Friday, April 4, 2008

Urban News Vol. 11

Haven't posted since Tuesday because my wife was in the hospital having half of her thyroid removed. Came back to work today to some encouraging news with respect to the building of the new Paetec headquarters.

Paetec Headquarters to Tower Over City
by Daniel Wallace and Matthew Daneman, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

Article Key Points:

  • Paetec chief Arunas Chesonis claims Paetec building will rise taller than Xerox tower
  • RETAIL SPACE and public observation deck part of the project
  • To be built on the Broad Street side of the Midtown superblock
  • Demolition to begin in late 2009. Midtown closes to the public by June 30

This assuages some of my fears associated with what could have become yet another office complex that caters to car culture like just about every other modernist downtown skyscraper (I was going to list examples, but every single one including the much newer Blue Cross headquarters falls into this lousy category).

I still feel it is important to break up that block as per Craig Jensen's RRCDC Charrette design to create more frontage for 5-6 story residential over retail on the Sibley's side of the superblock.

Despite the fact that I walked the skyway today to get from Midtown to the Chase Building in the name of rain avoidance, I can't say I'll be sad to see it go. Looking down at the line of cars on Clinton framed by one block of walkable retail (Peebles) and one block of non-walkable anything (Clinton Square, Chase), with exactly zero bodies walking anywhere was not the picture of urban vitality. If there was no skyway, I'd have to suck it up and be that person on the street that the new wave of planners envisions in all types of weather.

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