Thursday, November 13, 2014

A New Vine Street

With the new Mormon Temple taking shape on Vine Street and the LDS Church's apartment building proposed for the lot next door, Vine Street may soon look a little more like a street and less like a parking lot periodically interspersed with drab walkups and suburban infill. 

Mayor Nutter actually said that the Temple's addition will make the Benjamin Franklin Parkway “one of the most incredible boulevards anywhere in the world.” I appreciate his enthusiasm, but the claim is a stretch. Still, the potential is fabulous and the Mormon's are ferrying the grandeur of the Parkway onto Vine Street.

The LDS Church's 1601 Vine Street
For all that's been said of the mistake that is the Vine Street Expressway, it's more of a mental barrier than a physical one. Portland, OR is home to its own highway canyon, one barely noticeable because of the successful development flanking the east and west sides. 

Chinatown is inching closer to bookending Franklin Town's "Little Salt Lake City" with its own Eastern Tower which would contain a community center and apartments, and solidify Chinatown's presence in the emerging Callowhill neighborhood. 

The original design was fantastically wild and echoed modern architecture scraping the skies of Shanghai, albeit quite bit shorter. Nonetheless, the urban addition would be a breakaway from the sprawling parking lots, vacant lots, and dull infill that Vine Street is known for. While the urban concept remains, Eastern Tower's latest redesign has erased its edge. 

Take a look. What do you think? 

Is the new design good? Ugly? Or simply too boring to be bad?

Original design

If Eastern Tower needed to be downsized, a few floors could have been removed without stripping it of its uniqueness. 


  1. That new design is unbelievably ugly and looks like something that belongs in King of Prussia.

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