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Cleveland: 4600 Euclid Avenue

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I was clicking on the link in the amherst quarry thread, which linked me to a blog, which had a project we urban ohioans might have missed.

http://clevelandplanner.blogspot.com/2006/03/4600-euclid-avenue.html

 

Its the building that burnt down near the agora. Its not spectacular, it gives the feeling of bland suburban taste, but is certainly more preferable to a burnt out structure.

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Why couldn't they build out the lot?  They are going to be exposing the side of that building behind, a side that wasn't meant to be exposed.  And for what?  Another little entrance plaza?  This isn't Beachwood!  Not every building needs a little garden at the front door.  Build up to the corners, damnit!

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I'm with you X, while I'm always glad to see new construction, we shouldn't have to settle for just having SOMETHING there. I don't understand why the design can't just hug those corners...

 

Sometimes I think contempory architecture is always about trying to making a statement through form - trying to invent some sort of shape or massing that has never been used before, regardless of what the building will be used for (or where it is located, as in this instance). I tend to think that some of the most beautiful urban buildings are those that are articulated rectangles. Not just because they are beautiful by themselves, but because they complete a much larger composition along a street.

 

I am glad that there is new construction in a much needed area, and that the construction hugs Euclid Avenue, but I am NOT happy that there isn't a 'nod' to the existing fabric and NOT an opportunity to created a consistent fabric around it.

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Eh-- It's a little bland, but not bad. Think about the tripe we were getting on Euclid 10 years ago (the Applied Industrial spaceship at E. 36th).

 

As for tenants, the old building was to be renovated and occupied by a collection of nonprofits. I assume most of them will now be locating to this new structure.

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You people must have excellent skills in vision seeing as I posted a picture tht clearly does not show the building as a whole - yet you are able to judge how it looks. Amazing! I hope I grow up to have the super vision you have. :wink:

 

Anyway, kidding aside, I like the building. Consider the context - Agora on one side, non-discript building on the other and tthe RTA bus garage across the street. It would be very easy to over power the surrounding architecture. I like the way the building is tiered down toward the previously vacated street. It will now be open to the public and makes a great path toward the park between Prospect Avenue and Prospect Road.

 

The develper is also rehabing the building behind 4600 for indoor parking.

The building across the vacated street is currently going through rehab.

And,

There will be a Silver Line stop almost directly in front of the new building.

 

What was not posted were pictures looking to the west and evening pictures showing the lighting plan. They are also very nice.

 

 

 

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I was just giving a quick thought, why are they making the one building an indoor parking garage, when there clearly appears to be plenty of parking in the rear?

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I was just giving a quick thought, why are they making the one building an indoor parking garage, when there clearly appears to be plenty of parking in the rear?

 

If I remember correctly, I think the owners of the Agora own it and have wanted to develop it for a number of years (along with the land to the east).

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Where is this in reference to downtown Cleveland?

 

This is, obiously, east of downtown, I think technically in the Central neighborhood.  Pretty much 2 miles exactly from Public Square

 

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The feedback on this is almost as positive as a 61 story building going up in Louisville. 

 

I am more than happy to see this crater be filled with a decent building. 

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Actually, I am very impressed with this structure.  It seems to be sticking with the new character of this area and the modern design we have seen over the past decade on this stretch of Euclid. 

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And how about those other pictures you spoke of Musky?

 

I will see if I can aquire them.

As for now... must study for mid term.

Planning Law.

 

 

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You people must have excellent skills in vision seeing as I posted a picture tht clearly does not show the building as a whole - yet you are able to judge how it looks. Amazing! I hope I grow up to have the super vision you have. :wink:

 

Anyway, kidding aside, I like the building. Consider the context - Agora on one side, non-discript building on the other and tthe RTA bus garage across the street. It would be very easy to over power the surrounding architecture. I like the way the building is tiered down toward the previously vacated street. It will now be open to the public and makes a great path toward the park between Prospect Avenue and Prospect Road.

 

The develper is also rehabing the building behind 4600 for indoor parking.

The building across the vacated street is currently going through rehab.

And,

There will be a Silver Line stop almost directly in front of the new building.

 

What was not posted were pictures looking to the west and evening pictures showing the lighting plan. They are also very nice.

 

 

 

 

While one view of the new building - it shows me enough to consider what I'm most concerned about in recreating the massing needed to fill in a major urban artery (in this case THE urban artery in our City). Personal design preferences aside (which I determine with the use of my 'super vision', I guess), it still cries of a suburban office building that pushes its flattest side against the sidewalk.

 

It fills a hole, thanks for that.

 

 

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It fills a hole, thanks for that.

 

 

I suppose you are one of those people who do not like the Breuer Office Tower (soon-to-be County Office) either, no?

No problem, you cannot have good architecture without bad architecture. It's kinda like the Force.

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The question isn't the architecture, its the siting.  They brought it up to one sidewalk, but not the other.  Corners are important in creating urban places.  If we don't build up to them, than it tends to create a very suburban look.  This to me only looks semi-urban because it's set back from the cross street.  I'd hope for better along Euclid.

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It fills a hole, thanks for that.

 

 

I suppose you are one of those people who do not like the Breuer Office Tower (soon-to-be County Office) either, no?

No problem, you cannot have good architecture without bad architecture. It's kinda like the Force.

 

:-D

 

Design aside and urbanism in mind, I tend to get overprotective of Euclid every time a building goes up in Midtown - I'm afraid some second cousin to the Applied Technologies building will move in to the neighborhood and try to recreate exurbia... ten minutes from Public Square.

 

At the very least, I think that 4600 needs to pull its edge to the other sidewalk.

 

 

 

 

 

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Eh-- It's a little bland, but not bad. Think about the tripe we were getting on Euclid 10 years ago (the Applied Industrial spaceship at E. 36th).

 

Design aside and urbanism in mind, I tend to get overprotective of Euclid every time a building goes up in Midtown - I'm afraid some second cousin to the Applied Technologies building will move in to the neighborhood and try to recreate exurbia... ten minutes from Public Square.

 

Sounds like I"ll be in the minority, but I really like the Applied Tech building.  I grant that it's set back from the street, but I like the architecture of that building quite a lot. 

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It'd be fine if it were built in Westlake or Beachwood.  Do you really think it works well as part of the neighborhood, though?

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j73,

 

Why do you like the Applied building?  I have a hard time looking past the following things: it's gated off from the city; it looks like it should be surrounded by trees within some suburban office park; it greatly discourages workers to venture out onto Euclid Ave. 

 

Do these issues not bother the urban designer in you?  What redeeming qualities do you find in this building?

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I was speaking more from a straight architectural point-of-view: I think it's a bold, attractive, and hopeful (last term is more of the feeling it engenders) building.  I understand your objections from the urban design side, but I don't agree that it looks like it belongs in a suburb.  Does a building have to look a certain way to be "urban"?  Does it discourage workers from walking out on to Euclid?  Perhaps, although how hard is it to walk across the lawn?  And a patch of green in the city (sorry X know you like 'em built right up to the street) is a welcome sight.  Are there some things they could have done differently in terms of siting it?  Probably (biggest issue I have is that access road to the main entrance, rather than having it face Euclid or Chester).  If it were built that way in the middle of downtown, I'd have more issues, but as it is, it's in a lower-density area where it works better. 

 

 

 

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Does a building have to look a certain way to be "urban"?  Does it discourage workers from walking out on to Euclid?  Perhaps, although how hard is it to walk across the lawn? 

 

Are you saying that this is urban architecture?  How do you define "urban architecture"?

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Does a building have to look a certain way to be "urban"?  

 

Yes, because if urban means just anything anyone wants it to be, then it means nothing at all.  For a building to be "urban" it should, at the very least, be a part of the larger urban ensemble.  This building seperates itself from that ensemble, not just in style, but in siting, massing, and orientation.  It is built to be a stand alone building.  It is alienated from its surrounding context.  That is the antithesis of urban.

 

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^I agree with all of the planning problems with the Applied building, but I will say that I have never driven by that building with anyone else in the car who was seeing it for the first time when they didn't say "what's that building?"  I don't know what that means, I just know that it stands out.  Could be because it's out of place, could be because it is striking.  I think it's probably both.

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^Thats a little drastic.  if you passed that building in Strongsville, some may marvel at it.  It simply does not fit the location that it's in. I think Ewoops is accurate on his take that it is out of place and striking. 

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I think it is both striking and strikingly out of place.  If it were located on 10 acres in Beachwood, I would still notice it's spacey character, and probably say "cool, for an office park".  But because of where it's located, I say "that'd be kind of cool, if it was in an office park".

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Does a building have to look a certain way to be "urban"?  

 

Yes, because if urban means just anything anyone wants it to be, then it means nothing at all.  For a building to be "urban" it should, at the very least, be a part of the larger urban ensemble.  This building seperates itself from that ensemble, not just in style, but in siting, massing, and orientation.  It is built to be a stand alone building.  It is alienated from its surrounding context.  That is the antithesis of urban.

 

I'm mainly making an aestethic statement, much like blinker's ("b/c it's butt-ugly") comment: I think it's an attractive building.  No point in arguing aestethics.  I agree with with many of the complaints about the design of the site (although I think we have a tendency to over-blow some of those concerns, e.g. how much the design really discourages the employees from venturing out...whether the place has a cafeteria or not probably plays a much bigger role.)

 

The question I asked above (does something need to look a certain way to be urban?), and X's (and others' responses) intrigues me:  Are you saying that the building needs to be in a certain architectural style?  That is, if a block is largely brick colonials, then any addition should also be a brick colonial?  If so, I pretty much completely disagree.  Yes, it can be nice when the architecture plays off its surroundings, and the scale matters (a 20-story building will look out-of-place) but fundamentally, a good-looking building is a good-looking building no matter where it is and no matter how its style contrasts.  That's one of the things I especially like about urban spaces - they aren't completely planned and one style sits next to another (as opposed to all the suburban house farms). 

 

Matching the scale of the neighborhood and doing somethings to encourage folks to move between the nieghborhood and the bldg are obviously good things and this bldg doesn't do that (although that part of town doesn't seem to offer to much on that front anyway...), but some of the comments here seem to go beyond that to say it's bad bldg or not an "urban" building b/c the author just didn't like the style of the building (e.g. a relatively modern-looking structure).  I'm just saying that the architectural style of the structure shouldn't determine if it's urban or not...

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I'm not talking about style.  I am talking about "function" in the broadest sense.  How is the building oriented to its surroundings, what is the mix of uses, how is it accessed, how is it sited, etc.  Architectural style and technology does and should progress.  That is good.  Forgetting how make buildings work together to create larger cohesive wholes isn't.

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