I Googled the McMobil project, and I like it

To the Editor:

I recently got curious about what the proposed Mesa development on 53rd Street actually looks like, so I did a little Google search and ended up with forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=6062439.

It’s an interesting website that shows several renderings of the building, as well as photos of the hotel going up at 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue with a shot of the Hyde Park Bank building in the background in one of the photos. Frankly, the Mesa building is the most visually exciting of the lot.

I also Googled the Hyde Park Bank building a while back, found a photo and counted the floors. It seemed to be around 13 stories, give or take one or two. Yet I don’t hear anyone lobbying to raze the bank building, which has stood like a rather lonely Ichabod Crane at the end of the street for lo these many years.

The addition of the hotel and the Mesa building will actually give the street some kind of visual “balance,” which it currently lacks.

But beyond aesthetics, what I care about is safety. I want more people on the street, walking and shopping. I want more people in the park, which I occasionally walk through, never stopping to sit and rest on the benches.

I also want our local businesses to have more customers. Face it, nobody comes from the North Side (or any other side) to shop in Hyde Park. We are a town of around 37,000 people, according to the 2010 census, and the only people who are going make our merchants prosper are us.

How will the building affect me? Well, I will be sorry to lose my mechanics at the Mobil station. Their present location is ideal for me and they have served me well. But I have to keep in mind that whatever inconvenience the loss of the Mobil station will cause me is outweighed by the positives that can come from this building. The greater good, and all that.

One final point: I thought Jason Duba’s letter of April 3 was thoughtful, respectful and nuanced in its suggestions. The fact that he disagrees with some of the opinions expressed on these pages and the fact that he is employed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning does not make him a plant of the Evil Empire, as another correspondent seemed to imply. A little moderation, please.

Carolyn Ulrich