National Marrow Donor Program HQ - 524 5th Street North

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
grant1simons2
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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby grant1simons2 » May 20th, 2015, 3:57 pm

They're not going to get rid of Williamson. The architecture school will have a fit and I will too.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby go4guy » May 20th, 2015, 4:02 pm

Although Williamson was a uniquely designed building, it has been a nightmare maintanence wise as long as I can remember. And it isnt easy to repair a building like that, since it is basically all underground.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby FISHMANPET » May 20th, 2015, 4:07 pm

We're really bad at building underground buildings. The Civil Engineering building is getting the bottom levels filled with gravel and sand because it turns out drainage was calculated based on a historically dry period.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby grant1simons2 » May 20th, 2015, 4:14 pm

That's ironic. You're telling me the civil engineering building wasn't engineered that well? Civilly?

Fun fact: The architects for Williamson Hall, BRW Inc., also designed some of your most hated buildings in Minneapolis including: Spruce Tree, Loring 100, Roy Wilkins Hall, and The Conservatory. In fact the civil engineers for Williamson Hall are also the same civil engineers for the civil engineering building. There's a reason why they're liquidated

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby FISHMANPET » May 20th, 2015, 4:22 pm

Yeah I find the Civil Engineering building to be especially lol-worthy, because I think it was built underground partly as a statement of civil engineering, and they screwed it all up.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby Wedgeguy » May 20th, 2015, 6:38 pm

Twins separated at birth!

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby nBode » May 20th, 2015, 7:36 pm

Here you go, Grant:
http://www.mndaily.com/2011/11/09/u-buildings-blacklist

EDIT: Sorry, this is getting way off topic. A few posts could be moved to the UMN thread.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby EOst » May 20th, 2015, 10:07 pm

Williamson is 100% on the hit list. I work next to it; they've mentioned that its future is short basically every other day since I got here. An interesting design on the inside, but I gather there are major maintenance issues. Plus, the space above is... not really a place that's pleasant to hang out in.

But anyway: just like the Wells Fargo twins, this will probably look a ton better once it's finished and (even more) lit up. It doesn't look all that bad now, considering.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby Archiapolis » May 21st, 2015, 7:31 am

nickmgray wrote:We're looking at a half finished building. It may not be impressive right now, but I can guarantee that it will look at lot better once the finishing touches are in place. Regardless of the finish, this building help make the neighborhood look and feel like a true extension of downtown.

just remember that used to be here 2-3 just 2-3 years ago.
It is becoming a standby on urbanmsp:
"This building is better than a [surface parking lot/single story old thing/abattoir/etc] so it must be good. Amirite?"

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby John » May 21st, 2015, 9:20 am

The building's exterior design should have taken its cues from The Warehouse District to give it better context and a more urban feel. Not sure why that issue wasn't addressed when it went through the city approval process.

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Nathan
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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby Nathan » May 21st, 2015, 9:44 am

Archiapolis wrote:
nickmgray wrote:We're looking at a half finished building. It may not be impressive right now, but I can guarantee that it will look at lot better once the finishing touches are in place. Regardless of the finish, this building help make the neighborhood look and feel like a true extension of downtown.

just remember that used to be here 2-3 just 2-3 years ago.
It is becoming a standby on urbanmsp:
"This building is better than a [surface parking lot/single story old thing/abattoir/etc] so it must be good. Amirite?"
You're right. Even if things are decent infill, our architecture game is poor at best. Decent for the us, a sham compared to Europe.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby LakeCharles » May 21st, 2015, 10:58 am

Archiapolis wrote: It is becoming a standby on urbanmsp:
"This building is better than a [surface parking lot/single story old thing/abattoir/etc] so it must be good. Amirite?"
Then there is the other standby: "I want this parking lot to remain a parking lot until Frank Lloyd Wright comes back from the grave and designs the most beautiful building any of us have ever seen. Amirite?"

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jtoemke
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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby jtoemke » May 21st, 2015, 12:31 pm

I cant help but feel like vertical "stone" elements would have done a lot to improve the look of this building and make it feel like more of a fit for the North Loop.

I can see some photoshopping of woulda coulda shoulda happening soon

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Nick
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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby Nick » May 21st, 2015, 6:51 pm

I can't believe they built a building without windows in this climate

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby Didier » May 21st, 2015, 7:09 pm

The lack of windows really adds to the vibrancy of the area and will activivate the upper levels of the streetscape.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby John » May 21st, 2015, 7:24 pm

LakeCharles wrote:
Archiapolis wrote: It is becoming a standby on urbanmsp:
"This building is better than a [surface parking lot/single story old thing/abattoir/etc] so it must be good. Amirite?"
Then there is the other standby: "I want this parking lot to remain a parking lot until Frank Lloyd Wright comes back from the grave and designs the most beautiful building any of us have ever seen. Amirite?"
So why not build a building that's both beautiful and gets rid of a vacant lot? Is that too much to ask for ? :?

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby TroyGBiv » May 21st, 2015, 7:54 pm

oh my god - that building is it's twin... sad. I can't believe that the original renderings ended up so dull. The first illustrations had some visual interest.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby Archiapolis » May 22nd, 2015, 11:07 am

John wrote:
LakeCharles wrote:
Archiapolis wrote: It is becoming a standby on urbanmsp:
"This building is better than a [surface parking lot/single story old thing/abattoir/etc] so it must be good. Amirite?"
Then there is the other standby: "I want this parking lot to remain a parking lot until Frank Lloyd Wright comes back from the grave and designs the most beautiful building any of us have ever seen. Amirite?"
So why not build a building that's both beautiful and gets rid of a vacant lot? Is that too much to ask for ? :?
I guess this assertion is what I am trying to say. I know that it is easier said than done.

My complaint is that the "urbanists" seem to tend towards "anything is better than a surface parking lot, single story..." and/or "...the building might be god-awful but at least the ground level has active uses/benches/street trees."

I think that these are two VERY low thresholds for city-building.

The earlier identification of the opposite extreme is interesting but I think is in a tiny minority on urbanmsp. The earlier FLW comment may or may not have been directed at me but I've never made such a claim. My refutation of the claim that we should wait for zombie FLW is that it is a reductio ad absurdum position.

Decrying buildings for being too small, poorly designed etc is not necessarily advocating that NOTHING happen. I don't think that it needs to be pointed out but this isn't 2008. The city is not starved for development. In a super-heated building boom, we should be more discerning as a city and demand better.

It is not a matter of "ANYTHING v. surface parking." It is a matter of "something good v. surface parking" as long as we are willing to advocate for "something good."

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby LakeCharles » May 22nd, 2015, 11:19 am

I was just going to one silly extreme because you went to the opposite extreme. I don't disagree with you really, we could use and should strive for better design in the city.

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Re: National Marrow Donor Program HQ - (524 Fifth Street Nor

Postby FISHMANPET » May 22nd, 2015, 11:41 am

John wrote:
LakeCharles wrote:
Archiapolis wrote: It is becoming a standby on urbanmsp:
"This building is better than a [surface parking lot/single story old thing/abattoir/etc] so it must be good. Amirite?"
Then there is the other standby: "I want this parking lot to remain a parking lot until Frank Lloyd Wright comes back from the grave and designs the most beautiful building any of us have ever seen. Amirite?"
So why not build a building that's both beautiful and gets rid of a vacant lot? Is that too much to ask for ? :?
Depending on circumstances, yes it could be. Building a better looking building is going to be more expensive, due to better materials and more expensive design costs. Yes we're in a building boom, but I don't really see any evidence that these developers are experiencing windfall profits from their developments. I'm not sure all of the buildings would pencil out if the budgets were increased to improve the design.

Doesn't mean I'm advocating for bad design, but I don't know, I can see both sides.


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