January 29, 2006

That building.

Here's that café I like so much:

Barriques

And here's the view from the 8th floor:

A view.

And view of the street outside:

Madison

27 comments:

Dave said...

This is the place you're thinking of moving into?

Elizabeth said...

Ann, a few weeks back you posted some photos from a downtown hotel view. Is this the same place?

chuck b. said...

In general, views are sketchy reasons to buy property, imo, and I wouldn't let it figure large in my decision. Unless the view offers dynamic, year-long interest, it's reasonable to believe one will become desensitized to it in a few months. Frankly, the view pictured here doesn't seem especially captivating. Over time, other tall buildings will go up with nice views too, so don't expect the view to help maintain resale value.

Ron said...

Let's face it Ann...here you would be stylin'! It's a Silvio kind of area as well!

How's the place itself look?

Ann Althouse said...

Dave: Yes.

Elizabeth: Yes.

Chuck: It's not just the view. It's the location on the square. The inside's very nice too.

Aspasia M. said...

A better view of the water would be nice. This view from the 8th floor isn't great.

The capitol is beautiful, though.

Pete said...

Oh, Ann.

My thoughts:

1.) Cafes come and cafes go. Who knows if this one will be here in 6 months or a year or two years from now? The restaraunt business is notoriously fickle and it's hard to find success.

2.) The view is underwhelming.

3.) The street looks nice and I like the looks of the capitol. But what looks mighty fine now will become as old and worn as the walk from your old house to the University.

4.) I can't imagine this new place being very welcoming to your eventual grandchildren. And what about Christmases and Thanksgivings and such? What sort of traditions will this new place allow?

I'm a huge advocate of suburban living so I can't see why you would want to make the move back to a downtown lifestyle. Yes, yes, I can see it would be fine. For a while. But I'm not yet convinced this is a better move.

I've posted elsewhere that I believe you've already made up your mind. But this doesn't seem like the kind of level-headed decision you're capable of.

nina said...

The view is actually superior to most from any of the downtown buildings. And, most residents do not know that their capitol views may be obstructed with a building in the next several years. This one is "safe" since most of what you see out the windows is not subject to change in the next decades.

Having looked at the unit I can say without hesitation that it is impressive. Nothing else in Madison comes even close. The combination of old and new (the units are completely gutted, rebuilt to create unique floor plans at every level) is absolutely spectacular.

The reader who commented that it fits Ann's Silvio style is absolutely correct. I think it's completely perfect for her. I say this even as I am in general suspicious of condo pricing.

Charles said...

Is it the house upkeep that is making you think about moving? Trading a private house for a condo/apartment arrangement is not something I would go for. Noisy neighbors, trying to get things fixed, laundry, parking, other buildings close by that look in your windows (privacy), not to mention sorting and moving all your stuff. Ugh. You might look at something like a patio home or some of the connected houses in their own neighborhood.

Ann Althouse said...

Charles: I would NEVER live in a place like that. I can't even understand why other people like it, except as a way to save money. And I'd never move further out into the suburbs -- unless it was all the way into the country onto some mountain. My motivation is to live in a more interesting location and in a space that fits my needs in a way that I experience as rational and beautiful.

Wade_Garrett said...

Ann - To be honest, I think this place would really fit your style. Though I've always thought your photographs of your snow-dusted house near the stadium were really beautiful, I didn't realize your house was that big and that valuable. 4000 square feet and $800K worth of house is an awful lot of house for one person, especially with all of the upkeep it must involve!

Even if Barriques eventually closes (which I hope it never does), when you're a block away from the capitol you'll always have a handful of hip places to hang out within easy walking distance.

Jennifer said...

I say go for it! With a huge emphasis on the go!

After years of city living, I'm still trying to get used to the whole suburban thing. We tried to get into something more like what you are looking at when we moved here to NC but unfortunately no such luck. There aren't even sidewalks in this town.

And it is positively liberating to get rid of your stuff!

And, grandkids really couldn't care less where grandma is. My kids would love to go see Nana if she lived under a bridge.

Jacques Cuze said...

Hmm, I take back what I said. Keep the house. Move to Berkeley, or Boston, or Seattle, or San Francisco, or DC, or New York, or New Orleans, or Chicago, or Mexico City.

Podcast your non-lectures and make them available for download by your students. Or use webex.

Palladian said...

I'm really, really burned out on apartment living. I live in a 19th century factory building in Brooklyn, which I like quite a bit, but the whole "living around other people" bit is really not my thing. The building was very cheaply and haphazardly converted into dwellings right before I moved in several years ago. The walls are impossibly thin. The beautiful original embossed tin ceiling, covered with patches and holes and the scars of 130 years is charming, but acts as a giant sounding board, carrying the noise of everything from nasty arguments to torrid sex to barking dogs to white rap all over the building. There are 5 people living in the loft next to me who burn pot like incense and listen to 80s heavy metal (you know, it's ironic!) at full volume. I would like to simply add my voice to the chorus of people begging you to make sure that the place has good sonic insulation. But you lived in New York for years, so you know about all this already. I hope the move makes your life easier and more fun!

I do understand the appeal of a place in town like that. Madison seems like the right size to make that appealing. As much as my peers bitched about it, I really enjoyed living in New Haven, CT during graduate school and hope to move to a town that size sometime in the not too far off future. But of course remember that my ideal home is still, now and forever, Castle Howard. If that's not available, I could settle for Burghley House as a second choice. It's just too bad they're both in England. Maybe I can move one or the other to New Hampshire, possibly onto Justice Souter's seized property.

Oh, and if you're getting rid of Althouse artwork for the move, put me down for a small one!

froggyprager said...

As someone who lives in Madison and works on the square but lives near you, here are some thoughts. It is pretty wild that in Madison you can move less than 3 miles and get such a completely different environment.

The building is beautiful and the area does have an exiciting urban vibe. The condo is however in a pretty busy area with lots of trucks, traffic, state office buildings, etc. It would rarely be quiet. Friend would have to deal with parking issues if there was a downtown event. Thurs - Saturday nights would be very active down there with the bars, students, parties, etc. I am sure lots of people will be walking by the place at all hours going from King St. to State St. and home again. Yes, I love State Street however it is full of students year round which may get a little old. Another thing to keep in mind as far as resale is that there are plans for many new condos very close to that building, Metropolten place, Capitol West, etc. The good thing about that is that there will be more professional people downtown which would likely bring more amenties, new stores, etc. The area will change a lot over the next 5 years. Also, I am not saying this is bad, but the church across the street I think serves food to the homeless. Good luck!

reader_iam said...

Man, this looks familiar. I know I've been in the cafe relatively recently.

You say this used to be a hotel?

Joyce said...

pete said:
4.) I can't imagine this new place being very welcoming to your eventual grandchildren. And what about Christmases and Thanksgivings and such? What sort of traditions will this new place allow?

My brother and sister-in-law moved to a condo in Chicago a few years ago, a block from the Hancock Building. Their view is of a 13 story parking deck, with a little sliver of the lake being seen through the corner. But I would give just about anything to have their place. It is not large (2 bedrooms), they got a great deal, and the location is perfect. At Christmas there's the two of them, me, my mother and my niece. And we have a great time, without changing any of our traditions. A new building is going up beside them, and it will only increase the value of their place.

Ann, the place you're considering sounds perfect. Go for it.

Ann Althouse said...

About the view: That photo doesn't fairly represent what can be seen from the four separate windows. I took that picture to record exactly what I would see while sitting at the dining table in a way I plan to do a lot. I could have gotten many prettier shots, including an art deco building (with friezes) and an old church just across the street, a nice modern building on the next blog, and the Capitol square itself.

As to the thickness of the walls and ceilings, these are 12" thick. This was a luxury hotel built in 1925. President Kennedy and Mae West slept here, though probably not together. Do you think the other guests heard their orgasmic moans?

As for Thanksgiving: I'm thankful for anything that gets me out of Thanksgiving responsibilities.

Liz said...

...we take the kids and meet up with their grandmother Sunday mornings at Barriques when she gets out of church. We all enjoy it...

Charles said...

Ann: Sorry, just trying to figure out if there was some motivation about moving connected to maintenance or upkeep about the structure. Some people like a lawn, but don't want the yard work.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Ann,

I didn't see any squirrels or bats in the photos...

Ruth Anne Adams said...

a nice modern building on the next blog...

First it was web pages being like blogs, then books, now it's neighborhoods!

XWL said...

To follow up on Ruth Anne's comment and to misquote early Snoop,

"It's a Bloggy Blog world"

(original lyrics here, and really vile and offensive in parts, but damn, it's a smooth, catchy song)

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne: I always typo blog for block. Usually, I catch myself!

downtownlad said...

I dig it.

chuck b. said...

It occurred to me while I was driving around town today (i think about althouse when i drive around town? Most of the time i don't, but today apparently i did) wrt/ moving in to a high rise condominium...safety. I remembered my s.o. telling me about the time the fire alarm went off when he had people over at his place on the 19th floor, and how panicky everyone was getting down the stairs. I don't want to be in that situation. Of course, you'll be much lower down, but make sure you have a good way out.

Safety first!

:)

Maria said...

That a sandwich restaurant,lately I want to buy some foods but I found dress boots and I'm very happy for this.