Archive for the ‘Adaptive Reuse’ Category

[ Words ]

June 30th, 2011

via the [ Washington Note ]

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people…

- President Eisenhower, Chance for Peace Speech
April 16,1953

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, Infrastructure, International, Misc, National, Ways of Seeing, What I am Looking at

{Redevelopment Districts} Suburbia

July 6th, 2010

{ Urbanism } The Challenges

June 2nd, 2010

View of Lake Michigan: Workshop on Water

November 18th, 2009

Workshop: Communicating Watershed Concerns to an Urban John Q. Public

The workshop will be held at the Hammond Marina, 701 Casino Drive, Hammond.

I will be speaking at the workshop on Friday, November 20, discussing barriers to public access on our lakefront. I hope to post my presentation soon.

Speakers to include:

Dan Gardner:

Biographical Information: Dan Gardner directs the water quality enforcement program in Lake County. As director, he oversees a $700,000 program, mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, to clean county rivers and lakes of eroded soil and other pollutants. Previously, he served as executive director of the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission.

Dr. Kenneth J. Schoon:

A Geological Perspective of the Calumet Rivers: The routes of the three Calumet Rivers are the result of the glacial, lacustrine, and human histories of the area. The glaciers set the stage, the waves of Lake Michigan altered the landscape and determined the original routes of the Calumet Rivers, and human intervention has made additional alterations. Human actions sometimes have unintended consequences.

Biographical Information: Dr. Schoon is a professor of science education at IU Northwest and teaches the methods of teaching science to preservice teachers. He has an A.B. in geology and an M.S. in secondary education both from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago. Since January of 1999 he has served the School of Education as Associate Dean.

After 22 years experience teaching middle and high school science, in 1990 Dr. Schoon joined IU Northwest’s Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP). Two years later he became the science-education faculty member for the School of Education.

Dr. Schoon’s research interests center around local studies and misconceptions in science. He serves on the coordinating committee for Science Olympiad, He is a part president of the board of the Dunes Learning Center.

Dr. Schoon’s book, Calumet Beginnings, was released in October of 2003 and is now in its 5th printing. A tree identification book focusing on Midwestern urban trees should be released next year.

George Roadcap:

Biographical Information: Dr. Roadcap is a hydrologist with the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois, Champaign, IL. His research in the Calumet region dates to 1996 with the diagnostic-feasibility study of Wolf Lake and Lake George. This was followed by an assessment of the hydrology and water quality at Indian Ridge Marsh and the potential effects of wetland rehabilitation in 1999. His research includes projects in Kane, Will, McLean, and Tazewell counties in Illinois.

Nicole Kamins:

A brief PowerPoint presentation describes the Hegewisch Marsh water control structure project.

Biographical Information: Nicole Kamins is a Program Director with the City of Chicago Department of Environment. For more than ten years, she has advanced the Calumet Initiative, an effort to revitalize open space on the Southeast Side. In that time she has helped to secure over $3 million dollars in grant funding for ecological restoration, stewardship, and research for Calumet. Nicole earned her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her M.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.

George Van Til:

In the State of Indiana, County Surveyors are responsible for some aspects of the care and maintenance of creeks and ditches that are considered county regulated or “legal” drains, as part of the state’s patchwork quilt of drainage laws and regulations.

Biographical Information: Van Til has been dealing with these issues during his 17 years as Lake County Surveyor as he stressed coordination, intergovernmental cooperation and planning for flood and pollution control, while working in tandem with the County Commissioners on the Drainage Board.

Before this he was involved in drainage concerns for 8 years on the Highland Town Council on its Flood Control Committee and for 2 years on the County Council as Chairman of the Council’s Drainage Board and Surveyor’s Committee.

During his service in this office he missed only 1 public meeting in nearly 28 years while developing many projects and unheralded improvements. Van Til has been heavily involved for many years in many civic, charitable and environmental organizations and efforts, as well as AWLI.

Kathy Luther:

Tom McDermott Jr., Mayor of Hammond:

Rory Robinson:

In 2000, the National Park Service (NPS) took the lead in facilitating a public process that involved nearly 150 participants that developed a shared vision for the future planning protection and development significant natural and recreation resources of Wolf Lake. Many of the goals and actions defined jointly during this process have been implemented, many more not. Rory Robinson of the National Park Service will look back at this effort and forward at what can be done to complete this vision.

Biographical Information: Rory L. Robinson, During his thirty year career with the National Park Service, Rory has worked in five different NPS units primarily in the fields of interpretation and cultural resources management. For the past 15 years, Rory has worked in the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program where he has provided assistance to the Ohio and Erie Canal, Maumee Valley, and Wabash River Heritage Corridors. He has been involved in trails planning efforts throughout Indiana and Ohio, and worked on river and watershed projects along the Little Miami, Wabash and Blue Rivers.

In 2006 Rory received the Mike Carroll Award for Distinguished Leadership by a Professional Planner by the Indiana Planning Association. He provided leadership in the nationwide Towpaths-to-Trails Initiative with the Rails-to-Trail Conservancy, and the revitalization of the National Recreation Trails program. A native of Northeast Ohio, Rory holds a BS in Parks and Recreation Management and Environmental Interpretation from The Ohio State University. Phone: 330-657-2950, E-mail:

Pete Visclosky:

Biographical Information: A lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana, Pete Visclosky represents Indiana’s First Congressional District, which includes Lake, Porter, Jasper, Newton and Benton Counties. A member of the Appropriations Committee, Visclosky serves as the Chairman of the Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee. He also serves on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and is the chairman of the Congressional Steel Caucus.

Through his position as Chairman of the Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee, Pete has worked in a bi-partisan fashion to boost research and development funding for alternative energy sources and new conservation initiatives. Working with Senator Richard Lugar, Visclosky was also able to secure $9.5 million for the construction of a bio-mass ethanol plant in Indiana’s First Congressional District.

In addition to supporting steel and manufacturing jobs in Northwest Indiana, Visclosky has been a leading advocate for major economic development projects throughout the area, including the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana and the Marquette Plan, Pete’s strategy to invest in Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Additionally, Visclosky has supported local infrastructure projects that will help build a new economy in Northwest Indiana, such as the South Shore Rail Line and the Gary/Chicago Airport.

Pete was born in Gary and graduated from Andrean High School in Merrillville, He earned a B.S. degree in Accounting from Indiana University Northwest, a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1973, and a Masters degree in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University.

Mike Molnar:

The purpose of the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program is to enhance the State’s role in planning for and managing natural and cultural resources in the coastal region and to support partnerships between federal, state and local agencies and organizations. The Program provides financial and technical assistance to state, local and regional government and NGOs to protect, preserve and properly manage coastal resources. This presentation provides an overview of the opportunities available for resource management under the Coastal Program.

Biographical Information: Mike Molnar is the manager of the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program, and has served in that capacity for six and a half years. Born and raised along the shores of Lake Erie, Mike learned first-hand the environmental impacts of pollution on the Great Lakes and how combined efforts can result in success. He developed a lifelong love and appreciation of the Great Lakes through many fishing and camping trips with his family as a child. Molnar is a graduate of Miami University of Oxford, Ohio and Indiana University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biological science and a master’s degree in public administration from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He is a firm believer that through accountable and efficient planning, practice and stewardship we can make a difference.

Rod Sellers:

The Bi-State Calumet through the Years. A century ago Daniel Burnham’s Plan for Chicago did not stop at the state line, but continued across the Calumet region to Michigan City. Maps used by early settlers followed Native American trails along ridge lines and early planners followed these trails that had evolved into roads and waterways or rail lines with little regard for state boundaries, much less those of counties, townships, villages and cities.

Biography: Rod Sellers taught American History, Chicago History, and Law at Bowen High School and Washington High School in Chicago. He is retired after a 34 year career with the Chicago Public Schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois, a master’s degree in Urban Studies, and a master’s degree in Public Service, both from Governors State University.

Rod has a special interest in local history and volunteers at the Southeast Chicago Historical Museum. The museum has a collection of thousands of photographs, slides, and negatives, as well as artifacts and documents related to family and community history. Rod has worked extensively with the Southeast Chicago Historical Project Collection since its acquisition by the Southeast Chicago Historical Society. He is the co-author of Chicago’s Southeast Side, a pictorial history of the community and is the author of Chicago’s Southeast Side Revisited both published by Arcadia Publishing.

Thomas Frank:

A brief discussion on the barriers to access in our older urban industrial communities along our southern shores of Lake Michigan.

Biographical Information: A fairly recent settler to East Chicago, Thomas has a long family history with the Chicago region. In recent years he has worked to address the concerns of the older urban industrial communities along the southern shores of Lake Michigan, while pursuing a masters degree in urban planning at University of Illinois Chicago. He served as President of the East Chicago Redevelopment Commission. Participated in regional planning initiatives. Initiated a comprehensive plan for the City of East Chicago, and served as Director of the East Chicago Waterway Management District with the responsibilities to envision a waterway that meets the environmental, demographic and economic needs of the coming decades. He is also a past director of the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative.

He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1987 with a degree in Painting, Philosophy, and a concentration in Languages (French and Russian), and studied for a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1993 He graduated from Indiana University with an MFA in Painting.

He spent the next decade working in Medical Education where he secured funding from the Washington Post to launch, the leading online learning community for medical students and professionals around the world. He is presently pursuing a career as an artist and maintaining a blog at:

John Pope:

Biographical Information: Alderman John Pope is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s 10th Ward which is located on the far southeast side of the City. The captain of Mount Carmel’s football team, Pope then attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana where he was a member of the Student Council, played football, and obtained a degree in economics.

He worked as an analyst in the City of Chicago’s Office of Budget and Management for 3 years and later served in the City’s Building Department as Director of Demolition. Pope then served as an assistant to Mayor Richard M. Daley and was involved with neighborhood improvement and infrastructure programs.

Pope became Alderman of the 10th Ward on May 3, 1999 when he was sworn in at the City of Chicago’s City Council meeting. John was re-elected for his second term on February 25, 2003.Pope sits on various City Council committees including: Economic & Capital Development, Special Events where he serves as the Co-Chair, Housing & Real Estate, Energy, Environmental Protection & Public Utilities, and Police & Fire, and Buildings.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the Indiana Lake Management Society and the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative. For further information on the workshop, call 219 933-7149 or 312-220-0120.

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, View of Lake Michigan

Gary Matters: Michael Peunte

October 13th, 2009

via [ WBEZ - NPR Chicago ] by Michael Peunte

JONES: Once it’s torn down you’re looking at an empty lot and you say what is that empty lot contributing to this community? But if you look at a building and the building has a fence around it, it’s a historic structure and it’s targeted for revitalization, then investors begin to look at the area slightly differently, rather than looking at an empty lot.

City Room™ - Metro - Gary Hopes Stimulus Cash Transforms City

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, Northwest Indiana

Pullman to Marktown Bike Tour

September 11th, 2009

On labor day I participated in the 5th annual Labor Day Pullman to Marktown tour sponsored by the Pullman Labor Ride. We had a wonderful time. I took several hundred photos of the event and got the chance to speak a little on the contrasts between the Illinois and Indiana sides of the Calumet Region.

Link to full set of photos [ Pullman to Marktown Bike Ride ]

Kevin Murphy’s Labor Day Presentation to bike tour participants at the Zone

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, Case Studies, East Chicago

Creative Industrial Zoning: Old Stomping Grounds

August 21st, 2009

My wife and I lived at the “Spice Factory” (building on the right) for four years. Its nice to see Chicago promoting it as a Creative Industrial District


Cermak Road Creative Industry District.

The Cermak Road Creative Industry District is a landmarked historic district comprised of 4 warehouses totalling 800,000 square feet nestled along the Chicago River between Chinatown and Pilsen. It has been re-zoned to include creative industry uses, such as Artist Work Space, Restaurant, Retail, Entertainment, High Tech Office, and Artisan Manufacturing. 

Imagine recording your music in the factory where Muddy Waters worked. Mounting a theater production where The Untouchables was filmed. Creating and manufacturing your fashion line in a shared workspace overlooking the Chicago River, with a view of downtown Chicago outside your window.

Two open houses will provide opportunities to view the district and learn more about leasing and investment opportunities, financial incentives and other developments. City officials will be present to learn more about what your creative business needs.

Saturday August 15 and Sunday August 16, 2009, 
2:00 - 5:00 pm.

Begin at the Wendnagle Warehouse
600 W. Cermak


via the [ Chicago Tribune ]

Artists courted for idea factories
By Angie Leventis Lourgos

Tribune phot by E. Jason Wambsgans

Historic warehouses that helped launch Chicago’s industrial boom more than a century ago could house the city’s first “Creative Industries District,” sheltering artists and artisans of various media in one spot.

Four factories on Cermak Road once provided the nation with coffee, spices, window treatments, water barrels and wholesale groceries. Thousands of employees crossed the Cermak Road bridge each day to earn their pay at the W.M. Hoyt, Thompson and Taylor Spice, Wendnagle, and Western Shade Cloth buildings.

But the factories once known as the Spice Barrel District dwindled as the industrial age came to a close. The area was designated a landmark district in April 2006, restricting its buildings to industrial uses.

Now the city is trying to turn the corridor into a haven for the arts, centered on creative industries like film production, engineering, fine arts, fashion, and information specialists.

A $15,000 study commissioned by the city found a need for more affordable arts-related space. Roughly 80,000 artists are in Chicago and about 5,000 art students graduate every year, offering a steady stream of new creative workers. Arts-related enterprises add around $1 billion to the city’s economy, according to the study.

“We hope that over the years this can grow organically to become popular, vibrant — a great resource for the creative community,” said Julie Burros the city’s director of cultural planning

But the project hinges on luring artist-tenants — a tough crowd to serve.

What is remarkable about this statement is there once was a thriving artist community here 15 years ago, before the city started their annual eviction campaign of artists for many reasons including using their space as live / work spaces. It was such a wonderful place. I met Jesse Bercowetz, Chester Alamo, Nick Nuccio and an array of other creative people. I remember going down to the 3rd floor theater and being mesmerized by the Michael Clarke Duncan’s performance in ”A Soldiers Story.” It is still one of the greatest performances I have ever seen.

Despite the persistent recession, Mumford and Burros were upbeat about the prospect of attracting tenants, though Burros said it might take 10 to 20 years for the entire area to thrive.

With the right people and the right policies, I could guarantee a thriving artist community with in 12 months - EASY

The city rezoned the district in February 2007 to include office, retail, restaurant, entertainment and other uses beyond industrial.

But residential use won’t be permitted, barring tenants from combining studio and living space — a popular lifestyle among artists.

This is counter productive. It appears they are not trying to create a workable space for artist to develop their craft, but an artist / gallery district for the performance of art making. For those who are already highly capitalized.

The project was modeled after other successful warehouse district reinventions in North America. The old saw mills and steel factories of Granville Island in Vancouver were converted to a public market with galleries and shops. Nineteenth Century factories in MassMoCA in North Adams, Mass., house visual, performing and new-media arts. The Distiller District in Toronto offers 168 predominantly arts-related businesses — including a studio where the movie “Chicago” was filmed.

I find it amazing that this project isn’t modeled after the many successful Chicago or New York models. It’s not even modeled after the once thriving Podmajerski (John Podmajerski II) Artist’s spaces in neighboring ”East Pilsen”

Jazz vocalist Agnes Payne, who lives on the city’s West Side, said a central artistic community could help her look for work. Rather than running around the city, she could reach prospective employers on Cermak Road.

“The idea of the city designating this area for artists is great,” she said. “Now it’s dispersed all over the city. … This would give art one focal point.”

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, Case Studies, Chicago

Liquid Assets

July 27th, 2009

via [ ] 

This evening I happened to click on the East Chicago Public Government Channel which for all purposes has been the Mayor’s personal campaign channel. But to my enormous surprise this evening they were running this wonderful documentary “Liquid Assets.” I don’t know who coordinated the broadcast, but I was thrilled to see something of real substance and value to the community on the channel. Very Good.  

Liquid Assets is a public media and outreach initiative that seeks to inform the nation about the critical role that our water infrastructure plays in protecting public health and promoting economic prosperity.

Combining a ninety-minute documentary with a community toolkit for facilitating local involvement, Liquid Assets explores the history, engineering, and political and economic challenges of our water infrastructure, and engages communities in local discussion about public water and wastewater issues.

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, Case Studies, East Chicago, The Water I Drink

Planning Case Study: Pittsburgh

May 25th, 2009

Pittsburgh Boosters: An example for Northwest Indiana 

This Video Player requires the Adobe Flash 8 plugin or higher. Download the most recent Adobe Flash Player here.


South Side Works, Pittsburgh LTV Property:

What makes this example enticing is the fact that much of the land in need of redevelopment in East Chicago was also owned by LTV steel. Like the South Side Works East Chicago is located with in 20 minutes from a major city center. In the case of East Chicago, it is 20 minutes from downtown Chicago.

Thomas Adaptive Reuse, Case Studies