The Architect Newswire is an aggregation of news from media outlets around the world, intended to keep you abreast of all of the industry’s important developments. The stories we feature are not reported, edited, or fact-checked by Architect’s staff.

CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS
Detroit area building permits down
Building permits in the Detroit area may have plateaued. Daniel Duggan reports that 215 single-family permits were issued in October 2011—compared to 233 the previous month and 256 one year earlier. But the news is a bit better when examining data from the Building Industry Association of Southeast Michigan for 12-month periods ending in October—the 2011 figure is 2,605 compared with just 1,899 ending in October 2010. “While the plateau is disappointing after nearly two years of gains, past recoveries have experienced similar plateaus before resuming upward momentum,” says BIA CEO Michael Stoskopf.

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THE KEENE SENTINEL (NH)
No to Dollar General
The Marlborough, N.H., zoning board denied a waiver for Cleveland-based Zaremba Group to build a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General Store in place of a 150-year-old house on the town’s Main Street. Abby Spegman reports that board members and residents objected to the “barn-like” façade’s incompatibility with the area’s two- and three-story 19th-century homes. “I can’t see that this has any harmony with that feeling,” says board member Jerry Germer. “Why would your company want to move into a community that doesn’t welcome it?” resident Mary Iselin asks.

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THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL (TOPEKA, KS) 
Rezoning in progress

The Shawnee County Planning Department is considering a request by Go Topeka to rezone 4,135 acres south of Topeka, Kan., from residential to industrial. Ann Marie Bush reports that the South Topeka Economic Growth Corridor has “become attractive to companies wishing to expand or locate in Topeka, such as Bimbo Bakeries, Home Depot Rapid Development Center, Target Distribution Center and Mars Chocolate North America,” according to the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce. “This is a very proactive move by Go Topeka to get out ahead of development,” says planning director Barry Beagle. The process is expected to take about four months.

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IOWA CITY PRESS CITIZEN (IOWA)
Wanted: good ideas for Iowa City 2030
The Iowa City Planning Department has launched a “Good Ideas” webpage to solicit public input for its Iowa City 2030 comprehensive plan. “We wanted to do something where we could reach a larger and more diverse audience,” Iowa City associate planner Sarah Walz says. “It’s essential, we get a lot of good ideas from the people that live in the neighborhoods that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise,” says senior planner Robert Miklo. Mitchell Schmidt reports that online suggestions will be accepted through February 2012.

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BROOKLYN DAILY EAGLE (NY)
No tunnel? How about a cable-stayed bridge?
The Federal Highway Administration has decided not to tear down Brooklyn’s elevated Gowanus Expressway to replace it with a tunnel. Paula Katinas reports that the Brooklyn Chapter of the AIA is using this opportunity to revive a plan it first proposed in 2007 to replace the half-century-old structure with a cable-stayed bridge. “Other key components include retaining of maritime and industrial waterfront uses with a revived container port that would be complemented by a cross-harbor rail freight tunnel and improved Bay Ridge railroad cut,” says AIA member Larry Stelter. Current policy calls for a continuation of the almost constant maintenance on the aging structure.

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SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS (CA)
Barn denied historic registry protection
Fremont, Calif.’s Historic Architectural Review Board decided not to recommend adding any structures to its historic registry this year. Wes Bower reports that the board voted 4-0 to deny listing to a dilapidated barn that was built between 1914 and 1925. “Even just disassembling and reassembling it the barn probably wouldn't survive that undertaking,” the owner’s agent Alan Cerro says. “There's insect and water damage... if the barn is going to be moved, you're essentially going to have to create a replacement because our engineer said the barn is unsalvageable.” Board member David Price suggested that the municipality should help motivate owners to preserve structures that might be considered historic. “There has to be some sort of responsibility by the government or someone similar to identify potential historical resources before there's some sort of decline in its condition,” Price says.

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UNBEIGE
It’s “Tangerine Tango” for 2012
Stephanie Murg reports that Tangerine Tango (Pantone #17-1463) is 2012’s color of the year. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy,” says Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

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CURBED LA
Gehry’s Grammys
Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Frank Gehry has a new gig: designing the “official artwork” for next February’s Grammy Awards. The official press release claims that “The work integrates traditional GRAMMY® iconography with Gehry's unique architectural style in a piece that mirrors The Recording Academy's commitment to celebrating excellence and diversity in art and culture year-round.” Adrian Glick Kudler reports that “If you squint, it kind of looks just like a Grammy surrounded by a bunch of models of Gehry buildings.”

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MAC | LIFE
Where Apple should be
Apple is opening a new store in New York’s Grand Central Terminal today. Adrian Hoppel suggests that the retailer should continue the trend of locating stores inside global landmarks. The suggestions: Niagara Falls, Beijing’s Forbidden City, Paris’s Louvre, the Sydney Opera House, Rome’s Colosseum, and on ice cream trucks. The easiest to implement would seem to be The Louvre—it already has a Platonic glass object in place—just add logos.

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GIZMAG
An all-bamboo factory

Big Tree Farm’s new organic chocolate factory in Bali claims to be the “largest all-bamboo commercial building ever constructed.” Randolph Jonsson reports that the 25,600-square-foot structure’s material has been treated with borax (as a fire retardant) and boric acid (as an insecticide). “Bamboo is definitely regarded as one of the most sustainable building materials in the world,” CEO Frederick Schilling says. “What we've done here is created this very, very practical building using bamboo with, obviously, sustainability at the core purpose, but at the same time, we were able to create a very aesthetically beautiful building.”

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