Tag Archives: downtown saratoga springs

Mid Century Modern Meets Downtown Saratoga Springs

The New City Center Design Concept

The New City Center Design Concept

After years of talk, the Saratoga Springs City Center has finally unveiled the new design for that corner of Broadway. If this concept is constructed as proposed it will be the first modern looking building to be constructed on Broadway. It is a very bold move to submit such a design since people will inevitably shout that it doesn’t compliment the character of the neighborhood.

Gone are the atrium peaks that echoed the features of Broadway buildings past. Gone are the bricks and morter of the twenty five year old structure, replaced with glass and beige block. The overall style is definately Mid Century Modern. If you notice the horizontal overhangs, and exceptionally strong vertical lines in the windows, it harks back to a early sixties shopping mall – and I don’t mean this in a bad way.

Mid Century Modern Style

Mid Century Modern Style

or

Mid Century Shopping Center

Mid Century Shopping Center

The classic features of mid century design are the large rectangular areas and long horizontal lines. The City Center concept ads a modern touch with its large glass walls and the interesting “V” shaped corner. This type of styling has a tendancy to go well with a many types of design styles, and in that respect it was an excellent choice for downtown Saratoga Springs.

Here are a few design ideas for marketing the new City Center

Illustration Styling That Could Be Used For the City Center

Advertising Style That Could Be Used For the City Center

Illustration Style for New City Center

Illustration Style for New City Center

Mid Century Modern Man Who Will Visit the City Center

Mid Century Modern Man Who Will Visit the City Center

I like the fact that there will be a modern building in the city, someone had to do it at some point. It is a nice looking structure that has its own character but not obtrusive to neighboring buildings. It will enhance downtown and give us a City Center we can be proud of twenty five years from now.

Does anyone know who the Architect is??

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Picture Shows On Broadway

The Times Union Published this view of a Broadway Movie Theater Concept. It is proposed by a private firm. It is a brick building with interesting windows. It seems the private firm envisions it located in the parking lot next to the Algonquin Building- see upper left side of image. It has no unique features, it is what I would consider a “B” building. This means on it’s own it doesn’t make a statement, but it would lend support to making the Algonquin Building look even better. It would enhance the surrounding architecture to be better as a whole.

I’m glad it is a concept, and if it ever actually happens, lets hope for once the final product can be as good or better.

Cinema Proposal on Broadway in Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs Cinema Proposal on Broadway

The Stairway is Heaven

Four years ago on a cool dusk evening I walked into the east entrance of the the Westside Recreation Park, and felt something was wrong, something was missing. The cast lion statue that protects the entrance had been taken. The only remnant was the metal sign that briefly spoke of its history and how it ended up in the park. I was sure it had been stolen, and few weeks later I noticed the twin statue was missing from the East Side Recreation Park. An even bigger heist I assumed.

It wasn’t until a year or so later that I read an article in the Saratogian as to their whereabouts. The City itself had performed the heist, and was in the process of repairing them and would place them back in their original home, the new staircase at City Hall. 

The old staircase at Saratoga City Hall

The old staircase at Saratoga City Hall

In the spring of 2008, the work began on the new construction. I never did see drawing plans of the new design nor did I see the original steps from old photos. So I waited the five months of construction until I could make out what was being built. By October it was all becoming clear how the final design would look. 

After the unveiling, I read the total cost of the stairway. Wow, a grand total of $205,000.00. The custom granite cost sixty thousand dollars, and was probably worth it.

Granite Covering on Staircase

Granite Covering on Staircase

Below all that granite is a radiant heat system, and a lot  of concrete covering it up. The concrete and the radiant heat were in the neighborhood of fifty grand each. I think for City Hall it was worth it, and should last a long time. The radiant heat should stop the winter freeze from cracking the steps. 

The railings cost a wopping forty five thousand. They are brass, and made when the cost was sky high for anything made of metal.

 

Brass Railing

Brass Railing

It has been a long time since I saw metal work that nice. Most construction jobs don’t put out that kind of money for such detail.

The aluminum doors have been replaced with new powder coated doorways in the color brown. The old metal metal looking doors will surely be missed by those who love that 1960’s urban feel.

New Powder Coated Doorway

 

Below is a view of the whole thing 

 

The Finished Stairway

The Finished Stairway

 

Full view with lions

Full View With Lions

Lets take a close up look at the lions. The city DPW did a really nice job restoring them, and I congratulate them for doing so. Here are a few different views of each.

 

Lion at the Right Side of Entrance

Lion at the Right Side of Entrance

 

Close up of Lion Head

Close up of Lion Head

 

Lion Head Front View

Lion Head Front View

 

Uncaged Lion

Uncaged Lion at Left Side of Stairway

And just so the people who enjoy taking home large fiberglass horses as souvenirs – don’t get any ideas…

Pins Hold All the Feet to the Granite

Pins Hold All the Feet to the Granite

I wanted this project to be my first blog story, but it took me a long time to take the photos. I believe this could be the finest municipal project completed in Saratoga Springs in the last ten years. It has no other purpose than to make City Hall look good, and it accomplishes that. It is not utilitarian like a parking garage, and it doesn’t effect everyone like the intersection in front of Limoncello’s. It is just a way to get into City Hall, and they did it well.

But They Said Put a Fork In It!

The logo with everything

The logo with everything

 

The design was almost done but the restaurants revolted, they wanted viewers to know that food is available and part of the downtown scene.  I hope it wasn’t done with pride, I hope the designer didn’t feel good about it, but when you work with a committee, sometimes you just do things to get a job done. So they stuck a fork in it.