some step sidewalks), but in the middle it's just a sidewalk. I think one house has no driveway, while some others have access from Wellston. https://goo.gl/maps/FK3KVfcfcoy Closson Court in Ludlow is similar in that the street ends two houses from the next intersection, so two houses face a sidewalk only. https://goo.gl/maps/jmAYrBv88w72
  13. ^ Key phrases: will likely, eventually, intended to, could be
  14. Hey guess what? When buildings in the core are torn down and replaced with parking lots, it's the rest of us who end up subsidizing that property owner. The streets, sidewalks, pipes, wires, lights, police, fire, schools, libraries...those don't go away when a building is demolished, but they still have to be operated and maintained. The property owner however has their taxes reduced to a pittance. So the burden of all that infrastructure and services falls on the rest of us to cover through our taxes and utility rates. So yeah, we have every right to be upset when projects get scaled down, canceled, or turned into vacant lots (which parking lots are too). Your self-righteousness is misplaced and ignorant.
  15. ^ Is it the site of this building that just vanished one day earlier this summer? https://goo.gl/maps/1UkvQwPUTeF2 That's the kind of "death by a thousand cuts" demolition that really hurts the city, along with the de-densification and upmarket pricing that comes with it.