Looks like the Norman Hotel, at 1325 W Wilson
, is starting to be branded as a "Flats" building. The old canopies for the Uptown Pie Co. and the Cupcake Gallery are now clad in Flats' signature grey
, meaning that construction is about to be underway. We look forward to seeing the building change and return to its original splendor
I am thrilled these guys are investing in our community, but I really really hope they do not decide to paint the red exterior brick as they did over on Magnolia.ReplyDelete
In fact, I am hoping the historical district status limits their ability to alter the exterior.
I am sure there was a reason, but that paint job over on Magnolia really changes the look of the building from what was originally intended when that building was built.
Again, happy to have investment in our community and looking forward to the positive impact Flats brings overall.
Have to agree with Stash 100% - glad they are investing in the neighborhood, but PLEASE don't paint anymore brick on your buildings! Chicago is a city known for a lot of great architecture and painted brick ain't gonna cut it.ReplyDelete
Seeing the building at Magnolia and Ainslie painted really made me think twice about these guys - but I want to give them a chance.
No more paint, please?!?!?!?
I agree with Stash. The grey painted brick is not an improvement, though I suspect it may be a branding of the building. I hope not.ReplyDelete
Couldn't agree with you more Stash. Love that someone is investing in our neighborhood - but for the love of architecture - STOP PAINTING THE BRICK GRAY!ReplyDelete
You must be kidding me with this! The gray you see is painted plywood....NOT BRICK! This is just temporary signs during construction.Someone is investing millions of dollars in our community and this is what you are worried about? With this kind of reception, I can't believe people aren't lined up to do business in Uptown.ReplyDelete
Big Guy, please take a look at the building they painted on Magnolia and Ainslie. They painted the brick dark gray - the WHOLE building.ReplyDelete
We know the difference between brick and a plywood barricade.
Miss kitty.....read the above article....it is about the Norman Hotel. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Big Guy, I did read the article. Thanks!ReplyDelete
"The Flats" have painted two of their most recent buildings (the whole thing) dark gray - the same gray as the plywood. I know of two buildings in Uptown/Edgewater in particular. The article is about "The Flats" - and yes, the Norman Hotel, but I think people commenting about their desire to leave this building "paint free" is appropriate.
Um, Big Guy- Miss Kitty was referring to Stash's comment... not the article directly. :DReplyDelete
I read the article Big Guy. Thank you. Just merely pointing out an example of their paint work on another one of their projects and hoping they don't try the same thing on the Norman. Sorry you can't follow.ReplyDelete
If this is important to you folks have any of you bothered to pick up the phone and called their corporate offices or the Alderman's office? I am guessing they arent really reading UU at the moment..ReplyDelete
Hmm, I can't follow, yet I'm the one who is trying to stay on topic. Interesting. I'll try harder next time. Speaking of which, "following" the original write up, which was a out the Norman hotel, my point is this...quit being so damn critical. If he wants to paint the buildings, then he will. They are his, not yours. He paid for them, he is investing his time and money, and someone above felt it was ok to call the alderman to voice your opinion about what color the man wants to put on his building??? That is not ok, it's not your choice. If you are really that worried about it, buy the building, then you are free to do with it what ever you want.ReplyDelete
I'm guessing that both the Alderman's office and the Flats are reading UU.ReplyDelete
It's surprising the building owner has chosen painting for his other buildings given the risks of moisture-related deterioration and later abrasive removal that most painting poses to brick. Plus in this case part of the inherent value of the building hinges on the architect. Hecht was known for beautiful terra-cotta work & material choices.ReplyDelete
Some of Hecht's work, including a magnificent restored façade on S. Western Ave: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Albert_Hecht.
Government brief on dangers of abrasive cleaning to historic buildings: http://www.nps.gov/hps/tps/briefs/brief06.htm
I’m not exactly sure why people expressing their hopes that a building’s historical integrity be maintained should be met with such vitriol—it is merely an opinion, which the last time I checked, was allowed in this country.
I sincerely doubt that it is opinions like this that are keeping prospective business owners out of Uptown and imagine that it is more likely the fact that people are being shot dead in the streets at all hours of the day. I have found that, in general, people don’t tend enjoy gaping, frothy gunshot wounds.
Yes, the new owners of the building has every right to paint the façade any color of their choosing—no one called the alderman to protest this, that was just a suggestion from Uptown Superhero (who I’m starting to suspect is not really superhero at all—I, for one, feel a little let down).
You did not follow the thread of comments correctly and instead of just owning up to the misread, you lashed out at your neighbors—not cool. Do we not have enough anger management issues in this community for your liking? Is this how you speak to people when in their presence as well or is it just behind the protective cover of anonymity the internet provides? I’ll give this to the gang bangers: When I was pregnant they were actually very polite, would open doors to stores I would be going into if they were out front and push out of the way when I waddled down the street. I’m not under the delusion that it makes them good through and through, I am simply making the observation that they managed to treat me with more basic kindness than you are affording Miss Kitty and Stash. I wonder why that is, what makes me so special? Maybe it’s because I muster up a bit of human consideration with a smile and a 'hello' that I can only hope conveys that hey, we are different but maybe a bit of the same since after all, we live just across the street from each other.
My point is (yes, Superhero, I actually have one), this blog is a forum for communication, ideas, debate and neighborly interaction. There is no need for conversation to become so heated when the topic is paint. Paint!
There is a national election coming up, men and women are dying overseas in a war, people are losing jobs and houses, children are starving to death..
I said nothing out of anger, but more out of pure amazement. You said it yourself, pretty well actually, when you brought up that we have gangs in our neighborhood, that we have an election coming up, soldiers dying, people losing their houses.....and then have those worried about a building being painted. THAT was EXACTLY my point. Also, I can assure you it does not look good to future business when they have to deal with too much needless whining. I agree that I would like the buildings to all look nice and create a great vibe in our neighborhood, but I don't feel the need to give the man my thoughts on how he should finish his buildings. And I'm quite sure if the situation was reversed, anyone that offered their opinions above would not like a bunch of people already complaining about them painting their own building how the see fit. As for following the thread, I prefer to follow why and how it was started in the first place.....and I'm pretty sure that UU posted a pic of the Norman Hotel, and wrote about the Norman Hotel, not the other buildings that Cedar Steer has. Sooo, I'm not quite sure how it is I am the one off track here but if you still want me to "own up" for something I didn't do, if it makes you feel better, then great....I own it. In your defense, I can see how I have come off quite brash. I really don't mean to be, but at the same time, I see someone who is investing in our community and now people are staring to nit-pick....sorry but that doesn't settle well with me.
Not the direction I thought this discussion would go...ReplyDelete
I am fairly sure The Flats owners don't spend too much time worrying about what Stash thinks, but all the same.
I totally agree that it is the building owners' right to paint the exterior of their buildings (in most cases), but I really was curious what others thought.
I have some pictures of how the building at 4875 N. Magnolia turned out with the gray paint.ReplyDelete
Big Guy suddenly shows up after never being on this forum before... seems very much along the lines of the 'unbiased commentators" that showed up when there was resistance to the development at Montrose and Clarendon. I would bet money he is somehow attached to the new developer...which is fine.ReplyDelete
However, I am not going to get bullied by suggesting those that have an issue, whether it be physical or aesthetic, that they speak with their elected representative. Why would Big Boy be afraid of this, or dissuade someone from speaking with their Alderman if they have an issue? We had healthy, constructive community discussions regarding new developments and I see no reason why we should not keep those coming into our community to higher standards as well.
I have lived in Uptown for more years than I can count. Just because someone comes in flashing money does NOT mean they do not have a responsibility to listen to the community. Other neighbors would not accept that, neither should we. We are at the point in Uptown's history when we should demand more of those coming in...and shame on those, Big Boy, that are trying to shout and bully their way into keeping the public quiet.
I am glad they are in Uptown. But the neighborhood is not a whore that should be happy to get whatever we can. Uptown is better than that and I will always stand up for expecting better things for this great neighborhood...
Thank you for the great write up Joanne! I love your blog too.ReplyDelete
Right on Uptown SuperHero.ReplyDelete
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And, in my humble opinion, the grey painted building on Magnolia looks as bad or worse than a storage unit building...there is absolutely nothing attractive or positive about the use of this "Jailbreak Grey" . To my eye, ti is reminiscent of communist Eastern European bloc buildings.ReplyDelete
As the owners have bought a number of buildings in Uptown and its environs, it frightens me to think this most horrible color choice will be representative of a revitalized and vibrant Uptown Music District and its neighborhoods.
I think it's got a cool, European look to it. Maybe I am in the minority, but I like the look of the new building on Magnolia. This neighborhood needs a change and I hope the Flats company can bring it.ReplyDelete
**Please make sure your seat belts are fastened and be sure to keep your hands and feet inside the commentary ride at all times!**ReplyDelete
Wow, bravo uptown super hero....quite a write up there! While I do appreciate that you think I have some involvement in this development, I can assure I do not. So sorry to disappoint you. And I have to say, your idea that everyone is entitled to your opinion is...well, I'm at a loss for words. My only point was and still is, is to stop the incessant whining about the color of a building. I do agree with you on the fact that we should not be a whore and be happy with what we can get, but I hardly think because you, uptown " not so super" hero, or anybody else for that matter, doesn't like the color of someone's building, means we are settling. I hate to break it to you, but your opinion is just not that important, and to think it is someone's responsibility to keep you happy is completely ridiculious. I am certainly not afraid of you speaking to the alderman about anything. I'm sure with all he has on his plate....you know, gangs, violence, murders, trying to bring AND keep new business in uptown, he would love nothing more than to spend hours talking to you about this subject. Hell why don't we have a town hall meeting about what color someone wants to paint their building. So no, not shame on me,but actually, shame on YOU for being so petty. In simple terms, this NOT your issuer to have. You do not have to like it. While I am a fan of painted brick buildings, I am actually not a fan of this color. That being said, I would NEVER find it pertinent to approach the alderman or even the building owner. Frankly, I would be too embarrassed.ReplyDelete
Your biggest fan,
LOL Big Boy, 1. I dont believe you 2. I would be embarassed if I were you too. 3. You continue to try to bully me which I find exceedingly amusing, as it just will never work. I would never feel embarrassed discussing anything I feel that is important to the community with any elected official, whether it be Alderman, State Rep or Congressman. How truly idiotic that you are trying to shame people into being quiet about an issue that some obviously feel is important...which, in the circle of life, brings us back to point 1.) I do not believe you nor will I ever believe you when you say you are not associated with this developer. Much love brother!ReplyDelete
Uptown "super" hero, you have so far continued to make me laugh. Please re-read my last post . I never....I repeat NEVER said I was embarrassed. I do however imply that I would be embarrassed if I was indeed acting as self entitled as you appear to be. I am sorry you don't believe that I am not in someway tied to this project, as I am being sincere when I say I am not. So as fun as this discussion is, I think instead of droning on for days(more days) I think it is fair to say that we agree to disagree on this point.ReplyDelete
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I'm sort of ambivalent about the practice of painting brick. I personally wouldn't do it, but I guess you can do what you want with your building. But I'm curious why. It's kind of a tacky thing to do and the color isn't attractive in the slightest. I'm just wondering what the motivation is with that.ReplyDelete
I don't mean to be simplistic here, but is there any legal precedence to require a building owner to follow the suggestions of local residents in this type of situation. To my knowledge, he's not requesting any zoning change nor is he accepting government funds.ReplyDelete
I ask because I fear we're venturing down a slippery slope here. Suggestions are fine, but technically, it sounds to me that the building owner has every legal right to accept or reject our ideas.
It's true Flats can do what they like to a building they own if it is not designated in an historic district or landmark. I hope they are paying attention and taking the community into consideration here to build goodwill (goodwill being an oft overlooked commodity!). Interestingly, no one has posted anything like "but I think the grey painted brick is awesome!"ReplyDelete
The Norman Hotel is located in Sheridan Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 21-block historic district is bounded by Broadway, Clark, Lawrence and Montrose.ReplyDelete
Painting the Norman would be a travesty - and a huge waste of paint I might add.
FAQs on National Register of Historic Places: http://www.nps.gov/nr/faq.htm#restrictionsReplyDelete
This is from the website for the National Register of Historic Places about restrictions placed on buildings located within an historic district:ReplyDelete
From the Federal perspective (the National Register of Historic Places is part of the National Park Service), a property owner can do whatever they want with their property as long as there are no Federal monies attached to the property. You can find this on our website at:
If this is true, anyone may suggest their ideas about fixing up this property, but the owner is not obligated to follow these suggestions unless the new owner is accepting federal subsidies to fix up this property.
I believe we're going down a slippery slope if we start thinking this building owner should be following our suggestions on what should be done to this building, especially when there's no legal precedence for it. If you think differently, make sure you hold a community meeting should you ever want to change the color on the outside of your home. I know my opinion is the best.
First of all, we are excited to be in Uptown and look forward to sharing the FLATS life with you in the near future. We appreciate your comments and assure you that we are working with community leaders, historical preservationists and the Alderman's office to carefully brand and restore each FLATS building.
We understand that we will not be able to please everyone with the changes we are making, but we do have the best interest of the community in mind. We are very committed to producing a strong product and becoming an active member of the Uptown community. We hold ourselves to very high expectations and hope we are able to meet yours along the way.
Please feel free to send us comments or questions at 411@FLATSChicago.com.
PS. We're not Big Guy and don't know him, however we appreciate the passionate support!
Flats Chicago, we are happy you are here.. now can you please stop the horrible practice of painting your buildings the incredibly depressing and prisonlike gray?ReplyDelete
Welcome to the neighborhood, Flats! Would you be able to tell us more about your decision to paint your buildings gray, since it's heavily under discussion here?ReplyDelete
So much of what's taught in Chicago about brick and mortar—for example, via the National Park Service preservation briefs widely recommended by the preservation masonry trade (http://www.nps.gov/tps/how-to-preserve/briefs.htm) and by groups that guide owners of historic brick buildings—advises that painting or covering older Chicago brick and mortar buildings can compromise the integrity of the materials. But perhaps concern on this front is unfounded given the technical specifications of your buildings?
Thank you for entering the discussion!
These guys have no reason to have to explain themselves to anyone. They are making good out of some dilapidated buildings that have been left to sit unmanaged for YEARS. FLATS, no matter what I think of your paint colors (They don't bother me) I know it's not my money (or tax dollars) on the line so it's none of my business. Thank you for taking on the challenge of Uptown!...We certainly needed you and please excuse my neighbors who are barking unnecessarily…they haven’t anything better to do it seems. Keep up the good work.ReplyDelete
Let's NOT make this about commenting on other commenters. This isn't the Sun-times!ReplyDelete
So I walked by their prison grey painted building yesterday, where the trees have lost their leaves. If this ugly, depressing painted monstrosity is what we get to look forward to 6 months of the year when we are without foiliage, I will scream. Visions of Cold War Romania dance in my head.ReplyDelete
Again, I am glad they are here. But it is an incredibly bad visual assault to those of us that have to look at what looks like a multi-story tombstone forever moving forward. I hope you are reconsidering this terrible marketing idea...