Arby’s Island

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
Drizzay
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Drizzay » June 7th, 2018, 3:08 pm

Why exactly is this an "iconic" spot?

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Nathan
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Nathan » June 7th, 2018, 3:22 pm

I really love this. The minimalist scandi-modern feel is nice, really changes the blah environment in the area.

The only thing that would make this a 100% for me would be changing out the 3 residential units at the corner of lake and Emerson for another retail spot.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 7th, 2018, 3:49 pm

Drizzay wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 3:08 pm
Why exactly is this an "iconic" spot?
It's not. Marking the entrance to Uptown in a unique way could be a landmark, like the way the Uptown Theater does when you approach from Hennepin or the Midtown building does further down Lake. But nobody is claiming this spot has any inherent iconic status, other than as 'one of the two places where Lake Street splits'

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » June 7th, 2018, 7:44 pm

I think this design exquisitely captures the spirit of uptown in 2018. It's as vapid as everything around it. I wouldn't change a single thing.

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jtoemke
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby jtoemke » June 8th, 2018, 7:23 am

Bob Stinson's Ghost wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 7:44 pm
I think this design exquisitely captures the spirit of uptown in 2018. It's as vapid as everything around it. I wouldn't change a single thing.
you must be really fun at parties

Multimodal
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 8th, 2018, 7:40 am

Drizzay wrote:Why exactly is this an "iconic" spot?
Well, it’s not iconic with that forgettable design.

It could be iconic, because you don’t just drive by it and perceive it from your peripheral vision. Going west on Lake, you drive “into” it—it’s full frontal.

It’s also triangular.

These things stand out. They (can be) memorable. But only with the right design. Otherwise it’s just another filler building.

martykoessel
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby martykoessel » June 8th, 2018, 1:55 pm

On this forum, including here in the Arby's thread, there's a strong bias toward height and iconic architecture. The appeal of the dramatic is completely understandable, but I've also been thinking about some experiences that point in a different direction.

First, there was a recent trip to Vancouver. Outside of a few outstanding sructures, it's not star architecture that makes the city great. Most of the buildings are pretty run-of-the-mill, even bland. It's all about the pedestrian experience. Rarely is a stroll interrupted by a surface parking lot or the blank walls of a ramp. The sidewalks are full of people enjoying densely populated neighborhoods, darting in and out of restaurants and stores. Dead on a Sunday afternoon? No way!

Also, a Parisian friend once commented on how nice much of the architecture is here in our city, compared to the plain walls of her great city. This gave me a jolt, since when one thinks of Paris, most often grand and ornate structures come to mind. But really, a lot of Paris is like this scene of the Left Bank.

download/file.php?mode=view&id=1119

The buildings have a fine consistency, but there's nothing extraordinary about them. Walls with windows. But that pedestrian experience, wow!

Another issue with the push toward standout architecture is affordability. Incredible buildings cost more, which is why the buildings most likely to drive us into paroxysms of joy are way up in the luxury category, like 1111 West River Parkway. Not that Vancouver or Paris will win awards for affordability, but there's certainly a tension here in the Twin Cities between the need for a lot more housing that people can afford and our desire for iconic buildings.

I don't have good remedies for the strains between our abundant demands. Fewer cars and parking lots? Well, that's a long-term goal that pushes against the wishes of a majority that likes their cars a lot. Walkable streets? Retail is nice, but when we're so often zipping around in cars looking for easy parking, streets lined with small retail establishments will only work in very limited areas. Great buildings? If developers spend the amounts usually needed for great buildings, how do we achieve the balanced density that urbanists want?

More questions than answers, of course, but perhaps it's helpful to be more aware of the conflicts between demands for tall, iconic structures and the other elements of an urbanist dreamworld.
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gobezlij
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby gobezlij » June 8th, 2018, 7:22 pm

Image

Multimodal
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 8th, 2018, 9:02 pm

“Plain white walls with windows…” in Paris?

You mean the white stone buildings with the ornate wrought iron railings, mansard roofs, regularly-spaced windows (horizontally & vertically) that actually open, are recessed from the wall, are framed and often arched… I could go on and on, but here’s a Wikipedia article about the kind of building you’re talking about:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archite ... _(1848–70)

These kinds of buildings would be impossible to replicate in the US because of cost/quality. We should be so lucky to have such “plain white walls”.

In contrast, we mostly get concrete board facades with oddly placed, irregular windows that play to interior function rather than exterior design, no roofline or cornice or any real style of any kind, or 6 kinds of materials and colors mixed up to make it look “interesting”.

Average, run of the mill, mid-block “filler” buildings are fine and in fact play well to affordable housing. But as I pointed out a while ago in this thread, this is not one of those locations. This is one of the most prominent corners in all of Uptown. Yes, Mpls needs more affordable housing, but using this corner for filler/affordable housing is a lost opportunity to help define what Uptown is.

Otherwise you get the suburbanization of Uptown, where you don’t know if you’re in Uptown or Eagan or Eden Prairie.

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Nathan
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Nathan » June 9th, 2018, 6:32 am

lol this building isn't your taste, fine.

It's a great expansion of uptown's new dense urban felling core area, and it's generally nice looking. There's no reason to overly critique a building because of a possibly false presumption that this is the end all be all best lot for an imagined "icon"

If uptown has the demand for density and iconic architecture it'll happen, but currently it seems that market forces and neighborhood planning are pushing a less dramatic feel. Which I'm not that upset about.

Talking dramatic tall and iconic architecture my bets are on the west Calhoun area as towers sprout up, strip malls redevelop and they have good visibility of the lake.

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Lisa I. RoadBot
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Lisa I. RoadBot » June 9th, 2018, 8:47 am

Very few of us are owners/designers of these buildings, so our effect on design is minimal, at best- But the buildings we leave behind, and allow to be built are our legacy- what will people think of this "Arby's Island" building 50 years from now, other than we had an great ability to fill space? I don't believe that cost should be the only factor in building design, none of you here do. Architecture IS art, a wonderful interesting exterior, pleasing/challenging/imaginative to your neighbors' sensibility, with a usable, efficient interior is the essence of creative design. That cliche "good art shouldn't match your couch" comes to mind- (THAT building really matches that LOT!) With all the input and opinion we have had concerning 200 Central, for example, I have to remind myself that the building will be here long after we are all gone.

at40man
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby at40man » June 9th, 2018, 6:45 pm

Lisa I. RoadBot wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 9:33 am
This is my first post- long time listener, first time caller, so to speak-
But I have to weigh in here, Uptown has been my neighborhood off and on for 30+ years, i am compelled to comment on another prime site falling to mediocrity.... We were ripped off on The Nicollet Hotel site- easily amused, I was all in on the Duval proposal.
Now here- what a poor use of the Arby's site- a site crying for architectural creativity, falling prey to penny pinching, moneymaking pablum.
Sorry to interject so strongly in my forum infancy, but the only way to dress up this pig is three more floors in tiers fading to the west, and perhaps pseudo- New Orleans style wrought iron balconies.... I told you, easily amused...
Hello, everyone, BTW, respect to you all!
I am in agreement. I, too, am tired of the aesthetic Uptown has been moving towards. Unfortunately, good architecture is not valued by a lot of people constructing new buildings anymore, as utilitarian arguments have been winning out far more often. But all that ultimately gives us are buildings that don't age well.

This is a really drab and slightly depressing building. It has a few good ideas, like the curved walls. But I wish it was warmer in color, and had some sort of ornamentation. Hopefully they try to make it better.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Qhaberl » June 11th, 2018, 12:56 am

Is the pinkish color in the rendering a real thing? I do like it. I think that it matches the Mosaic 2 just a few blocks away. It will be wounderfull to see this lot built into something more usefull.

I agree with everyone who speek ill of the Island crossing just to the East of the site. That strange crossing would make me think twice about living there. From my experence as a blind person, that crossing would be challanging. It would be one of the crossings that could use an APS, in my opnion .




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amiller92
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby amiller92 » June 11th, 2018, 8:50 am

Multimodal wrote:
June 8th, 2018, 9:02 pm
Yes, Mpls needs more affordable housing, but using this corner for filler/affordable housing is a lost opportunity to help define what Uptown is.
Referring to housing as "filler" is not a good look.
Otherwise you get the suburbanization of Uptown, where you don’t know if you’re in Uptown or Eagan or Eden Prairie.
Where is this building in Eden Prairie?

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Qhaberl » June 11th, 2018, 8:57 am

Agree, not the biggest Fan of the word Filler for Affordable Housing.

I feel like this would be a great spot for affordable housing. There is already a ton of upscale housing in the area. The close proximity to cub foods and the pharmacy (CVS) make it an ideal place for affordable housing.

The access to public transit is what individuals and families who reside in affordible housing need.

I am not sure I understand your comment about the Suburbanization of Uptown. Can you go a little deeper into what you mean?




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JT$
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby JT$ » June 12th, 2018, 9:28 am

BigIdeasGuy wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 2:35 pm
Also if the Verizon and Mattress Firm buildings were redeveloped it make the island feel so much more connected to both LynLake and Uptown.
Give it time, between the development on Lyn/Lake spreading west and the development spreading from Uptown proper headed east, I would expect these small store fronts/strip malls to be next in line.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 12th, 2018, 11:12 am

I am not sure I understand your comment about the Suburbanization of Uptown. Can you go a little deeper into what you mean?
Multimodal wanted a Arc De Triomphe-esque monument here, so anything an actual proposal brings forth is going to look like a suburban bank in comparison.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 12th, 2018, 10:56 pm

amiller92 wrote:
Multimodal wrote:
June 8th, 2018, 9:02 pm
Yes, Mpls needs more affordable housing, but using this corner for filler/affordable housing is a lost opportunity to help define what Uptown is.
Referring to housing as "filler" is not a good look.
Agreed, which is why I would never do that.

“Filler” was referring to the physical building, not its use, as per my previous posts, such as this one:

Arby’s Island
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_ ... are_type=t

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 12th, 2018, 11:36 pm

Qhaberl wrote:Agree, not the biggest Fan of the word Filler for Affordable Housing.
By “filler”, I’m talking about the general lack of style or prominence of a building’s appearance, what this article calls “fabric” buildings (I’ll try to remember to use that term instead):
http://www.startribune.com/in-praise-of ... 481075721/
I feel like this would be a great spot for affordable housing. There is already a ton of upscale housing in the area. The close proximity to cub foods and the pharmacy (CVS) make it an ideal place for affordable housing.

The access to public transit is what individuals and families who reside in affordible housing need.
Uptown, in general, is a great area for affordable housing, what with its multimodal (see what I did there? LOL) transit options, but this particular plot of land, by the very fact of its shape and prominent location, deserves something special to evoke what Uptown is.
I am not sure I understand your comment about the Suburbanization of Uptown. Can you go a little deeper into what you mean?
Sure. While mid-block or less prominent “fabric” buildings are the meat & potatoes of a neighborhood, they are largely undistinguished. What defines a neighborhood is the prominently located and styled buildings. Calhoun Square. Uptown Theatre. The old library. Think about why a large but otherwise ordinary Arby’s sign was loved by so many: it became iconic mostly because of its prominent location. At this very site.

Other than the rounded corners of this proposed new building, it’s more like a “fabric” building that could exist anywhere. It’s not the end of the world, just a lost opportunity at a very prominent site.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 12th, 2018, 11:57 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:Multimodal wanted a Arc De Triomphe-esque monument here, so anything an actual proposal brings forth is going to look like a suburban bank in comparison.
Wow, tough crowd here. LOL

A few months ago in this thread, I used an example from Paris of what a “monumental” (as opposed to “fabric”) building could be here.

The Death & Life of Great American Cities has a chapter on Visual Order. In it, Ms. Jacobs talks about “visual street interruptions”, which is precisely what a branching street (Lake/Lagoon) creates in this triangular plot. “If it is banal, vacuous or merely messy, it might better not exist,” she says. Granted, I don’t think this proposed buildings sinks quite to those levels, but it’s not really a landmark—which is the topic of the next few pages in Jane’s book.

There’s too much to quote in her section on landmarks and eye-catchers, but I’ll leave you with this: “an effective landmark in such a place usually needs to be overtly uncommercial”, and “Their locations alone give buildings on these few sites special and exceptional significance, and when we ignore that fact we are ignoring the most tangible realities.”


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