Joffrey Tower

    Speaking of the Joffrey, look who's moving in to Booth Hansen's tower on State Street, across from Macy*s nee Fields. It was to be called MoMo, "Modern Momentum" - glad that name got changed! Joffrey Tower sounds so much more dignified. Next week, the ballet company will launch their approxmiately 35 million dollar capital campaign, to raise money for the buildout, their endowment, outreach, education, live music and more.

    The Joffrey will take about 40,000 sq. ft. in the building, on the third and fourth floors. They hope to start moving in in December. It'll house their administration, plus six or seven rehearsal spaces of various sizes, a small costume shop, some scenery design and almost 1200 sq. ft of storage.

    And they'll get ground floor exposure right there on State Street with a ticket booth.

    The main public feature will be a black box studio theater in the Joffrey Tower with some 100 seats. I can't see what this grand troupe would be able to perform in there - some smaller dances? - and they'll rent out the space. Most of their local performances which will continue to be in the Auditorium Theater.

    So it's happening, remember that talks had broken down between the Joffrey and the developer of the tower, Chicago-based Smithfield Properties LLC. For a long time it seemed the troupe couldn't afford the move. A $4 million grant from the state helped.

    I wonder how much property values are increased by saying, "I live in Joffrey Tower," rather than "I live in MoMo."

    Smithfield deserves kudos for the good work they're doing with Booth Hansen. I'm glad the parking for this building on State Street, that great street is underground and not in a "building podium." Of course for that they get a zoning variance to build more mass above ground but it's a worthwhile tradeoff.

    Smithfield and Booth Hansen also teamed up for the gorgeous (and pricey)
    30 W. Oak.

    And they have another project, called "SoNo." What's with these names? Am I missing something? To me that's "so no." Oh, these modernists think they're echoing Mies' wish for an architecture that's "almost nothing?" Let's get an arts group to move in there and lend it a better name too!

    A little mo' on MoMo. What looks like steel I-beams around the glass in the image above are actually glass themselves, spandrel glass with aluminum fins (steel prices kept going up.) So it's nearly an all-glass facade.

    Too bad few if any of the dancers would ever be able to afford to live there! I see around town taking the bus, eating cheap food, generally suffering for their art....

    Gd bless 'em.
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