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AA Photos, mostly construction updates


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First off, I'd like to apologize for all the huge images. Hopefully they didn't take too long to load.

I went out on another picture taking spree after I finished all my midterm projects. Most of them are of construction projects. As you'll notice, there was quite a shift in weather conditions.


A harsh reality that many Ann Arbornites refuse to face. However, the city must grow up.


New Cardiovascular Institute viewed from Observatory Hill.


The 150 year old Detroit Observatory sits silently atop its perch overlooking the action of construction sites surrounding it from all sides. It's amazing to think this structure was once alone in the middle of nowhere, only to have the city of Ann Arbor engulf it in over 100 years of development. Many buildings have come and gone in this area. From the late 19th and early 20th century brick and limestone buildings, to Albert Kahn's massive Old Main Hospital, to the new sleek highrises that rise in their places, this area is probably one of Ann Arbor's most dynamic. Yet, although no longer useful, the Observatory remains in its beautifully restored condition.


The School of Public Health and it's 50,000 additions.....


And it's 50,000 architectural styles....


The new addition looms over the six story Markley Residence Hall viewedable to the left.


Seriously, what is going on here.


This vacant apartment building will be the next construction site. The entire building will be extensively renovated and converted into the School of Kinesiology.


View of the back of the apartment building and the school of public health. Why couldn't they make the new addition look the same as that?


New and old. Making up for years of disastrous architecture, the city of Ann Arbor was happy to see this red brick apartment building go up on South U. In the background stands U Towers, one of Ann Arbors most run-down and shadiest places.


Many people had left early for Spring break, so it was pretty quiet. Lucky for them to avoid the snow that day. I decided to hang around another day to participate in a night of revelry with friends in celebration of completing our projects.


The footballs have finally been bolted down, after some went missing.


The new Ford School of Public Policy rises high above State and Hill Streets.


View from the Chabad House.


The brickwork has been taking quite awhile since it's all hand laid.


I really, really would love to see more buildings like this. Style codes in many of Ann Arbor's districts actually call for buildings to look like this, but many developers do a cheap job. This is by far, the best I've ever seen.


Perry on Packard.


Looking Northwest.


Demolition progresses at Michigan Stadium.


Ann Arbor skyline.

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off the record (see avitar), I like ann arbor a lot. The principals and philosphies present in the city's designs as well as its social aspects are the only thing that can save metro detroit. more reason I think the Detroit - Ann Arbor transit is a good and very important idea.

by the way, how is the construction progressing on that building down by the amtrak station? I remember thinking the design was pretty cool.


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- The school of public policy is a major infill project that the university wanted to be "a gateway building." They thought it was silly that a parking lot was the first thing visitors and students saw coming up State Street (take that Mike Ilitch......Sorry, parking lots don't make great gateways to larger things lol.)

- What you are seeing is the beginning phases of the replacement of Michigan stadium. The university will not come out and say it because it would upset so many fans really attached to the place, but the stadium is really getting demolished in near entirety. All the stands, concourses, press box, and maybe the scoreboard superstructures, will either be modified or destroyed. The stadium will be rebuilt in phases over a period of 4 years. Phase I began last year, which was the new student section stands, which look great. So the next phase is what you are seeing here, which is the replacement of the rest of the lower bowl that will be ready by the next season. This is done so games can still be played in the stadium. It's going to be interesting to see what gets replaced when. As far as I know, the only portions of the stadium that will get saved are the field and the surrounding brick wall, the scoreboard units, and the decorative fencing around the stadium. The rest will be demolished. The new stadium sounds exciting. I know there are people who are worried about the "new look" of the stadium, but this place has seen 6 major renovations in its lifetime that have dramatically changed its appearance. In fact that metal structure visible at ground level was built in the 90's. I think people are ready to see something interesting. Maybe it will look historical, maybe contemporary. I'm sure whatever design is developed will look good.

- The building by the Amtrak station is moving quickly. It's a lot larger than I'd thought it be. All the steel is up. It is ready for fireproofing and then walls. I think I can safely say the exterior should be completed by the start of this summer, if not sooner.

- I'm not too fond of the overhang on the Perry building, I think it's for a utility entrance or something. When I was near it, it didn't seem to shelter anything except a stairway. The rusticated block you see on the bottom is called fieldstone. I think there is a more precise name, but it is found on quite a few buildings across campus. They did a good job matching materials.

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Great update! I specifically enjoy the second photo, not so much for the building, but because of the overall composition, and how the building seems interacts with the surrounding taller buildings. What street or corner is that exactly?

Also, though this is off topic, I wanted to know if Ann Arbor has a convention center, or whether it's too close to Detroit to justify one? I'm trying to figure out exactly how the city functions as a stand-alone city, and whether or not the "big-city" amenities are shared with U of M or Detroit. Thanks.

More off subject, but I was searching through the city council agendas and minutes for Ann Arbor for some proposed building heights (doing some research for the skyscraperpage.com diagram, and emporis.com to a lesser extent), and found one I had been looking for for a long time, and some for three tall proposals that I thought you guys might want for future reference:

1. One North Main: 156' (I also found out this has condominium units, always thought it was offices purely)

2. Ashely Terrace: 131'-4" (approved, 202-212 Huron)

3. William Street Station - East Tower: 217'-10" (proposed, 200 E. William St., and seems to be a go at the moment)

4. William Street Station - West Tower: 197'-10" (ditto)

William Street Station looks pretty exciting, and it seems that the planning commision is really only worried about parking (the developer is only proposing about half of the parking required for a development this size they seem to say). Here is a link to the sketches of the towers:


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