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Urban Planning – The Babuk Report

Category: Urban Planning

  • It’s a New Year – 2011!

    As I keep reminding people, any good Canadian Prairie Kid can tell you that there’s a good three or four days left to celebrate Christmas… In exchanging Seasons Greetings with my colleagues, the universal response has been something to the effect that “2011 will definitely be better than 2010 because it couldn’t get much worse”.  […]

  • The North Avenue Architecture Photo Party

    North Avenue, the border between the north side of Oak Park and the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago, is relatively newer than many surrounding neighborhoods. While the buildings along North Avenue post date Frank Lloyd Wright, he golfed here with friends and clients. Many used the area as a place to get away and hide from […]

  • Lessons Learned From Both of the Post-war Development Periods

    The changing economy and its effects on the retail streetscape may be best studied in the pre-war and post-war streetscape: pre and post First World War. This particular timeframe holds fascination as it depicts a landscape before and after the automobile’s influence. Oak Park offers another excellent set of examples: it has both types of […]

  • So, what was that you wanted to know?

    The last month or so has seen a flurry of behind the scenes activity at the Babuk Report.  All for the good.  It’s all about Learn About Chicago a venture described elsewhere in this blog. Learn About Chicago is an initiative that is an extension of the sort of architectural awareness and organization that I’ve […]

  • Happy New Decade!

    Happy New Year.  It’s surprising to see that we’re already a decade into the new century. Previous posts have spoken about vacant storefronts and even vacant buildings, all from the aftermath of the latest economic turn.  There is so much vacant space out there that based on current absorption rates, some markets have several years […]

  • Departing Chicago?

    A recent editorial cartoon depicted Illinois as an airport. In the departures gate were the 2016 Olympic Games, a variety of major trade shows that recently announced leaving Chicago, and Oprah Winfrey.    In the arrivals gate were prisoners being transferred from Gitmo.  Much of this is directed at Chicago specifically:  the “departures” noted are all […]

  • Tall Buildings Fall Short

    A recent news report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat cites fifty major, tall building projects worldwide that have been halted by a global economic downturn. Last Friday, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s “Chicago Model City” exhibit temporarily included the scale model of Santiago Calatrava’s “Spire” condominium project, the real one being on […]

  • Convenient Access by Car

    While early industrialists had grand visions of mechanized buildings and cities that walked, many of those ideas were whimsical at face value.  Mind you, when applied as small parts, they were very useful – like the passenger elevator.  One of those side concepts probably came to be applied to personal transportation – the automobile – […]

  • If Buildings Could Walk…

    A previous post described “if walls could talk”, but what about if buildings could walk? It’s not that far fetched an idea.  Taking cues from the railroad industry, it wasn’t uncommon at the turn of the 20th century to find fixed structures – buildings – with large moving parts.  Bridges were prime examples.  It took […]

  • The Single Level Largesse

    In a quest to directly avoid any specifically Olympics related topics today… Recently, the Oak Park YMCA recently announced cancellation of its plans to move from its older, multi level facility in the middle of Oak Park, to a sprawling single level facility in a nearby town.  Fundraising in this economic environment wasn’t going as […]