Comparing and Contrasting the Canopy Hotel Designs

26 01 2016

Now with Chain Works published and State Street Triangle covered, it’s time to turn to another project undergoing some major changes, the already-approved Canopy Hilton hotel slated for downtown Ithaca. The cover letter from local project consultant Scott Whitham can be found here, new drawings/renders here.

Some of the figures stay the same – the height, for instance, is still 80′, 92′ to the top of the rooftop mechanical. Some figures have changed a little bit – the gross square footage (GSF) has gone from 74,475 SF to 77,844 SF, which is an enlargement of about 4.5%. The number of hotel rooms has also increased, from 123 to 131.

canopy_comparo_siteplan_old

canopy_comparo_siteplan_new

It looks like the bumpouts (“nooks and crannies”) were reworked, which would explain the revised square footage. The biggest changes appear to be along the western and southern (left and bottom) faces. The cafe patio and restaurant patio are still in place, but it looks like the shade/rock garden went out in favor of a delivery area.

canopy_comparo_terrace_old canopy_comparo_terrace_new

The second-floor rooftop terrace has also been revised. It looks like the area itself has been reduced (assuming those are skylights at the corners), and the fire pits also appear to have been removed. Although not shown, terrace plantings are visible in the elevations.

canopy_comparo_floorplans_old

canopy_comparo_floorplans_new

The internal arrangement has been jostled quite a bit. The hotel bar and cafe used to be towards the south side of the building, now its towards the east. The 2000 SF of standalone restaurant/retail that fronted Seneca Way is also gone, replaced by an expanded house offering. The second floor fitness center has been moved to the first floor where food prep and employee areas used to be, and the soaring two-storm meeting room was also axed.

canopy_comparo_elevations_old canopy_comparo_elevations_new_1 canopy_comparo_elevations_new_2 canopy_comparo_elevations_new_3 canopy_comparo_elevations_new_4

The outside has also been thoroughly revamped. The original plans called for “buff”-colored brick veneer, pre-cast masonry on the first floor, metal panels for the cornice and “Nobills Grey” fiber cement siding. The new scheme replaces most of the buff brick veneer with “modular” and “canyon smooth” brick veneer, topaz and “Topaz” and “Nobills Grey” fiber cement panels, and metal coping. Both plans use warehouse-style aluminum windows, although they’ve been reshaped in some areas (northeast corner for instance).

canopy_comparo_looking_SE_old

canopy_comparo_looking_SE_new

As a matter of personal opinion, the new design feels like a step back in a lot of ways, for example when looking SE as in the renders above. But the project had also struggled to obtain financing due to rapidly rising construction costs, which is what brought on a lot of the “value engineering”. For the record, there is financing in place now, whatever that finite amount is. If I were a hypothetical planning board member, I’d be thinking of recommendations that limit cost increase but still improve the appearance. I’d rather see the cornice atop the new southern stairwell go, and have the indents return on the NW fiber cement wall.

Another question that comes to mind offhand has to do with how this affects CIITAP. It doesn’t seem likely this has to go through the whole process again, but would these changes also have to be approved by the IDA as well? Perhaps a knowledgeable reader can chime in.


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3 responses

26 01 2016
Cornell PhD

No aesthetic objection to these changes here, though I agree with your suggestions if it’d mean an increased chance this actually gets built. More bummed about some of the interior/smaller changes – it would’ve been nice to have multiple restaurant spaces inside, the two-story meeting room, and the fire pits.

13 02 2016
News Tidbits 2/13/16: A Week of Uncomfortable Prospects | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] hotel; quite possibly the most version of a single project I have on file. What’s changed since last time? Well, the inset panels in the northwest wall are back. Some cast stone was added to the base,  […]

14 06 2016
Carey Building Construction Update, 6/2016 | Ithacating in Cornell Heights

[…] work on this block isn’t likely to stop anytime soon – just as the Carey wraps up, the Hilton Canopy hotel will be getting underway. The Canopy is targeting an early 2018 […]

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