Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 16

FEATURE

mixed use

Ken's V I E W

Ice Is Nice
S

hopping in America has changed in many ways, and in many ways it hasn't

burned many years ago. Improbably, the mall itself still stubbornly remains.

changed that much at all-Amazon notwithstanding. In city neighborhoods

The rink is the story of shopping malls and the way things used to be-

with mixed-use and new-urbanist proclivities, shopping seems to be returning

and still are with much of the amazement and novelty drained off. The mall in

to what it once was -small businesses on the ground floor with offices and

question was essentially a large strip mall, but the ice rink was a precursor

residences above. That's long been a standard city thing. Once shunned for

of malls not even on the drawing board. It was in an enclosed space, called

suburban shopping malls, it seems to have been rediscovered and become

the Wintergarden, comprising the ice rink surrounded by select businesses,

trendy. Who would have thought?

including restaurants. One of them, the Alpine House, featured waitresses

At the same time, much has been made of the decline of suburban malls

(these days, that would be servers) in "authentic" Bavarian apparel, it is said.

as city venues attracted younger residents and shoppers. That can't be denied,

For its time, it was quite the attraction. Local residents had seen nothing like

but, like cities, maybe malls haven't changed all that much either. A recent news

it and flocked to the mall with their kids in station wagons and sedans despite

report says that a synthetic ice rink may soon be installed in vacant retail space

the fact the mall had few big-name stores. Perhaps it was a simpler time, and

at Hawthorn Mall in north-suburban-Chicago Vernon Hills. This is notable by

folks were not so jaded.

virtue of its not being new. First, malls are still trying to differentiate themselves

The mall endures to this very day. I had an urge to drive over there to see

by providing entertainment; that's hardly new. Second, I grew up a short drive

for myself, but adding to global warming seemed irresponsible with several

from a not-so-upscale mall that had an ice rink back in the late 1950s, early

hurricanes threatening the southern part of the country. Instead, I used Google

1960s, so adding skating to spice up your shopping mall definitely isn't original.

Street View-not that Google's server farms and their Street View cars don't

To me, the new project, perhaps unfairly, conjures an image of a sad little ice

have their own environmental cost.

rink wedged haphazardly in a storefront like a last-chance taekwondo studio or

Anyway, the mall today has a pawnshop, a dollar store, a payday loan store,

pawn shop, the existing overhead fluorescents left in place to save money. To

a liquor store, and a resale shop. Not exactly upscale, is it? Along with some

be fair, I'm sure there are fine examples of pawn emporiums and martial-arts

other run-of-the-mill stores there's a tractor supply store! Really. This area may

studios, but they generally don't say "successful mall." I'm equally sure the ice

have been agricultural 150 years ago, but today? Not even remotely. I may still

rink will be sensitively integrated, but what's with this synthetic ice stuff?

have to drive up there to see if they have real tractors.

Being diligent, I Googled synthetic ice and came upon a company that sold

Never mind. I don't have time to sightsee skeevy malls. The Internet to the

the stuff. Indeed, not being ice, it doesn't require the extensive refrigeration and

rescue. Again. The tractor store seems to be mostly lawn tractors and manly,

electricity of the real thing, so it may be environmentally friendly. I said, "may

outdoorsy stuff for wannabe farmers. So we've gone from station wagons and

be." What a surprise, it's made of a particular kind of polyethylene, the latter

Bavarian maids to fake ice and pretend tractors. This is progress?

commonly known to laypersons as plastic. Not so environmentally friendly, eh?

In the long run, cities and shopping don't change much, though they do need

Particularly amusing was the notice on the website of the fake-ice

minor adjustments from time to time. That's what new mixed-use developments

manufacturer: "Out of stock! China has purchased our entire production

or things like adaptive reuse are for. Perhaps some of those undertakings will

capacity." (My note to China: The company is located in Florida; your shipment

have skating rinks and Bavarian-costumed serving persons. I never had the

of imitation frozen water may be delayed.)

chance to eat in the Alpine House, but I kind of wish I had.

The ice rink in the long-ago mall is gone now. The building that housed it

- Kenneth W. Betz, Senior Editor

Want more information? To download the information listed below, visit commercialarchitecturemagazine.com/1710mixeduse.

16

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

McIntosh Poris Associates

Graham Baba Architects

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

COMMERCI A L A RCHI T EC T URE

OCTOBER 2017

commercialarchitecturemagazine.com

Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young (SKL) Architects


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Commercial Architecture October 2017

The Architects
Shaping Neighborhoods
Local Atmosphere
Concrete Tile Roof Caps Renovation
Decking Provides Venue Views
Exteriors Products
After The Storm
Lofty Windows
Glass Spans Mixed-Use Development
Smart Glass Delivers Airport Comfort
Windows & Doors Products
Solar-Thermal/Tankless Water Heating Is LEED Platinum
UV Technology Fights Infection
Co-Gen Delivers Comfort At Ronald McDonald House
HVAC & Plumbing Products
Contemporary Lighting, Outdoor Dining
Low Voltage, LEDs Meet Sustainable Goals
Lighting & Electrical Products
Polished-Concrete Floor Reveals Natural Beauty
Interiors Products
Building Technology Products
Showcase
Index
Portfolio
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Cover1
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Cover2
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 1
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 2
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 3
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 4
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 5
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 6
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 7
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - The Architects
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 9
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Shaping Neighborhoods
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 11
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 12
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 13
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 14
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 15
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 16
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 17
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Local Atmosphere
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 19
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 20
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 21
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 22
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 23
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Concrete Tile Roof Caps Renovation
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 25
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 26
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Decking Provides Venue Views
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Exteriors Products
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 29
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - After The Storm
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 31
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Lofty Windows
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Glass Spans Mixed-Use Development
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Smart Glass Delivers Airport Comfort
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 37
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Windows & Doors Products
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 39
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Solar-Thermal/Tankless Water Heating Is LEED Platinum
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 41
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 42
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - UV Technology Fights Infection
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 44
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Co-Gen Delivers Comfort At Ronald McDonald House
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 46
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 47
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 48
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 49
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - HVAC & Plumbing Products
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 51
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 52
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Contemporary Lighting, Outdoor Dining
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Low Voltage, LEDs Meet Sustainable Goals
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Lighting & Electrical Products
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 56
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Polished-Concrete Floor Reveals Natural Beauty
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 58
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 59
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Interiors Products
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 61
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Building Technology Products
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - 63
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Showcase
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Index
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Portfolio
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Cover3
Commercial Architecture October 2017 - Cover4
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