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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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IMHO, the only mayor healy's master development plan is making the developer's happy. don't hold your breath, expecting much from healy and his cronies.

now, i understand that 111 1st street was a safety hazard and in bad condition. plus, i didn't think that building was very attractive or even worth saving. it wasn't very pretty to look at. i think the butler building on the other hand is very handsome and in need of preserving, just my opinion.

however, i do think that the architects could create a very aethetically pleasing building by preserving the core and building a tower atop the building. my main concern would be that they're not allowed to destroy a beautiful building by putting in a parking garage.

Posted on: 2007/3/13 15:06
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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Is this not the real problem at hand. Is this not zoning by varience or spot zoning?

Zoning is/should be done via a Master Plan process and then detailed in the city's Land Use Ordinance or an overlaying Redevelopment Plan.

"Case-by-Case", is that really a term for by-passing law and making decisions on campaign funding and back room deals....

We are back to pre-redevelopment plan, re-zoning the area by variance and project, which leads to a break down and no zoning.....


Quote:

GrovePath wrote:
Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
Jersey Journal -October 25, 2006

....Matsikoudis now says that developers' proposals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and that council members will have to make "policy decisions" about what type of development they want in the district - a sharp change from a regional approach....

JARRETT RENSHAW can be reached at jrenshaw@jjournal.com.

Posted on: 2007/3/13 14:59
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Re: Butler Building next Downtown battle site?
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Source: artnet.com

The Butler Brothers Warehouse was erected in 1905. Covering almost an entire city block, the E-shaped, nine-story warehouse features corbelled cornices, parapets, decorative brick banding and entirely brick bearing walls. It was designed by Jarvis Hunt, one of the country's greatest architects at the turn of the 20th century.

Hunt designed three Medieval-style warehouses for the Butler Brothers Company (suppliers of Five and Ten Cent stores nationwide and the company that sold Sam Walton his first store), the other two standing in Chicago and Minneapolis. Renowned for his work at 1893's Columbian Exposition (an architectural event that ushered in the American Renaissance), Hunt also designed the Kansas City Union Terminal, one of the world's largest train terminals; the Newark Museum in Newark, NJ; the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, now on the National Register; Chicago Golf Club Clubhouse; and the Lake Shore Athletic Club.

Sources
JC Landmarks Conservancy
Warehouse Historic District by Rick James
Civic JC

Posted on: 2007/3/13 2:43
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Re: Butler Building next Downtown battle site?
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Posted on: 2007/3/12 21:57
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Re: Butler Building next Downtown battle site?
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Know where to find rendering of the 111 First Street idea?

Posted on: 2007/3/12 21:29
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Butler Building next Downtown battle site?
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Jarrett Renshaw's newest LOCATION column:

Butler Building next Downtown battle site?
Monday, March 12, 2007

The unveiling of the design for 111 First St. wasn't the only noteworthy item to emerge from last week's news conference. Nor was it only the media and city officials paying close attention to the pomp and circumstance.

Bob Lier, owner of the historic Butler Building, was chatting up city officials and taking photos of the renowned architect Rem Koolhaas's block-shaped design, and not for posterity's sake.

City sources tell me that Lier has been quietly fighting with officials in his bid for a controversial approval at the Butler Brothers building that would call for the preservation of only the exterior walls and the construction of at least a 40-story tower to stretch from the center of the building.

Erected in 1905, the dark E-shaped brick warehouse is the largest within the district at nine stories tall. The designer was Jarvis Hunt, one of the country's greatest architects at the turn of the 20th century.

Sources tell me that Lier has pointed to the city's concession to Lloyd Goldman at 111 First St. as a precedent, and - now's the time to hold your ears - he may have a point, given recent events.
[emphasis added]

City sources say any discussion about destroying the Butler Building is nonsense. It's an "iconic" landmark. It demands preservation. It is second only to the Powerhouse itself.

Sound familiar?

Such adjectives and accolades were thrown around during the battle of 111 First St., but today these same city officials pretend they never said such things, and feign contempt if you attempt to compare their past comments with today's reality.

The city opened the proverbial door in its concession to let Goldman tear down 111 First St. and build high.

In fact, where city officials once talked about preserving the historic building, now they're gushing over the radical design of its replacement.

Precedent was set, and ignoring this fact and hoping it goes away is not the solution - that is, unless you don't care about preserving the spirit of the Powerhouse Arts District.

If serious, City Council and this administration need to properly - and legally - provide historic designation to the area that was stripped during the 111 First St. settlement.

If you don't, stop telling us you're serious about the redevelopment plan.

The same applies to the Manischewitz building, where Toll Brothers hope to join the ranks of the other high-rises in the Downtown area by skirting the spirit of the Powerhouse Arts District Redevelopment Plan.

The city's political elite seem split on the future of the site.

Some say Toll's proposal includes a gorgeous public plaza, so they should be able to tear down the building in exchange. Others cynically question why have a redevelopment plan if it's not followed.

As for Toll Brothers, they continue to refuse to discuss their plans - at least, not in public.

Copyright 2007 The Jersey Journal

Posted on: 2007/3/12 16:37
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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how much square footgage does the current jc museum have? it can't be that much. it seems like a very logical choice to move to this area. i'm assuming this was already broached?

Posted on: 2006/11/4 19:19
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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I don't know when they started, but it looks like construction on the Powerhouse 3 is under way. As of this morning these big windows on both the east and west sides of the building are gone, and heavy equipment are on site to move/remove things around.

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Posted on: 2006/11/4 18:34
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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Maybe The Jewish Museum can open an annex in the Maneschevitz building

Posted on: 2006/11/1 21:17
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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The Conservancy always wanted and still wants the Powerhouse to have some arts related space and function, to make it the centerpiece of the Powerhouse Arts District.

At this time. the Cordish company has been designated the developer. There have been several proposals bandied about. Retail space, a boutique hotel, a performance venue, an open air market like Reading Terminal in Philadelphia, and combinations thereof.

We recognized, early on, that it would be unlikely and infeasible to expect an organization to spend $50 million plus to renovate the building according to historic standard to create a museum (although I suppose someplace like the Whitney or MOMA has the cash to do that). We have always recognized that any developer would want to make money on this deal. What we have asked for is for some space which is accessible to the public and which relates to the arts.

There can be gallery space or a museum in part of the building. There can be a performance venue. There can be a public atrium with a sculpture garden and other art displays. I think it's fair to say that the Conservancy, Pro-Arts and the groups that have been pushing the Powerhouse Arts District are very flexible on these points. On balance, we're happy that Cordish was named the designated developer, though that doesn't mean we will agree with every proposal carte blanche. Ultimately, what we ask for is that the city, Port Authority and the developer will allow for community groups to provide input into the process.

Joshua Parkhurst
President
Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy

Posted on: 2006/11/1 18:40
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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Quote:

AlanSommerman wrote:
http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/11/01/arts/design/01tate.html

Here's an interesting article about the Tate Modern - a London Museum built in a former powerhouse. It sounds wonderful and makes me realize what a great thing could happen in JC. You have to wonder if the big museum powerbrokers in NYC even know that our powerhouse exists. The recent announcement that the Whitney may move its expansion to the Highline should get others thinking about "off-campus" expansion.

At the risk of being smug, the article also underscores my personal opinion that the new MoMA blows architecturally.


Funny you say that, Alan, because about 1 year ago I sent a letter to the Guggenheim Foundation proposing exactly that.

I enclosed color pics of the Powerhouse.

I was inspired by Musee d"Orsay in Paris, which is housed in a former train station.

No reply, though.

Perhaps Josh Parkhurst could write to Whitney or MoMA?

Posted on: 2006/11/1 17:45
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Re: Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/11/01/arts/design/01tate.html

Here's an interesting article about the Tate Modern - a London Museum built in a former powerhouse. It sounds wonderful and makes me realize what a great thing could happen in JC. You have to wonder if the big museum powerbrokers in NYC even know that our powerhouse exists. The recent announcement that the Whitney may move its expansion to the Highline should get others thinking about "off-campus" expansion.

At the risk of being smug, the article also underscores my personal opinion that the new MoMA blows architecturally.

Posted on: 2006/11/1 17:32
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Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
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Powerhouse vision has gotten blurry
Jersey Journal -October 25, 2006

The Powerhouse Arts District, once a symbol of a progressive urban planning, is quickly becoming a badge of failed stewardship - and the line between intention and reality is becoming more and more blurred.

The first domino to hit the floor was 111 First St. After costly legal wrangling and engineering reports that concluded the building would cost millions to preserve, Lloyd Goldman forced to the city to approve plans for the demolition of the historic warehouse and the construction of a modern skyscraper.

A number of the city's political elite were genuinely upset about the decision, particularly because it highlighted the city's failure to follow simple, procedural rules that might have saved the building and the plan itself.

Jersey City Corporation Counsel Bill Matsikoudis proclaimed that the Goldman decision would not spur the "domino effect" conservationists feared - turning the unique warehouse district into dominant Vertical City that surrounds its borders.

Well, such declarations now appear hard to justify.

Local attorney and powerbroker James McCann recently alerted the city of Toll Brothers' desire to seek amendments to the Powerhouse plan that include demolishing a large portion of the Manischewitz Building. The letter alludes to the Goldman decision as a precedent.

Sources tell me that Toll Brothers - which refused to speak about its intentions - wants to build a 40-story building on a portion of the Manischewitz lot. The plan, though not publicly released, will likely be met with opposition.

"We oppose building tall at the Manischewitz Building," said Joshua Parkhurst, president of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, the group instrumental in helping create the historic zone.

The future of the Butler Building, considered as another key landmark in the area, also is uncertain, because city sources tell me that the building's owner, aware of the Goldman decision, expressed interest in tearing down the historic warehouse and building higher.

Matsikoudis now says that developers' proposals will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and that council members will have to make "policy decisions" about what type of development they want in the district - a sharp change from a regional approach.

The administration rightly argues that while some of the aesthetic may have changed, much of the philosophical vision of the Powerhouse Arts District remains the same, including thousands of feet of gallery space, creating a vibrant retail, cultural and entertainment district and artist housing.

If the city wants to retain a semblance of the original aesthetic vision of the Powerhouse Arts District - and that's debatable - the City Council needs to take a lead role.

It should consider declaring the remaining buildings historic and add the extra legal protection necessary to combat the domino theory that will inevitably come crashing down, should the city stay the course.

"If the buildings are declared historic, it would provide us with more legal protection and show developers that the city has a clear plan for the area," said Bob Antonicello, executive director of the Redevelopment Agency.

If these steps are not done, maybe City Council should change the area's moniker to something more appropriate.

JARRETT RENSHAW can be reached at jrenshaw@jjournal.com.

Posted on: 2006/10/25 10:42
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