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Langdon Local Historic District

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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:05 pm

Jason, as your friend, I hope you soon realize that your comments are making you appear uninformed and unaware.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Zoti Bemba » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:29 pm

Well at least he's consistent. If jjoyce was an obnoxious, self-centered jerk living on Langdon Street in the early 1990's then clearly everyone who has ever lived on Langdon Street before or since was or is exactly the same sort of drunken oaf laughing at ways to trip other people up. Because that's the way self-centered, entitled young adults think -- the rest of the world is just like them, and the few freaks that aren't wish they were. Except the few freaks are actually the majority and most of us wish the noodle-shooting jerks would just go be jerks somewhere else.

I'm sure you never noticed me walking up Langdon Street in 1992-1993, jjoyce. You certainly have no idea what I was thinking.

For the record I like the history and variety of the buildings and people on Langdon Street. I realize that some of the buildings have been hard-used over the years and may need to be replaced (which is natural growth and change, after all) but I think the trend toward replacing them with large, anonymous, high-density buildings filled with small, high-rent, temporary-occupancy apartments is not encouraging. A couple more of those and beer really may be the only recourse left.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:47 pm

Jason has sent me a direct message on Facebook to comment that my definition of friendship must be different than his.

QED.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby snoqueen » Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:59 pm

Reading all these comments is really interesting and I appreciate people taking the time to contribute. What I'm seeing is some like the Langdon area the way it is and hope it can stay relatively small scale (replace worn out buildings, stop at five stories, hope we can keep at least some affordable living units, please don't block the lake views, etc.). I am seeing others who think it's too late and we can't hold back the changeover to towers for various reasons. Maybe it's the city council, maybe it's economic reality, maybe it's the difficulty of organizing, maybe it's because there's nothing worth saving.

Side #1 is activist, and from what I can tell Side #2 is passive.

Can we get a specific vision from Side #2, or is the whole idea "we have no leverage so let development happen as the developers decide"? How would you on Side #2 like Langdon to look in ten or twenty years?

Part of the idea of our present city governmental structure, committee system, and neighborhood-level planning and organization is dedicated to the principle people do have leverage. Not veto power, but ways to participate in decision-making. Sure, it doesn't always work. I wish it worked more consistently, because we might find out public opinion is not always led by dinosaurs. (Look at what's going up in the 700 block of E. Wash for evidence that thinking big works fine in the right location.) To claim nobody is in control but developers is only true if everyone else takes their hands off the wheel.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby jjoyce » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Zoti Bemba wrote:For the record I like the history and variety of the buildings and people on Langdon Street. I realize that some of the buildings have been hard-used over the years and may need to be replaced (which is natural growth and change, after all) but I think the trend toward replacing them with large, anonymous, high-density buildings filled with small, high-rent, temporary-occupancy apartments is not encouraging. A couple more of those and beer really may be the only recourse left.


Two things. First, I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that property owners, particularly those around campus, are finding that in order to make money (or come out even on their investments), they need to increase density. Objectively, the new buildings are no more or less anonymous (if that's even an adjective you can apply to a building) than the old ones.

Second, those are some personal shots you're taking there. And that's fine. Perhaps you're very personally embroiled in this discussion of buildings and you're emotional about it. But please note that you're taking these shots anonymously, which is to say that you want to call names but you don't want anyone to know that it's you who is calling names. You want to bring the harsh, but don't want it traced back to you.

You don't like anonymous buildings, but you have no problem taking personal shots at others while hiding behind an anonymous username. Don't you think that's interesting?

Apologies if your real name is Zoti Bemba.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby tdogg » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:15 pm

I understand what the Co-ops and the Greeks are saying: no 14 story high rises. Ok. I think there is consensus.

However, how is this different from what was passed in the downtown plan? The plan already limits heights to 5 stories outside several topographical areas on Iota and Mendota Court (which are limited to 7 stories). Are any developers hinting at something bigger? UDC already establishes architectural design and the Council will have final say no matter what. So what does it accomplish?
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:45 pm

Wait - what? Jason is now calling people out for (maybe) using pseudonyms?

Seriously??
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:29 pm

MarcoPolo wrote:There are people living just up the road in Tenney whose mortgages aren't this expensive.


Up the road? Those two place are in distinctly different parts of town. Not east side/west side different, but rents are much different in the Tenney area than they are right downtown.

MarcoPolo wrote:The type of density on University, the so-called apartment canyon, will be replicated on Langdon.


One 6 story building and it's the end for Langdon. They're gonna get the fucking bulldozers out and raze the who goddamn street. Jeebus, you people are alarmists. There is NOTHING that indicates Langdon will look like University. Nothing even remotely close to La Ciel or Copper Gables is being proposed or is going up. NOTHING.

MarcoPolo wrote:Two of the newer buildings in that area are charging somewhere between 750$ to 900$ a bedroom


I was paying that 5 years ago way off campus. If you think that is too high for downtown, you're living 20 years in the past. Rent is expensive downtown, period. I have a co-worker looking at one bedrooms as far west as Middleton and these are the going rates pretty much everywhere he has been looking.

snoqueen wrote:Can we get a specific vision from Side #2, or is the whole idea "we have no leverage so let development happen as the developers decide"? How would you on Side #2 like Langdon to look in ten or twenty years?


So developer in question proposed a plan. People thought it was too tall and pushed back. They scaled back the height and you're saying there is no leverage?

In 10 or twenty years. Well, I hope home that are architectually worthy, are maintained and not destroyed. I hope they do keep the heights reasonable as I suggested before. Yes, I would oppose a 10 story building on Langdon. I have no issue with a neighborhood that has mixed buildings. To say this area is pseudo residential as someone pointed out is silly. It's not. It's primarily students, and fraternities, and sororities. It's a very transitional area. So no it's not "residential" and I have no issue with newer apartment buildings as long as they are aesthetically pleasing.

snoqueen wrote:(Look at what's going up in the 700 block of E. Wash for evidence that thinking big works fine in the right location.)


That building is sooooooo far beyond the scope and scale of this project, that I don't think it's even remotely fair to bring it up in this discussion. And to be honest, if you look around at the other buildings on the 700 block, that building is way more out of proportion with its surroundings than the Iota Court project. It is East Wash, but we are talking proportions here aren't we?

Stu Levitan wrote:I hope you soon realize that your comments are making you appear uninformed and unaware.


Which ones and why? Just curious.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:35 pm

And just curious, does anyone have any objection to the fact that some beautiful historic homes in Madison are currently being occupied and probably fucked up by frat and sorority kids.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Zoti Bemba » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:55 pm

jjoyce wrote:Apologies if your real name is Zoti Bemba.


No apologies necessary. And since you are the one who brought up the hilarious exploits of your boorish friends, apparently as a way of stereotyping the whole neighborhood as deserving of removal (to get even with some rich guys? Interesting stuff), I don't get why you would be offended that I commented on it. Langdon may often be identified with frats, but there are more than frats on Langdon -- it's obvious if you open your eyes.

Many of the older buildings on Langdon do have names. Again, if you ever bothered to look. Quirky mix of styles, eras, intentions, accommodations and evolutions over time. The history of Madison's relationship with the University is written right there. Your view may differ but personally I don't find the recent chapters to be inspiring -- Madison becomes like everywhere else. Commodified. But then obviously when I think of Langdon I do not think of rentable lake views. And, hey, perhaps you are focused on celebrating when 10 Langdon is finally leveled, and don't much care what happens to the rest of it.

From your comment it appears that you think that the only property owners on Langdon and environs are the ones who are interested in turning a buck (forget the homeowners!), and that the only reason to build something a particular way is to maximize economic utility? If so, I take it that you expect all those named and unnamed buildings I am so fond of to eventually be replaced by efficient, standardized, functional housing units, with none of my silly, costly history or style or personality nonsense? Because when money talks only about making more money, that's what you get. The equations will tell you that in short order.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby ArturoBandini » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:30 pm

Stebben84 wrote:
MarcoPolo wrote:Two of the newer buildings in that area are charging somewhere between 750$ to 900$ a bedroom


I was paying that 5 years ago way off campus. If you think that is too high for downtown, you're living 20 years in the past. Rent is expensive downtown, period. I have a co-worker looking at one bedrooms as far west as Middleton and these are the going rates pretty much everywhere he has been looking.
It's almost like there is insufficient supply of suitable housing in relation to demand.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby ArturoBandini » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:40 pm

I think that the area should be returned to 1920's historical accuracy. That means no ugly electric heat pumps, and only Model T's should be allowed, parked on the grass of course, as depicted in the original photographs.

Alternative proposal - why not get a set of aerial and ground-based 3d cameras to document the entire neighborhood as it stands today. Then add a high-tech virtual reality booth at the Historical Society where future visitors can experience the historic architecture without all the smells and weather-related unpleasantries of Langdon street in reality. Clever programmers could selectively remove frat bros and other visual nuisances from the historical record as desired by visitors. The actual physical space could be turned into any of these: high rise student housing, a campground with RV hookups (perfect for Badger tailgating), wildlife sanctuary, oil refinery, etc.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby ArturoBandini » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:48 pm

Zoti Bemba wrote:From your comment it appears that you think that the only property owners on Langdon and environs are the ones who are interested in turning a buck (forget the homeowners!), and that the only reason to build something a particular way is to maximize economic utility?
The choice to maximize economic utility or not should be made by the owners of the particular property under consideration. If you are not the owner of said property, what authority do you have to determine the economic fate of the property?
Zoti Bemba wrote:If so, I take it that you expect all those named and unnamed buildings I am so fond of to eventually be replaced by efficient, standardized, functional housing units, with none of my silly, costly history or style or personality nonsense? Because when money talks only about making more money, that's what you get. The equations will tell you that in short order.
You should value your fondness in dollars, it would make this whole thing much easier to figure out.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby Zoti Bemba » Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:56 pm

Why not just build a high rise out in a cornfield or pasture somewhere -- far from the noise and inconvenience of a crowded neighborhood like Langdon -- and give every apartment a virtual lake view? Or University view. Or Capitol view. Technology's cheap. Problem solved.
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Re: Langdon Local Historic District

Postby ArturoBandini » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:01 pm

Zoti Bemba wrote:Why not just build a high rise out in a cornfield or pasture somewhere -- far from the noise and inconvenience of a crowded neighborhood like Langdon -- and give every apartment a virtual lake view?
I don't know why not, it's a plausible idea. Let the market sort it out.
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