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Cleveland picks strong team to design North Coast Harbor pedestrian bridge

Posted by Steven Litt

August 27, 2007 17:11PM

 

 

Local governments rarely reach for pathbreaking design excellence when they hire architects and engineers. But the first highly visible project launched by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson since he took office in January could be a departure from the norm.

 

Last week, a selection committee composed of city officials picked a design team with real international firepower to design a proposed $6.1 million pedestrian bridge at North Coast Harbor in downtown Cleveland...

 

More at: http://blog.cleveland.com/architecture/2007/08/_local_governments_rarely_reac.html

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You know, for someone in the architecture field and a person who lives in the Cleveland region, you sure portray in image of ignorance when a firm, team or design does not meet your standards. I am sure I do not have to explain the public bidding process to you that is required by law.

 

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Excellent selection Frank Jackson.  Impressive that the city FINALLY recognizes the importantance of design.

 

Thank you. :) I agree. I'm excited about this project.

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You know, for someone in the architecture field and a person who lives in the Cleveland region, you sure portray in image of ignorance when a firm, team or design does not meet your standards. I am sure I do not have to explain the public bidding process to you that is required by law.

 

 

Why don't you go ahead and reread my post musky.  I think this will be a GOOD project because they chose a designer based on skills, not political connections or a misguided architect selection, and I applaud Frank Jackson for this.  Not sure what crawled up your ass, but this isn't the thread to be lecturing me on my negative opinions of local architecture.  I'm down for this one.  Just because the selection process is flawed into being forced to use the lowest bidder for public projects, that is no excuse for subpar design.  If you and CSU want to continue accepting C+ architecture, that's your problem.  Not sure why you brought this up here, but the negative side of my opions is recently reserved for the CSU Student Center, we can chat over on that thread if you'd like to continue your thoughts on what you think I should think good design is, and my personal compitency level.  Check that, I couldn't give a damn what you think.

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I do not question what you think is good design. And usually I agree with you.

I get upset when you blame the city, CSU, other public agency for picking a design that is more often then not, chosen due to legal reasons.

 

If Joe's Floor Refinishing and Bridge Design Company out bids a firm founded by DaVinci, then we have to accept that process and the design that comes with it, or change the process. That process is currently in the hands of those downstate. Don't like it? Change it!

 

And btw, I have made my dislike of the student center clear in the CSU thread - and I have no say in what IS chosen, that would be... THE PROCESS

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^Design issues aside, there are sound public policy reasons begin the bidding process on public projects.  Among other things, to protect taxpayer pocket books and hopefully prevent fraud and collusion.  These statutes are nationwide and were years in the making. 

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One of the things that a public entity can do, under the O.R.C., is to have a two-tiered process with a Request for Qualifications and a subsequent Request for Proposals.

 

In the RFQ, you cast a wide net and set a general set of standards pertinent to the eventual project, without worrying about the eventual cost.  That way, the J'sFR&BDCo can get weeded out early.  The selected firms then would compete for the RFP, for which cost will be a major criteria, but not the only one.

 

Adding an RFQ generally adds at least three months to the process, but done well, you have a somewhat better chance of getting a competent and imaginative designer.  And, if you can get the RFP scoresheet to put more weight on design than cost, then a great designer ought to rise to the top (provided that the contract is under budget).

 

Unfortunately, there is a lot of pressure to contain costs, which oftentimes means that design takes a back seat.  But, with a more enlightened design culture, even the politicos could loosen the purse strings a bit (while still maintaining the legal nature of the process).

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I blamed nobody for anything on this thread.  I realize the flaws in the process, I really do, but that is no excuse for public projects.  If anything I'm being critical of people in my own field.  Architects for the most part are slugs when it comes to design, but for some reason you come out and attack me and and say,

"you sure portray in image of ignorance when a firm, team or design does not meet your standards."

Hey man, all I do here is express my opinions and expect better results in a time where contemporary architecture and urban design are changing the WORLD and the way people live and interact with space.  That's what I expect, and that's what we should all expect.  And we very rarely get it.

I question why the hell you are bringing this up on this thread, maybe the one thread where I am absolutely in favor of what is going on.

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So how does this explain the mess with the Breuer Tower?

 

Boy, it really doesn't.  I'm afraid I wasn't privy to much of the goings-on with that one.  My understanding is that the final product (if it ever happens) will probably not bear much resemblance to what we've seen.  I'm not even sure if there was a RFQ before the RFP.  I don't think that there was, however.  It's not a method that is used often, but it should be.

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I blamed nobody for anything on this thread.  I realize the flaws in the process, I really do, but that is no excuse for public projects.  If anything I'm being critical of people in my own field.  Architects for the most part are slugs when it comes to design, but for some reason you come out and attack me and and say,

"you sure portray in image of ignorance when a firm, team or design does not meet your standards."

Hey man, all I do here is express my opinions and expect better results in a time where contemporary architecture and urban design are changing the WORLD and the way people live and interact with space.  That's what I expect, and that's what we should all expect.  And we very rarely get it.

I question why the hell you are bringing this up on this thread, maybe the one thread where I am absolutely in favor of what is going on.

 

If anyone agrees with you, I do. Which shouldn't be a surprise.

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w28th:

Ok

 

Avogadro:

Thanks

 

Aw, c'mon!! I want to see a fight! A BLOODBATH!! 

suicide.gif


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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Hey now, do I take offense to that?  :|

 

I realize that a 16 week studio project is quite the Disney version of a real life project but I think it's unfair to discount the opinion of a recent grad/arch. student because we don't have the jaded outlook on politics.

 

I think we need to stop this bs in the past few posts!  I'm sorry but as far as design goes in Cleveland, we all have A LOT to learn.

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You are absolutely correct.

I apologize for over generalizing. Not all architecture students are arrogant. And not all planning students are over-the-top-optimistic. My statements were based on anecdotal incidents from the past four years, as opposed to a lifetime's career.

 

Yes, you are so very right. Everyone always needs A LOT to learn

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(updated article from last week)

 

pd:

 

Cleveland makes excellent choice for North Coast bridge

Sunday, September 02, 2007

by Steven Litt

 

Hooray for the city of Cleveland. The city's top choice for a design team to create a new $6.1 million pedestrian bridge at North Coast Harbor clearly was the best of the six that sought the job -- and the one most likely to produce an outstanding result.

 

The winning team will be led by the local office of Wilbur Smith Associates, a national firm. But the star on the squad is Miguel Rosales, a 46-year-old native of Guatemala who has devoted his career to improving the design of bridges in the United States...

 

more at: http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/plaindealer/steven_litt/index.ssf?/base/entertainment-0/1188636818161750.xml&coll=2&thispage=1

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Anyways... :-)

 

I spent the day yesterday with the family (Long Islander and Las Vegan??? on the Goodtime III and at the North Coast Harbor and the place was buzzing with activity!  Nice to see!  I'll post pics from the fun weekend in CLE shortly.

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I guess I'll be ignorant one here, but at least from the pictures on their website, I don't see what the big deal is about this bridge...is it because we are so starved for "cool" things here in the states that we give this bridge more credit than it deserves?

 

Like I said, maybe I'm just ignorant or maybe I just can't see its magnificence from the limited pictures on the site, but to me the covered bridges in Ashtabula are cooler or at least more significant than what I see in the pictures.

 

Since I know you guys know more about this than me, please edumacate me about what makes this bridge great.

 

Thanks!

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My take is that this will make it more likely for big events like the Gravity Games or X-Games to come to the Northcoast Harbor.  A bridge helps enhance the area by allowing people to move around much easier.  It gets very tight walking alongside the museums during big events that are using the whole area.  This is also one of the first items to come to fruition in the Lakefront redevelopment plan which a lot of people had input into.  Plus in a city and state of unique bridges, this should add yet another one.

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Shouldn't it be noted that neither bridge shown are necessarily anything like what will get built.  These were images of existing bridges designed by the selected firm, no?  The span of this bridge appears likely just 150 feet or so, less than half of the Liberty Bridge.

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Correct, I think audidave was just noting that the firm selected didnt knock his socks off with regards to past projects.  I still am excited that at least a firm that has a little artistic creativity was given the job.  Thats all.

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Science center to build walkway to Steamship Mather

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Tom Breckenridge

 

 

The Great Lakes Science Center will build a $3.3 million link to its floating museum nearby.

 

The Cleveland City Planning Commission on Friday approved the design for the 400-foot sheltered walkway between the science center and the Steamship William G. Mather Museum, docked in North Coast Harbor.

 

The Planning Commission panned the design in July, largely because of a permanent opening in the walkway that, at 5 feet wide, was too small for bikers and walkers who stream through the area.

 

The center's new design includes a permanent 11-foot-wide opening. Three larger sections of the walkway would open, weather permitting, with the use of sliding and overhead doors...

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BTW, the guy who talks on WCPN every Friday about business and development in Cleveland (Scott Rolston from Fairport Asset Mgmt, IIRC) mentioned last Friday that he thinks we'll see a study about the future of Burke from the Jackson admin in the next few weeks.  Not sure how well-connected the guy is and what the study is, but interesting, if true.  Here's the link - the comment is in the last 1/3 of it. 

http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/Player/7335/

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I'm not sure how to interpret this. The Master Plan function is to:

 

To provide a framework for long-range planning (2030)

To graphically present preferred airport development concepts

To define the purpose and need for development projects

To comply with all applicable FAA requirements

To enable the airport to achieve its mission

To assure compatible land use development

To support the financial health of one of a City’s most powerful economic engines

To identify facility requirements for all airport users

 

 

Depending on what "airport development concepts" really means, the document sounds like a blueprint for Burke's expansion more than anything else.  Anyhow, it doesn't sound too positive for those who want to open up that prime real estate for more appropriate, waterfront residential/retail/recreational usage.

 

 

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BTW, the guy who talks on WCPN every Friday about business and development in Cleveland (Scott Rolston from Fairport Asset Mgmt, IIRC) mentioned last Friday that he thinks we'll see a study about the future of Burke from the Jackson admin in the next few weeks.  Not sure how well-connected the guy is and what the study is, but interesting, if true.  Here's the link - the comment is in the last 1/3 of it. 

http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/Player/7335/

 

I heard that as well.  I didn't know how to take it. Did the guy know something or was he just thinking out loud? If he's just speculating without some insider knowledge, then its rather inappropriate to do so this way.

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It may have been crass, but I enjoyed how Mayor Daley solved Chicago's lakefront airport problem literally overnight by carving impenetrable Xs on the runways so that Meigs Field could no longer be used.  Mayor Jackson certainly will not pull a similar move, so it looks like we'll be stuck with an airport.

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it could be that, in light of the roadblocks to tearing bkl out, the development angle is the only other option.  they were, if I remember correctly, talking about putting something commercial into that area.  restaurants etc.  if the roadblock is that serious, then why not consider making the terminal an accessible, useable part of the area? 

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That bullet list is not specific to Burke.  The site says:

 

"The general goals and objectives addressed by an airport master plan include the following:" (emphasis added)

 

And then they have the list.  We'll have to wait and see what comes out of it.

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I guess I am fine with this Burke news being that there is still so much developable land in the core of the city.  I would hate to see Burke completely loaded with residential/commercial in basically an island area therefore putting a squeeze on future development downtown.  I would be fine with a park there or something of the type.  However, having a corporate/regional airport downtown is a plus for the region. 

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