Friday, June 29, 2007

Embarrassed once again . . .

The Breuer Tower is going to be demolished next spring or summer, according to news reports from the Plain Dealer and WTAM. The Planning Commission chose to buckle to (literally) heavy pressure from above.

We have made our feeling known here at Blog on the City concerning the Tower and we regret the Commission's decision.

Like Mayor Perk's wife declining an invitation to dinner at the White House because it was a bowling league night, Cleveland again looks very much like the unsophisticated bastion it is. Yes, we allowed Jimmy Dimora to demolish a Marcel Breuer building.

Additionally, we share TOI's questions about today's Plain Dealer editorial. Who supplied the paper with all that information? And where did this earthquake concern come from? And here is a good post by Tim Ferris. But let's be clear: Bob Madison is not going to design the building. Kohn Pederson Fox is designing the building. Madison is just collecting a pay check on the job.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hagan calls the kettle black . . .

Ah, Tim Hagan. The Kennedy-fawning, arrogant, "the public-is-too-stupid to understand" political hack revealed his true authoritarian colors with this quote in Steve Litt's article yesterday. Referring to the Cleveland Planning Commission's refusal to allow the demolition of the Breuer Tower, Taxin' Tim said:

"This is beyond anything I've confronted in my political life," Hagan said. "An unelected group dictating to commissioners what kind of building should be built in a city where the mayor and City Council president support it. That's exactly what's wrong with the city."

When beuacracy blocks private development and infrastructures, it is called "the process." When beuacracy blocks an ego-driven, fact-defying, history-destroying, County Commissioner project, it is described as "obstructionism."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Breuer in the NYT

The New York Times covers the Breuer Showdown.

In addition, one wonders why we have not seen any of the design intentions from Madison + KPF.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Breuer Tower Thoughts . . .

UPDATE: The Tower still lives. See this post at RealNeo.

There is some passionate thought out there concerning the Breuer Tower.

But BOTC has another thought.

Why not move Mayor Jackson's "blue light" district totally out of the flats and into the tower? Let's stack and densify sin + skin into the behemoth. You don't need significant floor-to-floor height for stippers. You don't need them for Texas Hold 'Em, slot machines, off track betting, or even dog-fighting and cock-fighting.

Think of it. The county could still keep the building, collect revenue from the sinning citizenry, and be heralded as preservationsist pioneers. The Cleveland Police could have a neighborhood outpost in the building to keep things in check. Hell, the county commissioners could even maintain their own "suite" for their use.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's been a while

BOTC has been on a sabbatical for the past few weeks. No reason, just not especially moved to write about anything. Anyways, here are some things that we should be talking about, concerning our built environment in Northeast Ohio:

1. Residents of the Stonebridge Towers should not be too concerned with their parking spaces. BOTC would be more worried with the shoddy construction, bad detailing, and overall suspect constitution. See this site for the sketchy construction at Stonebridge.

2. The death watch continues for the Breuer Tower. The one time that we wish bureaucracy would hinder political decision-making, it amazingly disappears with the wave of Jimmy Dimora's bloated hand. Props to the Ingenuity Festival for sponsoring another competition ideas concerning the tower. However, why are all the jurors from Boston?

3. As the Diocese of Cleveland embarks on the painful closings of up to 40 parishes around the city and inner-ring suburbs, what will happen to many of these magnificent older churches? These churches were built by true craftsmen, reflecting the cultures, traditions, and building techniques of the European home lands. Urbanism churns with aggregation and demolition, but it would be a shame to lose many of these embedded architectures.

4. What was with the paranoid public artist, Mel Chin, who did not want the press reporting on his presentation at the latest Shrinking Cities event? First of all, when he asked whether there was any press in the room, BOTC would have raised our collective hands. What is the definition of a journalist anyways? Many in the Cleveland Design City network would agree that we can add color and texture to architectural and urban issues that Steve Litt cannot. Secondly, we should really question the sanity of a guy who thinks the current administration is out to get him--they have other things to worry about.

5. The winners of the Cleveland Competition will be announced tomorrow at an opening at Spaces Gallery. BOTC is interested in seeing the 70+ entries and hear what the jury had to say.
Hopefully BOTC will be able to write a review of some of the entries.