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Cleveland: Public Square Redesign

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Especially love how the Victory statue is visible. Very thoughtful and surprising element.

 

Please forgive my pedantry, but memorial statue (fountain).

 

"This Figure expresses the main theme of the Memorial Fountain, namely, the spirit of mankind rising out of the encircling flames of war, pestilence, and the destructive elements of life, reaching and ascending to a new understanding of life. Man rising above death, reaching upward to his God and toward Peace." --- Marshall Fredericks (Designer)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_of_Eternal_Life

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Especially love how the Victory statue is visible. Very thoughtful and surprising element.

 

Please forgive my pedantry, but memorial statue (fountain).

 

"This Figure expresses the main theme of the Memorial Fountain, namely, the spirit of mankind rising out of the encircling flames of war, pestilence, and the destructive elements of life, reaching and ascending to a new understanding of life. Man rising above death, reaching upward to his God and toward Peace." --- Marshall Fredericks (Designer)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_of_Eternal_Life

 

Are you calling The Plain Dealer a liar??

 

Shame.

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^ I'm guessing it will be pretty clear. Especially since we've had over a year of no traffic through Superior, so I wouldn't worry about that

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i'll give the project on time but I will not say it was ever on it's initial $32 million budget!  No matter how you divide the cost up, this project stands at an end cost of $50 million.  Overall it looks great. Were there things that could have been improved on? Yes. The biggest wish would be no traffic cutting through Public Square and my wish that the cafe remained with it's circular design.  I will love to see how this park will be used

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People say they hope the city can maintain the square after completion, I think RTA bus station maintenance is being overlooked, that is just as important imo.

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i'll give the project on time but I will not say it was ever on it's initial $32 million budget!  No matter how you divide the cost up, this project stands at an end cost of $50 million.  Overall it looks great. Were there things that could have been improved on? Yes. The biggest wish would be no traffic cutting through Public Square and my wish that the cafe remained with it's circular design.  I will love to see how this park will be used

 

Based solely on the article, $12MM was spent on infrastructure under the square that needed to, or would soon need to be replaced.  They also mentioned $6MM for an endowment to maintain & program the park.  I "think" that is the delta between the $32MM and $50MM numbers.

 

We would have heard if the contractor required 50% more money to complete the job

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I will love to see how this park will be used

 

Interesting thing I've noticed is that its taken over a year for the daytime office crowd to start using the grassy sections of Perk Park. I wouldn't be surprised if PS takes some similar amount of getting used to.

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For some reason I had it in my head that the cafe's exterior would be a darker metal, which I would have preferred. But the renderings clearly show the lighter color being used, so I was just remembering wrong. Not a big deal, but a little color/tone contrast would have been welcome. Plus, those lighter metal facade systems seem to show dirt and soot really easily, like at Seidman Cancer Pavilion and R&RHOF.

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I've been critical of this but I'm also excited about seeing the final result in person.  Overall it looks well designed and well thought out.  I like the angles, the hills, the trees and the water.  If there were unlimited budget I'd prefer a round cafe element, more like the rotunda at E 9th and the hotel at Huron.  Maybe one day.

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I wonder with all the talk about restrooms if the metal panels still have the male and female symbols etched as in the rendering.  This would be a great sign for Cleveland if both stall bathrooms are non gender specific. This shouldn't be an issue since these public restrooms are for single occupancy during use.  Think of an airplane bathroom,

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Out of town friends viewed Public Square from the S&S Monument.  They were impressed with the monument and Public Square's new look.  Only negative for them: that the Square was going to be disrupted by Superior Avenue bus lanes.

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Always good to be the HBIC! :-)

 

Here are some photos from the last two days of the Square itself and the Huntington Bank Building Plaza that is directly visible from the new Public Square and that borders and faces Public Square (thus germane to this topic).

 

The first photo is the very first view of PS as you exit Tower City from the pedestrian vantage point.  When you are at the top of the beautiful new lawn you are able to see the entire top/roof of the new cafe and you can see over the new cafe.  These are pedestrian views of the new Public Square.

 

The other two are of the longstanding partially white picket fence on the Public Square facing plaza of the BP/Huntington Tower.  This picket fence seems a wee bit out of place from an architectural standpoint and is an unusual fencing material for UrbanOhio and Public Square.

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^ There's something eerie about that stupid fenced in area haha. Hoping that seating, human activity and the proposed artwork will somewhat lessen the bluntness of that restaurant back wall.

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That white fencing is temporary. They are planning to install a monument sign and landscaping in that area.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Unfortunately the back side of the cafe will remain blank for a while. Land Studio chose the Cracking Art  installation for Public Square first inserted of focusing it's efforts in what they promised.  Not sure what the timeline is for activating this wall but am disappointed it will remain blank and hope their efforts go back to this spot.  At this point I would have preferred a green wall of native plants.

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Unfortunately the back side of the cafe will remain blank for a while. Land Studio chose the Cracking Art  installation for Public Square first inserted of focusing it's efforts in what they promised.  Not sure what the timeline is for activating this wall but am disappointed it will remain blank and hope their efforts go back to this spot.  At this point I would have preferred a green wall of native plants.

 

I've heard it won't be blank when it opens. Not sure what will be up there though.

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Please do tell if you have insight.  The deadline of June 1 is fast approaching and no mention of any art for that blank wall has been presented to city planning commissions

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^ Deadline of June 1? I hadn't heard that an opening date has been set yet

 

Edit: Some pictures from tonight

 

IMG_4024.JPG

 

IMG_4025.JPG

 

IMG_4026.JPG

 

IMG_4027.JPG

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With so many large trees, it looks like a forest from the perimeter.  The cafe is not especially attractive when approached from outside the square.  Most of the exterior is done in that ubiquitous gray siding, applied in big sheets like wallpaper.  Same color as concrete but less texture.  I say cover those walls with trellises and vines.  Hard to put graffiti over that.

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For what its worth, a colleague of mine in from the Netherlands saw the above pictures of Public Square and remarked on how beautiful it looked, and asked me where were the pics taken. 

When I said Cleveland, she said "Ohh, I have heard good things about Cleveland"

 

 

(I think my reaction was "vaklempt")

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It's looking really great!  Really transforms the whole look of the city - the buildings around the square somehow seem

more beautiful, too.  Love 327's idea of trellises and vines on the cafe walls...

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mrclifton88: " That white fencing is temporary. They are planning to install a monument sign and landscaping in that area. "

 

What defines "temporary?"  Do you have any idea on when this will be corrected/fixed?  Has anyone seen any plans for this?

 

Regarding the construction on Public Square and the sidewalks that face it: That ridiculous partially painted white picket fence facing Public Square has been up for over a year!! Not sure how or why the city provided them a permit for that fence!  The city and the BP/Huntington Tower should have much higher standards and greater vision than to let a high-rise building erect such an architecturally and aesthetically incorrect fence -  no matter how long it is up.  There is not a high-rise building in any city that would build such a fence nor a city that would permit such a fence!  Painting it white to draw attention to it is so plain dumb! Choosing a picket fence fresh from Menards is pathetic.  It now looks even more out of place with the new Public Square.  Why does the city permit this type of low standard work?  How could the management of the tower have no aesthetic or common sense! 

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^ The signage was approved by the Planning Commission on April 1st. I imagine it should be going in soon.

 

200_Public_Square_06.jpg

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It would look even prettier with a 40+ story tower fronted by retail/restaurants in the NW quadrant....


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Any news on that front? For such a prime piece of real estate it is unbelievable that there isn't even a pie in the sky proposal that we can salivate over while all knowing it will never happen... Just give me something to hope for.

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^ I'm still holding onto hope for a Sherwin-Williams tower.

 

 

I've got a feeling that Sherwin-Williams' expressed desire to remain close to to the company's original home on the Cuyahoga River might make Dan Gilbert's Tower City location at the junction of Huron Road and Ontario a more attractive location for a new S-W headquarters tower. Imagine that intersection, with nuCLEUS, S-W and a renovated Quicken Loans Arena as the new entrance to the city from the south.

 

Then, Medical mutual can anchor a new mixed-use tower on Jacobs' lot on Public Square.

And all of these plans are announced almost immediately after the RNC leaves town.

 

What a way for S-W to celebrate its big anniversary while making a major contribution to the future of its hometown. It would also allow Gilbert to deliver on his promise to do something truly extraordinary with Tower City and afford Jacobs' the chance to shut us all up by filling that awful gap on Public Square with a development that adds to its beauty and vitality.

 

Hey, we might as well dream big, right?

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I understand the wishful thinking but please stop tying the PS redesign into some sort of vision that Jacobs will build a tower on their lot. There's no evidence or even rumors at this point. I wish Jacobs would do some sort of container pop-up retail on the part of the lot facing the square until they build something around the 24th century or so.  Anyway, I'll stop going off-topic too.

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There was more than rumors going around internally with Sherwin Williams.  Before the Valspar acquisition, they were expected to announce a new location either on Jacobs lot or the West Bank of the flats, where Jacobs also owns land.  Its probably still inevitable, just delayed

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^The PS Jacobs and the West Banks Jacobs are two separate and completely unrelated (from a corporate standpoint) entities.  The PS parcel is owned by the legacy company of Dick and David Jacobs.  West Bank land is owned by a company headed by Jeff Jacobs, Dick Jacobs son.

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For discussion on the Sherwin Williams and Medical Mutual towers rumors/insights, see the last few months of the following thread...

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php/topic,4266.0.html


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Looks like they are testing the fountain lights tonight. Very pretty!

 

The fountains are running tonight again as well:

 

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So, June 1 is just a few days away. I'm actually getting a little annoyed with the total lack of communication about the completion schedule.

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The fountain testing has been interesting. It appears the water doesn't stay within the designed oval shape and appears to overflow onto the rest of the pavement area. I also noticed the wooden bench seating has been installed

 

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^I wonder if that's one of the things delaying an announcement of the opening schedule. I do notice every time I open the web cam that a different area seems to be wet, and it's never just the part within the oval.

 

^^Litt has specifically mentioned June 1.

 

From exactly one month ago:

 

The $50 million renovation of the square, designed by James Corner Field Operations of New York, the firm that co-designed the acclaimed High Line Park, is on time and on budget for completion June 1.

http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2016/04/outdoor_art_coming_to_public_s.html

 

EDIT

 

Who knows the source (maybe just a circle of misreporting?), but I think lots, maybe even most, of the reporting has specifically mentioned June 1. E.g,:

 

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/cleveland-metro/clevelands-public-square-project-continues-on-pace-for-june-1-2016-opening

http://www.cleveland.com/architecture/index.ssf/2016/02/warm_winter_helps_speed_public.html

http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20160320/NEWS/160319791/groups-are-taking-a-long-view-of-public-square

 

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So excited to see the completed project and truly hope the materials and maintenance can hold up.  Amazed and disappointed (and dumbfounded) that the City has decided to immediately make the new urban park/square the focal point of anger, protests, marches, controversy, and negativity instead of a tourist, resident and city-worker place of enjoyment, beauty, serenity and entertainment.  MUST READ:

 

http://www.cleveland.com/rnc-2016/index.ssf/2016/05/newly_updated_public_square_wi.html#lf_comment=514991888

 

INVITING the protests and marches to establish their home base in Public Square immediately after it opens will potentially destroy the park's first impression, as it is televised nationally (and internationally) full of angry anarchists and protesters and damaged by the inevitable.  There are so many city owned surface lots and vacant lots where a protest stage could have been erected.  To use the new beautiful public square as the epicenter of protests is simply dumb.  No way Chicago would permit this in Millennium Park.  No way would NYC permit this on the HighLine as soon as it opened etc.  The immediate damage to the park is certain -  to the physical space, landscaping, hardscape and perhaps equally important to its spirit and the revitalization that it represents.  What a shame!

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