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Icehendge? Chicago has a new Frank Gehry, and it's Like Nothing You've Seen

Studio/Gang's Clark Park Boathouse: A Century of Transformation flowing down Chicago's River

[June 19, 2013]. A new reception desk at Chicago's landmark Inland Steel Building has a very distinctive footprint. Read the article and see all the pictures here.

The July Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events

[June 30, 2013]. Check over 60 great events here.

Studio/Gang's Clark Park Boathouse: A Century of Urban Transformation flowing down Chicago's River

Studio/Gang's Clark Park Boathouse: A Century of Transformation flowing down Chicago's River

[June 3, 2013]. On the site of the long vanished Riverview amusement park, the neighborhood throught they were getting a 4,000-square-foot upgrade building for their 19-acre park. Instead, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a 20,000 square-foot boathouse, one of four, to be designed by famed chicago architect Jeanne Gang, financed, in part by the CEO of a company that makes slot machines. As construction comes to completion, we explore how city and nature interact over time along a half-mile stretch of river. Read the article and see all the pictures here.

The June Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events

[May 31, 2013]. Check over 60 great events here.

The Reveal: Tod Williams and Billie Tsien's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago
[October 11, 2012].
“I think in life it's generally true,” said architect Tod Williams, “everything's pushing to the more broadly based and generic, kind of universal answers. I think that's the trend of the moment, and I think there's certain places, certain institutions, and people that go against that. We go against that.” . . .

We had the opportunity to tour the this stunning new building, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts with its architects, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien last Friday, and the result is this photo-essay. Williams and Tsien talk to me about about how the building came about, how it works, and the challenges they faced in getting it done. Read the interview and see all the images here.

Reimagining Urban Eden:Studio/Gang and the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo[September 9, 2012]. So, here we are. Over a century-and-a-half after we supplanted a millennia-long ecosystem by dropping the first corpse into the ground of a new City Cemetery, we've come back to where we began. The Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo bills itself as a "multi-sensory, interactive ecosystem . . . (a) newly naturalized oasis in the heart of the city." Its goal is no less than to make the South Pond's 14 acres of land and water, plants, amphibians, fish and fowl into the kind of complex natural habitat that Chicagoans had spent the last century wiping from the face of the city . . .

Read the full story of Jeanne Gang and the Nature Boardwalk, and see all the photographs, here.


A Birthday Offering for Mies - the debut of The Architects Page
Modern Struggles, Modern Design - Dr. King and the story of Chicago's Liberty Baptist Church

[March 27, 2011] His birthday was actually on Sunday, but the Mies van der Rohe Society is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the great architect's birth with their annual bash at Crown Hall, Repeat website unveals its first its Architect's Page, devoted to Mies van der RoheMonday, March 28th.  It might not be the blowout of the 1950's student dance where Mies himself sat in his new Crown Hall happily puffing on his cigar as Duke Ellington and his orchestra set the huge panes of glass shaking, but you're still promised you'll be able to . . .

Celebrate the birth of a pioneer in Modern design and learn a little something about the unique characteristics of Mies van der Rohe’s work. Come for the company, stay for the cocktails! Just what are the marks of a Mies design? Wright auction’s Michael Jefferson will talk briefly about collecting the master’s work and will highlight market trends.
The party runs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., which leaves plenty of time for bar-crawling through your own more Miesian martini-run afterwards, and perhaps even participate in an all-out bar brawl over the size of the new window stops.  Tickets are $50.00, or $125.00 including a one-year membership in the Society, and will be available at the door.  A larger contribution, and maybe they'll let you operate the Crown Hall air vents that Ludwig Hilberseimer made it his job to open and close each day.  For more information, call 312/567.5030.

For our own celebration, we've launched The Architects Page: Mies van der Rohe, the first of what we expect will be a series of landing pages for important designers.  It's a collection of links to major articles I've done on Mies at IIT, the restoration of Crown Hall, the story of Farnsworth House and the battle to save it, and more, including links to books, websites, and even a brief video of Mies himself explaining the origin of a very famous phrase.   Plus a gallery of photographs.  Check it all out here.

Modern Struggles, Modern Design: Dr. King and the story of Liberty Baptist Church
Modern Struggles, Modern Design - Dr. King and the story of Chicago's Liberty Baptist Church

[January 17, 2011] On the day we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we remember how some of Chicago's most important civil rights battles centered around one of the city's most strikingly modern churches. Read all about it and see all the illustrations here.

Studio/Gang and the new Lincoln Park Nature Boardwalk. Part one: Raising the Dead - Necropolis as an urban eco-system

[October 19, 2010] Let's talk ecosystems.  When you come right down to it, anything beyond an amoeba is an ecosystem.  Each one of us is an ecosystem.  The worlds we find ourselves in, the worlds we create for ourselves, the obstacles and the fulcrums encountered on the way.  The family you grew up in, the relations of power between you and your parents, your siblings, your friends and adversaries, the house you grew up in, the neighborhood, the street, school and church. 

And no less than a bird building a nest or a rabbit digging out a burrow - if with a measure more ability and presumption - we also fabricate our own environments, in structure and landscape. Winston Churchill once said, "We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us."  That's an ecosystem.

It's easy to walk the site of the stunning new Nature Boardwalk, designed by Studio/Gang around the South Pond of Lincoln Park, and feel as if it must have been there forever, but in fact it, too, is a fabrication, the end point of a succession of often contradictory urban interventions.

Read all about it here, pictures, in abundance.

Yeah, I know, it's the 18th, so we're a little late, but a lot of things shut down for the summer, including, apparently, myself.

In any event, there's still nearly a dozen and a half great architecture-related events to come on the July Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events, headlined by this Wednesday's, July 20th, Jewels in July, at the Adobe Grill, Archi-treasures' annual benefit supporting their work bringing together architects, landscapes architects and community builders with non-profits who need their services.

The rest of July begins tonight, with James S. Phillips talking about The Evolution of the Chicago Bridge: A Brief History in Four Acts, at the Häfele America Chicago Showroom. RAW humor will be the subject of AIA Chicago Young Architects Forum event on Tuesday, the 19th.  AIA Chicago also has a session on Glass Reinforced Concrete on Thursday, the 24th, as well as no fewer than four more events on Tuesday, the 27th.  On Thursday the 28th, SEAOI's SEPAC cocktail party will offer great views from the Cliff Dwellers Club and an Engineers Discussion of the recent Japanese earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear plant.  Also on Thursday the 28th, at Pearlstein Hall at IIT, there's 3 Architects | 3 Different Approaches, a panel moderated by Roberta Feldman with architects Dina Griffin, Jackie Koo and Patricia Saldaña Natke.

And there's more!  Check all all the great events - air conditioning included! -  still to come on the July Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events.

Harry Weese, How Chicago Are You?, An Evening with Louis Sullivan, Planning and the Two Mayor Daley's: The May Architectural Calendar Rampages on!
May 2011 Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events

[May 8, 2011] Okay, so you're collapsed in your easy chair, exhausted from running the gauntlet of thirty-plus screenings and panels in this past weekend's Architecture and Design, plus a couple dozen other events so far in May.

Well, we're . . . . just  . . . . beginning!

Even with the Memorial Day holiday, there are still over 30 great events still to come in the May Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events, beginning with the final two festival screenings at the Siskel on Monday, covering Norman Foster and Aaron Betsky. The big event of the month is Saturday's day-long symposium, Harry Weese Reconsidered, at CAF, who which, as today, there are still tickets. (Sunday's bus tour of Weese's Chicago's buildings with Bob Bruegmann is sold out.).  On Friday the 13th, Ward Miller will sign copies of the great new book, The Complete Architecture of Adler & Sullivan at a benefit for Preservation Chicago at Sullivan's last commission, the Krause Music Store, now Studio V. Design.
This Tuesday the 10th, the Graham will sponsor a panel discussion, How Chicago Are You?, pondering "the role of place in the production of creative works", with such luminaries as Jeanne Gang, Dan Wheeler, Geoff Goldberg and Robert Somol, among others, on the panel, Paul Preissner moderating.  This Wednesday at CAF lunchtime, Laurence Okrent discusses his new book, Chicago from the Sky: A Region Transformed, 1985-2010,  while on Thursday the 12th at the Art Institute, John Camp will lecture on The Agora Excavations and the Archaeology of Democracy, while Friends of Downtown will present their Best of Downtown Awards at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery.

Want more?  There's this year's edition of CANstruction, Jonathan Muecke at the Graham, Tim Witman on Henry Hobbs Richardson in the Landscape, at the Glessner House, Elisabeth Logman on the K-Town Historic District in North Lawndale for Landmarks Illinois at the Cultural Center.

Next Thursday, the 19th, the Harry Chaddick Institute will sponsor another blue-ribbon panel including Miles Berger, Ruben Hedlund and others on Plans, Projects and Priorities: The Planning Legacy of the Two Mayor Daleys, on Monday the 23rd, the Häfele America Chicago Showroom co-sponsors with AISC a sessions on Innovations in Steel, while on Wednesday 25th, lunchtime at CAF, Serhii Chrucky discusses Popular Modernism: Chicago's Four-Plus-One.

On Thursday the 26th, Mathew Coolidge of the Center for Land Use Interpretation lectures at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, in conjunction with its great current exhibition, Public Works.  There's also a new exhibition at ArchiTech Gallery featuring some the early, marketing related work of Edgar MillerThe Changing Room continues at the Extension Gallery, as does Lee Bey's Chicago Then and Now, at the Water Tower Gallery. Those are just some of the highlights, and we haven't even gotten to the Festival of the Architecture Book yet.  Check out great shows and over thirty events still to come on the May 2011 Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events.

September 2010 calendar of Chicago architectural events[september 28, 2010] It's Louis Sullivan month! plus Kamin, Samuelson, Vinci, CTBUH, a tribute to Bruce Graham, Julie Snow and much more - the October Architectural Calendar

I'm sure I'll be adding things I've overlooked, but we've already got over sixty great events:  a tribute to the late architect Bruce Graham on the 14th, a symposium on the development of Dearborn Park, AIA Chicago's 55th annual Designight, the Richard H. Driehaus Preservation Awards, and Penelope Davis on The Propagandistic Functions of Public Monuments in Rome.

What's shaping up as the Louis Sullivan year continues with an October 8th Art Institute symposium, From Fragment to Photograph—Interpreting Louis Sullivan's Architecture, with Richard Cahan, Jeffrey Plank, Tim Samuelson, John Vinci, Alison Fisher and Elizabeth Siegel, plus the Glessner House Museum is sponsoring two gallery talks of the Cultural Center's great exhibition, Louis Sullivan's Idea, with co-curator Tim Samuelson, while back at the Art Institute on the 12th, curators Siegel and Fisher offer a guided walk through their Sullivan show, Looking after Louis Sullivan: Photographs, Drawings, and Fragments.  And on the 13th, again at CAF, there's a screening on Mark Richard Smith's new documentary Louis Sullivan:  The Struggle for American Architecture, which will also be shown at Evanston's Block Museum on October 28th.

On the 21st, The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat sponsors a free Tall Buildings Symposium at IIT, with presentations by William Pedersen and Ysrael A. Seinuk, and on each of this years four award winning projects.  On the 5th, the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois will hear Brian McElhatten of SOM talk about their zero energy Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, while CAF's Greg Dreicer will discuss their spectacular 320-square-foot Model City of Chicago for Friends of Downtown on the 7th.

You want books?  Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin discusses his new book, Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age on the 7th at CAF, where on the 20th, Alice Sparberg Alexiou discusses her book, The Flatiron Building: Chicago’s Gift to New York.  At IIT on the 18th, Dana Buntrock discusses the subject of her book, Materials and Meaning in Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Tradition and Today.

But wait - there's more!  Much, much more.  the Traditional Building Exhibition and Conference, the Design Evanston Design Awards, music's influence on Frank Lloyd Wright, Bill Becker, the Rosa Parks homes, CNU's 4th annual Illinois conference, Landmarks Illinois's Lisa DiChiera, the Rosa Parks apartments, the Baha'i Temple, a Bridgeport pub crawl, Julie Snow,  Ian Bogle, and, just in time for Halloween, Clarence Hatzfeld haunting the Park District's Julia Bachrach. And yet, there's still more.

Check all the over fifty events on October calendar here.


featured entry:
Infinite Curve: Viñoly's Chapel at the U of C Center for Care and Discovery
Hour of the Goose: New Water Taxi run offers fresh Architectural Portrait of the City
Modernism's Messengers: The Art of Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli, at the Chicago Cultural Center, through August 27, 2013
Modernism's Messengers: The Art of Alfonso and Margaret Iannelli, at the Chicago Cultural Center - at the Chicago Culturanl Center, through August 27, 2013

Architects' Pages:
A link to basic information and all of our articles and an architect and their buildings.

Architect's Page: Mies van der Rohe








.,.. Are We Dead Yet John Ronan Perth Amboy John Ronan - Post Office of the Dead Doug Garofalo MCA St. Boniface Competition Carol Ross Barney Oklahoma City Rem Koolhaas confronts Mies van der Rohe on the IIT campus Frank Gehry and Millennium Park Rem Koolhaas Seattle Public Library Helmut Jahn at IIT, State Street Village Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House is saved Crown Hall Mies Resurrected Chicago Architectural Events Calendar Glenn Murcutt - Force of Nature Rem Koolhaas roars back with his new book, Content Out of the Box, an exhibition on pre-fab housing, at Chicago's Field Museum

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Lynn Becker
writes on architecture, culture, and pretty much anything else that pops into his fevered brain. His work has appeared in the Chicago Reader, the Harvard Design Magazine, Long Island Newsday, Metropolis Magazine, and on his daily blog.

He has appeared on WTTW's Chicago Tonight, and on radio on Edward Lifson's Hello, Beautiful on WBEZ, and Milt Rosenberg's Extension 720 on WGN radio, and lectured at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Arts Club of Chicago. He has guest curated the exhibiton, Boom Towns: Chicago Architects Design New Worlds, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and has been attacked in Sherman Park by enraged squirrels.

He is available, and often actually coherent, for talks, as well as tours of Chicago architecture: personal, group or corporate. Please inquire here.


Chicago Model City
Chicago Model City, exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, through November 20, 2009
- at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, EXTENDED, through April, 2010


Green River, St. Patrick:
Chicago, the Emerald City, one March day every year.

Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.move your mouse over the image area to hide and display menus. click on individual images for more options .

See St. Patrick's Day in Chicago down through the years here.

Harboe at Carson's, Neutra discusses Neutra, Studio/Gang at Columbia College - SCB in Abu Dhabi, and much more: the August architectural calendar

It's the 9th of the month - time for the August calendar!

Actually, the first week was less front-loaded than usual, and a lot of Chicago institutions are still on summer Chicago architectural events for August, 2010hiatis, but there's still a ton of great stuff coming up in August. The National Public Housing Museum is offering a series of lectures on public housing in both architectural,cultural and social aspects each of the remaining Wednesday morning's in August.

On August 12th, Dr Raymond Richard Neutra, son of the famous architecture will lecture on the significance and survival of Neutra's Los Angeles VDL Studio and Residences for AIA Chicago, which is also offering a panel of architects including Walter Eckenhoff and Jackie Koo talking about hotel design throughout the world on Tuesday, the 10th, Christine Caryle discussing her firm's planning work in Abu Dhabi at Solomon Cordwell Buenz on the 11th. On Thursday the 19th,

AIA/Chicago will be offering a tour of the new Columbia College Media Production Center with a representative from the building's architects, Studio/Gang, as a guide. The same afternoon, the Glessner House Museum is offering a tour of the recently restored Louis Sullivan formerly known as Carson Pirie Scott by architect Gunny Harboe.

There's also SEAOI's day-long seminar on the Design of Low-Rise Reinforced Concrete Buildings o Tuesday, the 24th, when Christopher Miller is also talking about Urban Morphology at APA/Chicago. The Häfele Chicago showroom has a lecture by Robin Whitehurst and Greg Williams of Baily Edward Architecture on the Independence Park Bungalow project on Monday, the 16th, and there's an opening reception and a panel discussion led by Victor Margolin Monday the 30th at the opening of the exhibition Get Inspired! The Swiss Design Award at Crown Hall, IIT.

And that's not all! There are nearly three dozen great events in August. Check them all out here.

Bergdoll, Lohan, Johnson, Lothan, Maddox, Baer and Bey, restoring the Nickerson, Richardson and Wright - the July Architectural Calendar

[July 5, 2010] OK, so many of us have left the city for our summer homes in Fond du Lac, and lectures at places like CAF. UIC and IIT have shut down until fall, but take heart: there are still over two dozen great events on the July Calendar of Chicago Architectural Events.

On the 15th, MOMA's Barry Bergdoll talks about how the New York waterfront will deal with rising waters and global warming, while over at the Driehaus Museum, Joseph Antunovich lectures on the restoration of the Nickerson Mansion. On the 13th, the Harold L. Washington Library sponsors a panel, including Frank Christopher Lee, Dirk Lohan, Avram Lohan, Eva Maddox and moderator Lee Bey that takes on The Art of Chicago Architecture: Past, Present & Future, followed up with a July 22nd event where WTTW's Geoffrey Baer talks about Sculpture Among the Skyscrapers: Chicago Public Art. On the 20th, at the Hafele showroom, Chicago Women in Architecture offers up a panel on Striking a Balance, between professional and personal lives.

AIA Chicago is in heavy summer field trip mode, with tours of Booth Hansen's Rice Plant Conservation Science Center in Glencoe on the 15th, the Gensler offices in Louis Sullivan's Carson Pirie Scott Building on the 20th, Harley Ellis Devereaux's Sankofa House on the 30th, and OWP/P Cannon Design's OSF Mile Building at St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria on the 24th. This Wednesday, the 7th, James F. O'Gorman discusses the continuity between the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Hobbs Richardson, even beyond the fact that they both insisted on using three names, at the Glessner House Museum. That same evening, Nils Gore and Shannon Criss discuss Community Activism through the Design Studio for Urban Habitat Chicago at the Merlo Public Library on Belmont.

But wait, there's more!  Even before I eventually add in all the stuff I forgot to include, there's still nearly 30 great events on the July calendar. Check them all out here.

What Lies Beneath: The Architecture of Fritz Lang's Metropolis

Metropolis is playing at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, through Thursday. It should not be missed.

[June 9, 2010] The shining temples we build for our cities, sacred or commercial, serve both as reflection of our hopes and cover for our darkest desires. Nowhere has this been more forcefully - and entertainingly - expressed than in Fritz Lang's delirious 1927 film masterpiece, Metropolis. A consideration of the film's spectacular architecture - images, in abundance - here.

Pecha Kucha, remembering Bruce Graham, SEAOI awards, Ross Barney, Schulman's Chicago Modernism and 40+ more- Chicago architectural events for June Chicago Architectural events for June 2010Chicago Architectural events for June 2010The more fortunate of you may be contemplating your annual sojourn to the south of France, but for the rest of us there's no time Toulouse for architectural events in Chicago for June. It all starts out Tuesday, with Pecha Kucha Volume 14, also the location of AIA Chicago's First Tuesday's Happy Hour, followed by VOA's new Roosevelt U Tower at CAF on Wednesday, with John Edel discussing agroponics in old factory buildings for Urban Habitat Chicago that evening. On Thursday, there's Archeworks daylong seminar Infrastructures for Change, Preservation Chicago's Jonathan Fine at the Cultural Center for Friends of Downtown at lunch time. This year's Excellence in Structure Engineering Awards revealed at the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois annual banquet at the John B. Murphy Auditorium on Saturday, going up against two hour musique concrète performance by Lionel Marchetti especially designed for the Graham Foundation's Madlener House ballroom. And there are five more events just this week.

On the 10th, At Home: The British Invasion! with be considered by a panel at CAF, where there will also be a remembrance of Bruce Graham with Lucien Lagrange, Franz Schulze and Richard F. Tomlinson on the 17th. Principals from Architectuuer Lokall discuss Architecture and Policy in the Netherlands at AIA Chicago on the 14th. Glessner House museum offers its annual tour of the mansions of Prairie Avenue on Sunday, the 13th. Keith Bringe of the Chicago Art Deco Society delivers this months Landmarks Illinois Preservation Snapshots lecture at the Cultural Center on the 17th, and Carol Ross Barney discusses her work on the Chicago Riverwalk at AIA on the 23rd. The Open Hand Studio brings architects and designers together with community non-profits in a June 29th Meet and Match.

Summer reading? We got books and authors coming out of our ears. Samuel Roche and Aric Lasher discuss their Plans of Chicago at CAF lunchtime on the 9th, where the following week on 16th, Mary Beth Raycraft discusses his translation of Madame Léon Grandin's A Parisienne Discovers Chicago: Impressions of the City and the World’s Columbian Exposition. OWP/P Cannon Design's Kerry Leonard talks about The Third Teacher: 79 Ways You Can Use Design tojavascript:void(0) Transform Teaching & Learning at AIA Chicago on the 18th. And at CAF's June 23rd lunchtime lecture, Chicago Bauhaus & Beyond's Gary Gand lectures on Julius Shulman: Chicago Mid-Century Commission, a book of photographs the group commissioned for what would be the legendary photographer's final book project.

Soon it will officially be summer, and things will begin winding down. But for now, there's nearly 50 events to choose from on the June calendar. Check them all out here.

Buildings that are a Lot Better than you've Heard: The Max Palevsky Residential Commons [May 7, 2010] Philosopher, computer geek and philanthropist Max Palevsky died this week. The son of Russian emigrants, he was born in Chicago in 1924, growing up in Humboldt Park. In 2000, he gave $20 million towards the cost of what would eventually be named the Max Palevsky Residential Commons at the University of Chicago, designed by architect Ricardo Legorreta. "Just doesn't work," was the Trib's Blair Kamin's imperial dismissal after the opening. We thought it was a good time to take another look and see how well his opinion holds up. Read all about it, see the pictures and judge for yourself, here.

(Dot) Dashing Tower

Keep staring at the above photo and it will start messing with your head.

Balconies are the grand jest of residential towers. Developers know they need them to help push the units. Developers also know that once the sale is made, residents rarely set foot on them - you're more likely to see bicycles on them than people. Perkins + Will's Ralph Johnson has a new take on condo tower balconies, and it's made the new 235 West Van Buren one of the most distinctive presences in the South Loop skyline. Read all about - and see all the photo's - here.

Return of the Emerald City: Chicago dyes the river Green for St. Patrick's Day, 2010 No more teaser; here's the real thing. We've added video of some really neat stuff to our almost annual account of how Chicago goes slightly nuts for St. Patrick's Day, spreading green-river-mania to locals and visitors alike. This year, the emerald carpet was joined by fog and mist to give an almost magical aura to the city's architecture. Check out the video and all the great photo's here.

Holy Souls' End
Holy Souls' End - the demolition of a chapel on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive
[February 10, 2010]
The chapel looked a lot older than it was. It was constructed in the 1940's, in the traditional style, to serve the nuns of the Society of Helpers of Holy Souls, which made its home in an adjacent mansion on Lake Shore Drive and Barry.A cold, drear day of a winters that feels like it might never end seems a good time to recall the story of the great mansions of Wellington Street and the death of a sacred space, documented in a series of remarkable photographs by Susanne Schnell, here.

Twirling Rotini and Green Indulgences meet in a River North self park [February 4, 2010] In the old days you could buy an indulgence for your sins. Not much has changed. Today the accepted currency for indulgences is still green - just not as in cash, but as in sustainability. Green is to architecture as "low-fat" is to junk food, a label too often used to divert attention away from the usual trespasses. You can't get much greener than the new parking garage at Kinzie and Clark. The Greenway Self Park proclaims its virtue in its very name. The design actually includes "educational plaques" scattered through the garage to enlighten its users on "how to live green." Read all about it - and see all the pictures - here.

Cracking the QR Code: Reading a Building with your iPhone A new Tokyo building lets you read the thoughts of its inhabitants from its facade. Its innovative, cool, and a little frightening, all at the same time. Read - and see the photos and movies - about how Teradadesign Architects and Qosmo Inc. are infusing structure with social media and merging architecture with technology in ways Mies could never have imagined, here.





Daniel Burnham Saved from Drowning

[December 30, 2009] We're embarking on a new series, Chicago 2019, in which we hope to draw on the lessons of the past year, including the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics and the Burnham Plan Centennial celebration, to start talking about where we go from here.

This coming week, we hope to publish our post mortem on how the architectural elements of the celebration played out as the year went on, but for today, we give you . . .

Daniel Burnham Saved from Drowning We begin with an expanded - and copiously illustrated - version of the Burnham piece I wrote for the Chicago Reader earlier this year, in which we attempt to rescue Daniel Burnham from the murky waters of the sea of adulation marking this year's centennial celebration of his 1909 Plan of Chicago. This is Burnham with the bark off, and a tale of how the architectural component of the celebration was hijacked by academics and ideologues who were about as far from the spirit of Daniel Burnham as nature allows. Read the full story in all its gory detail, follow the links to all things Burnham, and see the images here.

Christmas in Chicago 2009
Yes, it's finally here. Christmas in Chicago, 2009. Watch for that special visitor coming to the subway.

Check out all the photographs here. And if you're still not Christmas'd out, check all the great photo essays and stories from previous years.

The Short Brutal Life of a Parade BalloonChristmas in Chicago, 2007Christmas in Chicago 2008
Christmas in Chicago, 2006Some Assembly Required: the Construction of Chicago's Christmas Tree

Michigan Avenue's forgotten secret: What's lies behind this innocuous facade?

Read the fascinating story behind the mystery here.

So much for memory.
Friend Pavilion co-designed by Walter Gropius destroyed as the opening shot in destroying the International Style Buildings on Chicago's historic Michael Reese Hospital campus

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw.

Already, the inscription had begun to be effaced by time, the loving gesture to create a place of healing, simple, open and eloquent, fresh air, stately trees, and beautiful plantings to ease illness's desolation, and nurture the convalescent.

Now it's dust.

Read about it here.

It's Big. It's Bold. It's sometime delirious, but don't miss this Burnham Centennial exhibition of Chicago architects' visions for the city's future.
Lynn Becker reviews Big.Bold.Visionary. Chicago Considers the Next Century, an exhibition at the Chicago Tourism Center through October 11, 2009
In our usually dilatory fashion, we're finally writing about Big.Bold.Visionary. Chicago Considers the Next Century, the great show that you have only four days to see until it ends its run at the Chicago Tourism Center, 72 E. Randolph, on Sunday, October 11th. It's a mix of new content and a "greatest hits" compilation drawing on various competitions, shows, and promotions going all the way back to least 2003, all jostling together, competing with and contradicting each other in a thought-provoking, challenging and entertaining way. Read a little bit about some of the entries that caught my eye - and my surprising pick for best of show - along with lots of pictures here.

No, it's not impossible. Landmarks Illinois' Athletes Village plan for the 2016 Olympics shows how to save Chicago's Gropius/Bauhaus legacyLandmarks Illinois issues an alternative plan for an athletes village for Chicago's 2016 Olympics that would save the Bauhaus inspired buildings on the former Michael Reese hospital campus designed in part by Walter GropiusThe preservation group Landmarks Illinois has created a stunning alternative plan for an Athletes Village on the former Michael Reese Hospital campus that not only saves five irreplaceable Bauhaus-inspired 1950's structures designed with the participation of the great German-American architect Walter Gropius, but improves on the official plans from Chicago 2016 both for the Olympics and the city, during and after the games. Read all about it and see all the striking renderings, plans and images here.

The Kindness of Night becomes them: Zaha's Chameleon Snail, Ben's Aching Blue MolarsThe Kindness of Night becomes them: Zaha Hadid's Chameleon Snail, Ben van Berkel's Aching Blue Molars at Millennium Park, Chicago During the day, the flaws of the highly dysfunctional pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid, which just opened this past week. a month and a half behind schedule, are all too apparent. At night, however, the projection of colored lights on the stretched tent fabric, like the skillful use of makeup on an aging ingénue, create a rich illusion of beauty. See all the photo's, plus the metamorphosen video, here.

David Woodhouse makes a building disappear at DuSable Harbor
David Woodhouse makes a building disappear at DuSable Harbor, Chicago [June 19. 2009] - It's Where's Waldo, but with architecture. Can you spot where the building is here? David Woodhouse Architects tames congestion and clutter at DuSable Harbor with a graceful unmatched set of the contemporary and the pastoral. Read all about it and see the pictures here.

Zaha's Web, Ben's Incredible Ice Cream Suit - the Burnham Pavilions in Chicago's Millennium Park
Zaha's Web, Ben's Incredible Ice Cream Suit - the Burnham Pavilions in Chicago's Millennium ParkZaha's Web, Ben's Incredible Ice Cream Suit - the Burnham Pavilions in Chicago's Millennium Park
[June 19. 2009] - Two Burnham Pavilions, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and UNStudio Ben van Berkel, were unveiled to the press Thursday morning just as the sun, breaking through the usually omnipresent clouds, set them both to brilliant shimmer. One of them is finished; the other is not. But even in its unfinished state, the Hadid pavilion had a delicate splendor. We were told it would soon be concealed from public view by a construction tarp, but we captured it in pictures before it disappeared under the covers.

Friday, June 19th, is the official opening. A photo essay, including videos of the architects explaining the origins of their designs and their relationship to Chicago and Daniel Burnham's 1909 plan, plus everything you need to know about this weekend's Burnham Centennial events, here.

Cecil Balmond and the Bonfire of the Vanities
This is an article I should have completed eight months ago. It concerns the most brilliant man I’ve yet to meet, the engineer, architect and polymath Cecil Balmond. A striking exhibition of his work, Cecil Balmond: Solid Void, is entering its final week at the Graham Foundation, 4 West Burton Place. Sorry for the short notice, but you will regret it if you miss it.

Is the new austerity the death of "star-chitecture"? And what caused eight months of writer's block? An article on architecture after the fall, the work, thought and relevance of Cecil Balmond, and a brief history of the Indian Rope Trick -all copiously illustrated with images and videos - here.


The Expulsion: Chicago set to destroy Bauhaus Modernism at Michael Reese Kaplan Pavilion, originally Private Pavilion, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Loebl, Schlossman and Bennett, with Walter Gropius as consultant, architects[April 25, 2009] The Olympics won't take place won't take place until 2016, and the winning bidder has yet to be announced, but to clear the way for an athletes' village, The Expulsion, sculpture at Singer Pavilion, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicagothe City of Chicago is rushing to grind into dust one of the city's richest collections of Bauhaus-inspired architecture, even as a young scholar reveals new information about the role of legendary architect Walter Gropius in the design of the Michael Reese Hospital campus.

Any way you look at it - environmental, architectural, historical, or planning - the city’s push to obliterate Michael Reese is about as far from sound and sustainable as you can get. Read about it, in all its aspects - and see all the photographs - here.

(Originally published, in somewhat different and far better edited form, as The Rush to Raze, in the Chicago Reader, April 23, 2009

An innie and an outtie - Zaha and van Berkel in Millennium Park Pavilion, Millennium Park, Chicago, celebrating 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago, Zaha Hadid, architectThat's Joe Rosa's description for the two pavilions to be erected on the Chase Promenade in Millennium Park as part of the centennial celebration of the Daniel Burnham's 1909 Plan of Chicago. The two designs were unveiled at a Friends of Downtown event at the Chicago Cultural Center late Tuesday afternoon. Read all about it and see all the renderings here.

Symbol vs Substance: Chicago's memorial to Daniel Burnham Does a proposed memorial to architect and planner Daniel Burnham represent an overdue tribute or a colossal failure of nerve?
Restoring Daniel Burnham's vision for a gateway to Chicago's lakefront
Should 2009 be the year to finally begin realizing Burnham's vision for a grand gateway to Chicago's lakefront? A story in three parts
I. The rebellion against a closed competition to design a memorial to Daniel Burnham.
Architectural Competition to design a memorial to Daniel Burnham
II. Is There a Disconnect Between Competitions and Chicago Architecture?
Chicago Architectural Club campaigns to crash the closed competition to design a memorial to Daniel Burnham
III. Restoring Burnham's Vision for a Grand Gateway to the Lake.

Time Regained - West Side Story in 70mm

(The Chicago engagement is now over, but if you're in Austin, you can still check out West Side Story in 70mm January 21, 23 and 24 ath the historic Paramount Theater.)

West Side Story, title backdrop by Saul Bass It's impossible to fully recreate the original impression created by a sensational work of art. We read the stories of the riot that broke out at the premiere of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps, but the separation of time divorces us from re-experiencing the full visceral impact of that event.

Leonard Bernstein's musical West Side Story was the sensation that demarcated the turning point of the 20th Century. Written at the crest of the Eisenhower fifties, with its overlay of "normalcy" in the clean suburban homes and the deceptive whitebread wholesomeness of the post-war boom, West Side Story, violent, raw and tragic, presaged the coming of the darker, splintering, disintegrating time to come. You have an opportunity, but only through Thursday, January 1st, to revisit the excitement that the film version of West Side Story created in 1961, with a rare showing of a new 70mm print at Chicago's Music Box Theater. Read all about the work, its troubled creation and how it holds up today, with pictures, here.

Lunatics we Love - Prince-Ramus Lost in the Esquire Funhouse

It begins with the image of Vitruvius "wherein he fellates his client--some emperor named Caesar" and goes downhill from there.

If you thought my stuff is bad, you've yet to encounter what may be the worst writing on architecture you ever encounter, Scott Raab's The Young Savior of American Architecture Burying Frank Gehry.

The subject of Raab's portrait, Joshua Prince-Ramus of the firm REX, is portrayed as having an ego that's even more bloated than Vince Vaughan after Thanksgiving dinner. Read all about it, and see the pictures, including Prince Ramus's spectacular Museum Plaza in Louisville, here.

Lola Lulu Chicago
Lola Montes, a film by Max Ophuls, at Chicago's Music Box Theater, and Lulu, by Alban Berg, at Lyric Opera of Chicago Laaaaadies! - and - Gentlemen!

In this corner! . . . representing the North side, child of Ireland, lover of students, composers and kings, dancer, actress, aerialist, Protestant apologist, the Countess of Landsfield and Queen of the Mammoth Circus: Max Ophüls' Lola Montes!

And in this corner! . . . representing the West side, seed of Frank Wedekind's fevered imagination, nutured by Mahler and Schoenberg, beloved of composers, painters, countesses and high school gymnasts, murderess of newspaper editors, victim of Jack the ripper: Alban Berg's Lulu!

THIS WEEK ONLY! you have the amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity to spend quality time with not merely one, but two of the most legendary femme fatales in the history of the dramatic arts! Scandal! Perversity! Murder! Redemption! Restoration! Read all about it - with Pictures! - here.

Burnham Plan-amania!: Architecture Lost? Burnham Plan Centennial
A Thursday morning press conference in Aurora unveils details of the ambitious plans for celebrating the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham's landmark 1909 Plan of Chicago. Will architecture wind up an also-ran?

Zaha and Ben, CAF and the Newberry, John Bryan and George Ranney, Uncle Dan and Mayor Richard - read about the cast of characters and what they've got planned, ponder some questions, and see the pictures . . . here.

Join me next Tuesday, September 23rd for Boom Towns!

Late last year, curator Greg Dreicer approached me about curating an exhibition at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. After failing to convince him, over several encounters, that this was a very bad idea, I agreed to do in less than six months what I've since learned is usually done over several years: an ambitious exhibition attempting to define the place of Chicago architects in the world today.

Well, it's Show Time! Boom Towns! Chicago Architects Design New Worlds, designed by Jason Pickleman, one of Chicago's hottest young talents, opens next Tuesday, September 23rd, with a reception at the CAF, 224 South Michigan, from 5:30 to 7:30 P.M. You're all invited, dear readers, and I'm pretty sure you'll have a good time.

I long ago lost all objectivity about this project, but I think the concept Greg and I finally arrived at was a strong one. We compare Chicago architects' signature projects - those that were clearly intended to stand out and define a certain type of building - in a series of pairings from two divergent locales and eras: the boom town of late 19th century Chicago and today's boom towns in Asia and the Middle East. In the 1890's, Chicago architects did most of their best work in their home city, and the result is one of the richest architectural legacies to be found anywhere. Today's Chicago architects must compete on a world stage, and their ambitious projects are as liable, probably more liable, to be built in Shanghai or Dubai or Hyderabad than here.

And so we have, for example, Solon Bemen's largely forgotten 1890 Grand Central Station, pictured to the left in the banner at the top of this article, paired with Murphy/Jahn's spectacular Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand, shown to the right. Another coupling contrasts Daniel Burnham's plan for Manila, in America's then newly acquired territory of the Phillipines, with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's eco-plan for Chongming Island, the world's largest alluvial island, just outside of Shanghai.

William LeBaron Jenney's Home Insurance building, often cited as the world's first true skyscraper, is paired with SOM's Burj Dubai, now the world's tallest building, and Ross Wimer's twisting Infinity Tower in Dubai. Louis Sullivan's 1893 Stock Exchange Building matches up with Goettsch Partner's new stock exchange complex on Sowwah Island in Abu Dhabi.

1890's legendary Mecca Flats, on a site now occupied by Mies van der Rohe's Crown Hall on the IIT campus, is contrasted with Studio/Gang's spectacular residential tower in Hyderabad, India. The company town of Pullman, on Chicago's far south side, finds its modern counterpart in a very different kind of company town, Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, where Smith+Gill Architects' hugely innovative Masdar Headquarters is a city-within-a-city that is designed to produce more energy than it consumes.

And Burnham and Root's 1892 Masonic Temple, at the time of its construction the world's tallest building and including what was perhaps the world's first vertical shopping mall, is compared to Xintiandi, Ben Wood's highly influential project that uses traditional Chinese architecture to create an innovative lifestyle center that is one of the most popular attractions in Shanghai.

These are all the spectacular projects. If it turns out we sometimes fail to do themfull justice, blame me, because everyone at CAF, from curator Greg Dreicer, to Mike Hollander who assembled the images (a herculean task, believe me), editor Katherine Keleman, program directors Barbara Gordon and Whitney Moeller, CAF President Lynn Osmond and the entire staff and, of course, the aforementioned Mr. Pickleman, have done an amazing job getting this exhibition into shape on an extremely tight deadline, and the participating architects have all been extremely generous with their resources and time.

I'll be writing more about this project later, including a photo-essay on Pullman asit survives today, but it's now in your hands. Join me next Tuesday evening at CAF and you get to critique my work. But, as Deborah Kerr once said, "When you talk about this in the future, and you will talk about it, please be kind. . . " It's my first time.

Boom Towns! Chicago Architects Design New Worlds opens Tuesday, September 23rd, 5:30 to 7:30 P.M., at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan. The exhibition runs through November 21st.

This is your underpass.
This is your underpass on LSD

Bricolage mosaic, Bryn Mawr underpass, Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Underpasses stink. And I'm not sure I really want to know what that smell is. Is there a more destructive - and more ignored -bit of urban infrastructure?

Chicago's Edgewater community chose to confront and defeat the blight with a pair of spectacular bricolage mosaics along the walls of the Bryn Mawr underpass. Read all about it, and see all the pictures, here.

Dead Mall Walking
Chicago Place mall, North Michigan Avenue
The ghost mall on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. Read all about it and see the pictures here.

A Chicago Glorious Fourth A Chicago Fourth, Wrigley Building flag
Fireworks, Grant Park, Chicago, July 3, 2008

A photoessay on a Chicago Glorious Fourth - a 2008 fourth, in point of fact - in flags and buildings and in the sky. See it all here.

Casting Piano's Nichols Across the Road Nichols Bridgeway, Chicago, Renzo Piano, architect

As a serial seducer lurks nearby, Renzo Piano's Nichols Bridgeway, which will join the Art Institute of Chicago to Millennium Park, crosses a major hurdle. See all the pictures here.

Six Reasons why the Chicago Children's Museum Doesn't Belong at Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park

As consideration of the Chicago Children's Museum move to Grant Park by the Chicago Plan Commission nears on Thursday, a summary exploration of why it's a bad idea. Read all about it here.

An Alternative View: In Support of the Chicago Children's Museum in Grant Park

Why Jack thinks it's a very good idea. Read all about it here.

Chicago Children's Museum - Spaghetti Bowl East? Spaghetti Bowl, Circle Interchange, Chicago proposed Chicago Children's Museum, Grant Park, Chicago, Krueck and Sexton, architects

Every time the Chicago Children's Museum issues a new design intended to demonstrate how the project is responding to critics and getting better and better, the thing winds up only looking worse and worse. Read all about the current rampapalooza - and see the pictures - here.

Staggered Truss: Not as Painful as it Sounds Staybridge Suites, Chicago, Valerio Dewalt Train, architects The American Institute of Steel Construction brings an innovative new engineering technique to Chicago. Valerio Dewalt Train sexes it up. Read all about it, and see what the thing will look like when it's finished, plus other pictures, here.

Jagged Icebergs and Open Pit - the Brutalist Design the Chicago Children's Museums seeks to force into Grant Park. proposed Chicago Children's Museum, Grant Park, Chicago, Krueck and Sexton, architects
Renderings the Chicago Children's Museum doesn't want you to see reveal the scarring intrusiveness of the structures it wants to build in Grant Park. See them, and read a critique of Krueck and Sexton's design, here.

Skyline Brides
Skyline Brides, Wedding photos against Chicago's iconic architecture
So here's a little relief from the hot and heavy coverage on the Chicago Children's Museum's increasingly corrupt campaign to grab land in Grant Park.

How many couples have found Chicago's lake and architecture to be the perfect backdrop for celebrating the most important day of their life? Click on the link to see just a few we've stumbled across over the last few years. The link . . . here

Chicago: World's Greenest City - at least on St. Patrick's Day
bottles of Green River in Chicago on St. Patrick's Day
Trump Tower along a Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day, 2008
So is St. Patrick's Day really an obsession in Chicago, you ask. Is the Pope Irish? Well, what about the mayor, then? Once again, here's our annual anthropological exploration of Chicago's strange and wonderful St. Patrick's Day rituals, like dyeing its river a day-glo green, with lots of stunning pictures, including the larger version of the above thumbnail of Trump Tower's emerald carpet - here.

Iannelli - and Wright - Out of the Storeroom

An associate of mine where I work was cleaning out our storage rooms Alfonso Iannelli, Los Angeles Orphem Theater Poster, George Whiting and Sadie Burtwhen he came across the distinctive artwork you see here. Looking it over, we were struck by the name on the stylized signature, "Iannelli", with three dots over the "i", and I immediately thought of Alfonso Iannelli, the sculptor who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright at Midway Gardens. Read all about the beautiful posters Iannelli created for the Los Angeles Orpheum between 1911 and 1915, and about his contentious collaboration with Frank Lloyd Wright on Midway Gardens here. And a bit of Sally Rand and a lot about sprites, too.

The Surreal Thing
The Legacy at Millennium Park, Chicago
Even as it celebrates the 40th anniversary of the city's landmarks ordinance, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks not only continues to leave many of Chicago's most essential buildings unprotected, it's upending the very definition of what a landmark building is. Read all about it, and see all the photo's, here. (originally published, in somewhat different and much better edited form, in the February 21, 2008 Chicago Reader, under the title, Losing our Landmarks.)

The Unprotected
Germania Club, Chicago
Oops, they did it again. As the Commission on Chicago Landmarks lands the smaller fish, many of the city's most essential and historically important buildings remain unprotected. Will the 1886 Germania Club and 1929 Daily News Building and plaza become the latest victims of its neglect? Read all about it and see the pictures here. (originally published, in somewhat different and much better edited form, in the February 21, 2008 Chicago Reader, under the title, Losing our Landmarks.)

What's Wrong/Right with this Picture?
Steven Holl's Linked Hybrid in Beijing

Linked Hybrid, Steven Holl Architects, photograph,
[February 20, 2008] - An accident of timing and light suggests a strange, unsettling mutation of modernism. Read all about it, and see the images and video, here.

250,000 LEGO's Can't be Wrong: Really BIG Shew at the Graham
Scala Tower, The BIG CPH Experiment, Seven New Architectural Species from the Danish Welfare State, exhibition at the Graham Foundation
New Graham Foundation Director Sarah Herda's first exhibition, The BIG CPH Experiment, Seven New Architectural Species from the Danish Welfare State, is a winner. You only have until March 1st to see it, but you still shouldn't miss it. Read - and see - all about what makes it so special here.

The Chicago Spire: You loved the building, now buy the soundtrack

Chicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava, architect

What do the Song of the Dwarves and Santiago Calatrava's 2,000-foot-high tower have in common? Read all about it, and how you can now be among the elect group of people (1,200 in all) owning a home in the world's tallest residential building - and see lots more pictures - here.

Endgame for one of Chicago's Great Public Places?
. Chicago Daily News Building, Holabird and Roche, architects

The Chicago Daily News Building, Holabird and Root's elegant Art Deco skyscraper from 1929, was the first building constructed over railroad air rights. With its broad graceful plaza, it was the first project not to turn its back on the Chicago River, but to embrace it. Now the Daily News Building is threatened with being cast in the shadows, and its great plaza destroyed, by a new office tower reportedly being considered by billionaire developer Sam Zell. Read all about the building's history, endangered present, and future potential, here.

Pedro E. Guerrero's American Century

Looking for a great last-minute Christmas gift? Check out Pedro E. Guerrero's A Photographer's Journey, which combines his strikingly Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photograher's Journey, Princeton Architectural Pressbeautiful and often iconic pictures of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Alexander Calder and Louis Nevelson, among others, with a memoir that provides both the stories behind the shots and the poignant saga of the trials and triumphs of his Mexican-American immigrant family.

It's a book that's continued to linger in my mind since I first read it this past spring. You can read about Guerrero's quietly epic story, and see a few of the photographs, here.

[December 3, 2007] Devout Catholic though he may have been, I've never really equated the great Catalan architect with Father Christmas, but over the last few years he's become a holiday staple on the December calendar as the Gene Siskel Film Center, for the third year, is showing Woman of the Dunes director Hiroshi Teshigahara's 1985 documentary, Antonio Gaudi, the week before Christmas.

Nouvel Khan, Tatlin garnish

As a Chicagoan born and bred, it's impossible to look at Jean Nouvel's stunning new 53 West 53rd, a 75-story hotel/condotower to be erected next to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, without thinking of its early precedents: the diagonal-braced tube skyscrapers of the great engineer Fazlur Khan, most especially the iconic John Hancock Building on North Michigan avenue, designed at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in collaboration with architect Bruce Graham.

Separated by four decades, the two towers offer up cogent and contrasting expressions of their respective era's. Read all about it, and see the pictures, here.

The Age of Bilbao, Ten Years Out

ArchitectureChicagoPlus correspondent, architect Iker Gil, reminds us that today is the ten year anniversary of one of the most pivotal dates in architectural history: the October 19th, 1997 opening of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. It was the day "The Bilbao Effect" drove the final spike through the heart of Post-Modernism, and the age of the Techno-Baroque was born. Read all about it - and see the photo-essay - here.

A Forest Departs - Tree by Tree
Deconstructing the AMA Park
At a deconstructing park, Big John scoops 'em up and sends them on their way. See the photo-essay and read all about it here. [POSTSCRIPT - read Harold Henderson's report on the trees journey and replantation in Humboldt park, from the Chicago Reader here.]

Chicago's Children Museum "fundamentally misconceived" - Blair Kamin
The Chicago Tribune's architecture critic analyzes why forcing a new home for the Chicago Children's museum into Grant Park is a really bad idea. Read all about it, plus check out - and perhaps join - a spirited reader exchange on the topic here.

A Landmark Event: The Art Institute of Chicago Brings Marion Mahony Griffin's The Magic of America to the Web
The Magic of America, by Marion Mahony Griffin, a new website from the Art Institute of Chicago
Nearing the end of her long life, Marion Mahony (1871-1961) finished her magnum opus The Magic of America as a loving tribute to the life and work of her late husband, architect Walter Burley Griffin. What emerges from its pages, however, is nothing less than a vivid portrait of an era, spread across two continents, America and Australia, a highly personal account of the birth both of modern American architecture and urban planning, and - by reflection and inference as much as directly - of Mahony Griffin herself, one of the most remarkable and enigmatic figures in American architecture.

Read all about it - and see the pictures - here.

Calatrava's Chicago Spire Looking for Persons of Interest
Look, but you can't buy - at least not yet, but you can see the ad on a finer bus shelter near you. Santiago Calatrava's design for the Chicago Spire continues to evolve. Read all about it and see the pictures here.
Chicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava, architect, bus shelter ad
Plus - a bonus pop quiz. What do Marina City and the Chicago Spire have in common? (Hint: think giant phallus hats) The answer revealed here.

Really Bad Photos of the Renderings the Chicago Children's Museum Doesn't Want You to See
Why is the CCM so intent on hiding its proposed building? See the photos here.

A Portrait of Mayor Daley's "Nowhere"
Here is a photograph of "nowhere":
Daley Bicentennial Park at end of Frank Gehry BP Bridge, Grant Park, Chicago

That's what Mayor Richard M. Daley derisively calls Grant Park at Daley Bicentennial Plaza, at the east end of the Frank Gehry designed BP Bridge, in still another ploy in his increasingly desperate campaign to muscle a 100,000-square-foot building for the Chicago Children's Museum into that same park. See a photo-essay on the park Daley seeks to destroy here.

Mayor Daley Rants and Rages; the Battle over Grant Park and the Chicago Children's Museum Explodes onto city's Front Pages and News Broadcasts

Who knew? When I wrote my article that appeared in the Chicago Reader last week (and also below) about the clout-heavy, and increasingly under-handed campaign by the Chicago Children's Museum in support of its land grab in Grant Park, I didn't really expect the issue would only days later become one of the biggest battles this city has seen in years.

On Monday, Mayor Richard M. Daley pre-empted 42nd ward alderman Brendan Reilly's announcement of his opposition to the museum's 100,000-square-foot building with an inflammatory rant villfying Reilly and charging opponents with being everything from child-haters to racists.

From my blog, here's a blow-by-blow guide to the conflict, with links to articles by mainstream media within the stories.

NEW TODAY [Saturday, September 22nd, 12:00 A.M.] The World Class Chicago's Children's Museum: We're Number 31! - "World Class Institution?" - Chicago Sun-Times and Parents Magazine beg to differ.

[Friday, September 21st, 12:00 A.M.] Gigi Pritzker crawls into Richard M. Daley's gutter - if it's not really all about race, why can't the Chicago Children's Museum Board President stop talking about it?

Tuesday, September 18th, 9:00 P.M.] Why is the Chicago Children's Museum Withholding Renderings of its New Building? - what is the CCM hiding?

[Tuesday, September 18th, 6:00 P.M.] Daley the Demagogue

[Tuesday, September 18th, 5:00 P.M.] Alderman Brendan Reilly's statement on the Chicago's Children Museum

[Tuesday, September 18th, 11:00 A.M.] Reilly opposes Museum, risks ruin. Daley diverts discussion and grabs headlines with the Big Lie

also, New Eastside Association of Neighbors' Richard F. Ward's web forum posting here.

. . . and this is where we first came in:

Forever Open Clear and Free (except when it comes to me)
Chicago Children's Museum, Krueck and Sexton, architects
[September 17, 2007] The Chicago Children's Museum wants to build a new 100,000-square-foot home in the same Grant Park where, a century ago, A. Montgomery Ward fought a long, bruising, and ultimately successful battle to enforce a 1836 mandate that Chicago’s lakefront public ground be kept “a common to remain forever open, clear and free of any buildings, or other obstruction whatever.”
Daley Bicentennial Plaza Park
They're flexing their clout and reviving the playbook of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley's vaunted political machine to make sure nothing gets in their way, but community groups and open space activists aren't co-operating.

Read a blow-by-blow account of the battle over the new building, complete with renderings and photos, here.

A Honest Critic's Credo - from a Surprising Source
Who would perpetrate such a thing? We unmask the mystery culprit - and reveal his picture - here.

Sixteen Short Pieces on A City Neighborhood
A walk through the pleasures and pains that form the texture of Chicago's Logan Square. Read all about it, and see all the photos, here. [originally published, in much better-edited form, and with far more professional photographs, in the Chicago Reader, August 10, 2007, under the title, Between the Boulevards.]
Sixteen Short Pieces on a City Neighborhood - Logan Square, Chicago

It's Official - Calatrava's Chicago Spire Hole in the GroundChicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava, Architect
So far, he's been true to his word. Garrett Kelleher, the Gatsby-like developer behind the $2 billion Chicago Spire, a project he's launching without a single pre-sale, had said he expected to get architect Santiago Calatrava's twisting, 150-story tower into the ground quickly, and if its not quite the spring launch he predicted before the Chicago Plan Commission last April, it's close. See a photo essay on the early stirrings on the site here.

Toy Futures, plus Lego Sins of My Youth

Are Lego's mightier than the bulldozer? ArtAsiaPacific magazine and the People's Architecture Foundation have handed each of a selected group of Asia's leading architects a white-bricks-only Lego set (who selected the pieces - Richard Meier?) with which to create models intended to be "exhibited and auctioned to raise awareness about architectural preservation in Asia . . . The project engages concepts of creativity through play and issues of urbanism, new design and heritage awareness that affect architects in a region undergoing dramatic change and development. " See some of the models and read all about it, here. And while your at it, you can check out my own Lego juvenilia here, and leave your caustic and derisive comments here. I can take it . . . I think.

When Too Much is Just RightWashtenaw and Logan house
[June 19, 2007] A colorful interloper knocks the top hats off the stuffed shirts of Logan Boulevard. Read all about it, and see the photos here.

Major Jenney Garners a Salute

[June 6, 2007] On June 15th, 1907, William Le Baron Jenney suffered twin indignities. The first, he found himself inWilliam Le Baron Jenney Los Angeles, the second, he died. He has remained dead now, give or take a week or so, for one hundred years.

Celebrating the anniversary of someone's death is something you'd think you'd wish only on an enemy, but we're always looking for any excuse for a good party. If a birthday Home Insurance Building, William Le Baron Jenney, architectisn't available in a large round number, a death can be made to make do.

So over the next few weeks, we're saying a big, "Here's to you, WLJ," with a series of events that commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jenney's passing, including a Saturday symposium at the Chicago History Museum, the dedication of a new Jenney monument at Graceland Cemetery, and a series of lectures at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

Jenney's major claim to fame is as "The Father of the Skyscraper." Leroy Buffington may have been the first to patent the idea of a metal-frame building, but Jenney was the one who got it done, in the 1884 Home Insurance Building. Read all about Jenney - and see the pictures - here.

Sao Paulo goes Martin Luther
on Signage's Ass
[May 16, 2007]
Sao Paulo bans signage

Imagine there's no neon
It's easy if you try . . .

Pope Benedict's current roadshow invocations against the Fleurs de Mal notwithstanding, it's hard to imagine Brazilians giving up sex, but perhaps even more difficult to imagine them giving up advertising - read all about it and see the pictures here.

The New Spertus Lightens Up (Genesis 1-3)
Spertus Institute, Krueck and Sexton architects

[April 26, 2007] Photos (lots) and quotes from a press preview of Krueck and Sexton's spectacular new Spertus Institute, which brings Chicago's Michigan Avenue historic district into the 21st Century. Read and see all about it here.

Myron Goldsmith, Quiet Poet of American Architecture

Kitt Peak National Observatory, Myron Goldsmith, architect

[April 9, 2007] You have only five more days to see an exhibition at the Arts Club of Chicago of the often astonishing work of master architect Myron Goldsmith. Read all about it and see the pictures here.

The Architecture of Dreams and Waking
Uptown Chicago

Uptown built as if it were going to conquer Chicago, but spent most of the following century battling a hangover. Today, it remains the place where florid ambition and cold reality collide. Read all about it, and see the pictures here.

Santiago Explains it all for you
Chicago Spire, Santiago Calatrava, architect
Chicago is now officially in the throes of Spire-mania. Over 500 people packed two separate meetings on Tuesday to see and hear developer Garrett Kelleher and architect Santiago Calatrava present what may Santiago Calatrava watercolor of Chicago Spireactually be moving towards the final design for the Chicago Spire, their 2,000 foot high tower to be built on a derelict peninsula between the Chicago River, Ogden slip, and Lake Michigan.

There'll be a much more to come after we finish transcribing, including a full account of the proposals, prospects and designs for the long-unrealized DuSable Park, just east of the Spire, but for now, read our account on how Calatrava sat down next to an overhead projector, picked up a brush, and began creating watercolors to explain his concepts. ""Just working as I work in my office," Calatrava said, "bringing you into my office, and sitting you across from me and showing you how I would approach a thing like that, such an important thing, (through) a balance of very simple gestures."

Read all about it, and see a sampling of the images to come, here.

AIA Illinois Finally gets that whole"Best of" list thing right
AIA Illinois 150 Great Places
After a silly season of "best of" lists that's ranged from the American Institute of Architect's lazy and inane America's Favorite Architecture to the Illinois Bureau of Tourism's beauty contest quest for the Seven Wonders of Illinois, AIA Illinois has finally gotten it right.

With 150 Great Places in Illinois, they've finally come up with a compilation that comes off neither as a joke nor as something a PR intern tossed off between assignments. It's a great combination of usual suspects and unexpected discoveries, and it's all available on an addictive, informative and superbly designed website. Read all about it and see some of the photos here.

Studio/Gang's Aqua Begins to Flow
The Aqua at Lakeshore East, Studio/Gang, architects

[March 19, 2007] It's actually happening. Aqua, the rippling 82-story tower designed by Studio/Gang's Jeanne Gang and Mark Schendel is beginning to rise on its site at Columbus and Lake in Magellan Development's massive Lakeshore East complex.

You usually don't see all the things that go into a skyscraper laid out before you like a jigsaw puzzle ready to be assembled, but that was the case this weekend, as crews from McHugh Construction, the contractor of record for the project, were preparing for the sinking of the cassions that will support the tower. See the pictures here.

Mies van der Rohe devoured by Giant Dinosaur
Mies van der Rohe devoured by giant dinosaur

Astounding and Shocking Details Here o mention them all here, but you can check it all out here.

Endgame: Is the Fix in for the Farwell Building?

In January, to general astonishment, the Commission on Chicago Farwell BuildingLandmarks flashed a bit of backbone and voted down a Planning Department proposal to demolish the landmarked Farwell Building on north Michigan Avenue.

Well, we can't have that, can we?

A special session has been set for 9:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 8th to reverse the January vote. Read all about how power works in this city, including the developers and architects who are cutting the big checks to the local alderman promoting the Farwell's demolition here.

Young? Chicago?
Gyeonggi-do Jeongok Prehistory MuseuGyeonggi-do Jeongok Prehistory Museum, Korea, Paul
What does it mean to be a Chicago architect or designer? Are there affinities and synergies that they share, or could they just as well be working in anywhere U.S.A.? A new exhibition at Chicago's Art Institute puts the work of a sweet sixteen of architects, industrial, fashion and graphics designers on display, and the museum's new curator of Architecture and Design, Joseph Rosa, tries to make sense of the mix. Read all about it, and see the pictures, here.

Harold L. Washington Library, Chicago

To mark its 150th anniversary, the American Institute of Architects has proclaimed 150 structures as America's Favorite Architecture. Laughter and ridicule ensue. Feel free to join the fun. I do my part here.

Urbanlab Wins City of the Future

Thursday, February 8th: It was announced this morning that Chicago firm Urbanlab has won the $10,000 first prize in the History Channel's The City of the Future Competition, for their vision of the Chicago of 2106. Urbanlab City of the FutureThe firm had already won $10,000 for winning the Chicago leg of competition, and now wins the additional $10,000 for beating out entries from similar competitions in New York and Los Angeles.

The winner was selected by the public via the City of the Future website. The award was announced by architect Daniel Libeskind, who served as "national competition juror." "UrbanLab is thrilled to have been named the National Winner of the City of the Future competition," said the firm's Martin Felsen, "especially considering the high caliber of ideas and proposals generated by the competition participants. We'd like to thank The History Channel for providing such an important forum, at a pivotal time, for an open discussion of future design directions of our cities. Read my take on the competition, and see the pictures here.

Kamin unveils latest design for Calatrava's Chicago Spire

Less than a week after it was withheld from a packed public meeting, Santiago Calatrava's latest design for the 2,000-foot-high Chicago Spire is unveiled by Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin. Read all about it - and see the pictures - here.

Calatrava Spire Enshrouded in Irish Fog

Donald Trump step aside. Garrett Kelleher may be the most Garrett Kelleherconfident developer on the face of the earth. Monday night - January 15th - the man behind the proposed Chicago Spire, the twisting 2,000-foot-high tower from superstar architect Santiago Calatrava - flew in from Ireland to present his project to a meeting sponsored by the Grant Park Advisory Council. But in patiently – mostly - taking on questions from an overwhelmingly enthusiastic crowd that braved snow, ice and cold to pack Daley Bicentennial Plaza fieldhouse just east of Millennium Park, he raised as many questions as he answered. Read all about it - and see the pictures - here

Extreme Makeover, North Lawndale Style

Tonight's (Sunday, January 14th, 7 P.M.) installment of ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition in Chicago's North LawndaleExtreme Makeover: Home Edition goes back to the city to rehab a home in Chicago's historic North Lawndale neighborhood. Read all about it - and see the pictures here.

Proposal to demolish landmark Farwell Building suffers surprise defeat.

In a vote that appeared to shock both city planners and preservationists, a proposal to strip the facade from the landmark Farwell building, store, repair and reassemble it on a new building, was today defeated in a close vote by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. Read the update post here or read the original article on the controversy here.

Crawling Into the Bunker

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Headquarters in Washington D.C. by Moshe Safdie and Associates ArchitectsA new headquarters for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Washington, D.C. raises questions about the message of federal architecture in a time of the war against terror. Read all about it here.

Universally, Christmas is a celebration of darkness over light. We may just have a more bulbs than most. See all the pictures here.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Pacific Overture

Frank's Home, a new play by Richard Nelson at Chicago's Goodman Theatre by Frank's HomeRichard Nelson starring Peter Weller and Harris Yulin captures Frank Lloyd Wright at the point between despair and resurrection. Read all about it here.

It's Not Bombed-Out Berlin - It's Our Legacy!
Wabash Avenue facades A photoessay on Chicago's latest and most spectacular facadectomy. Read and see it here.

Massive Sideshow?

Bruce Mau's Massive Change at the Museum of Contemporary ArtThe brilliant graphics designer Bruce Mau says his exhibition Massive Change is "not about the world of design; it's about the design of the world." The world may have other plans.

Massive Change and it's accompanying exhibition, Sustainable Architecture in Chicago: Works in Progress, showcasing green projects from seven top Chicago architects, are in their final weeks at the Museum of Contemporary Art. (Massive closes December 31st, Sustainable January 7th)

What's the disconnect between the wonders on display and their actual impact on our world? Is Mau's grandiose vision a roadmap to paradise or a triumph of public relations?

Read all about it - including Mau's commentary as he toured his exhibition - with lots of pictures and links, for both shows - here.

Calatrava's Latest Twist from Spire to Licorice Stick

Santiago Calatrava's Chicago Spire Architect Santiago Calatrava's towering lady is packing on some pounds. Both Crain's Chicago Business and Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin have filed reports on this week's announcement of changes to The Chicago (formerly Fordham and AKA Calatrava) Spire, the megaproject taken over earlier this year by Dublin's Shelbourne Development Corporation. Read about all the changes and the challenges to getting the project built, and see the pictures here.

Bertrand Goldberg's Marina City to be proposed for Landmark Designation today, Thursday, December 7th

At a session that begins at 11:00 A.M. this Thursday morning , Bertrand Goldberg's Marina Cityarchitect Lynette Stuhlmacher of Docomomo Midwest and Lisa DiChiera from Landmarks Illinois will recommend that Bertrand Goldberg's Marina City complex be designated an official city landmark.

One of the most important complex of buildings in Chicago's history, Marina City, known for its twin, 578-feet high "corncob" towers each that have become an icon of the city throughout the world. It has no official landmark protection, and the base of the pioneering mixed used development's hotel has recently undergone a unfortunate repainting. Read all about the battle to protect Chicago's rich modernist legacy here.

Eglise Saint-Pierre a FirminyLast Things

A half century after its design and four decades after the architect's death, Le Corbusier's Eglise Saint-Pierre à Firminy is finally completed, while legendary Chicago writer Richard Stern offers up his alternative translation of Rainer Maria Rilke's final poem. Read about them both here. (photograph: Der Spiegel) \


Richard Nickel's Chicago Richard Nickel's Chicago creates an moving portrait of the city and its people at mid-century, of wonders lost, and of the photographer who gave his life trying to save them.

Richard Nickel photographed ghosts. His subjects were the remains of the “City of the Century,” whose wild growth -- from 30,000 people to over a million and a half in under 50 years -- fueled the building boom that created Chicago’s earlyskyscrapers, its great houses, and the fantasy world of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. But by the time Nickel began taking pictures of Chicago in the 1950s, the inner city neighborhoods that had been the city’s pride had been panic-peddled s into slums, and by the late 60's rage piled on neglect and set the streets ablaze, while in the besieged Loop, a rich architectural heritage that was admired worldwide was decimated and discarded as if it were yesterday’s garbage. Read the rest of the poignant story - and see some of the photos - here.

The Short, Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon
The Short Brutal Life of a Parade Balloon

Friday, June 2nd - TIF's - Robin Hoods in Reverse?

Step right up, step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and guess -

City of the Future competition sponsored by The History Channel

"What will Chicago look like 100 years from now?" That's the question a competition sponsored by The History Channel is posing to eight of Chicago's top design firms, participants in the marathon, all-day event taking place this Friday, November 17th. It's at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, in the beautiful atrium of Daniel Burnham's Railway Exchange Building on Michigan Avenue, and it's open to the public. Read all about what could be a great show- and learn what architecture will really be like a century from today - here.

Postscript: UrbanLabs wins $10,000 first prize.


How fires, demolitions, scaffoldings, and arson investigations Heneghan Wrecking Companyhave hijacked the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Louis Sullivan's birth. Read all about it here.


Happy 150th Birthday Louis Sullivan - We've Burned Your Third Building This Year!

Adler and Sulivan's George M. Harvey House destroyed by fire

In January, it was the K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist Church. Little more than a week ago, it was the 1887 Wirt Dexter Building. Today, an early morning blaze has made the George M. Harvey House the third Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan landmark to be destroyed by fire just this year. Architectural preservation in the city of Chicago has hit another new low. Does anyone here know how to play this game? Read all about it and see the sad pictures here

Slumming up Marina City

Painters at Bertrand Goldberg's Hosue of Blues Hotel at Marina City in Chicago

New management steeps the House of Blues Hotel in ugly as a part of another renovation of the former office building in architect Bertrand Goldberg's world famous Marina City complex in Chicago.Read all about it - and see the photos - here.

Massive Fire Claims Adler & Sullivan landmark

Adler & Sullivan's Wirt Dexter Building gutted by fire

A five-alarm fire Tuesday claimed the landmark Wirt Dexter building in Chicago's south Loop, one of the few surviving structures from the partnership of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. Coupled with the loss of the firm's K.A.M. Pilgrim Baptist Church, also to fire, early this past year, it raises questions about the city's commitment to protecting its architectural legacy. Read the full story and see all the pictures here.

Chicago's Orchard Street - Urban Menace?

Chicago's Orchard Street - Urban Menance Today's Chicago Tribune Sunday magazine is largely devoted to how the city's wealthy elite are creating mega-mansion mania on a several block stretch of Orchard Street in the city's Lincoln Park area. "There goes the neighborhood," is the Trib's Blair Kamin's take. Why?

What's really going on? Is the Tribune Sunday Magazine, in the words of its editor, "indulging in real estate pornography?" Or should we all lighten up and just enjoy it? Read all about it - and see all the photos - here.

Not the Usual Campus Suspects

Not the Usual Campus Suspects - overlooked gems on Chicago's college campuses

Chicago's college campuses have always been home to some of the city's best architecture.Here's a few gems that frequently get overlooked. (Originally published September 22, 2006, in a far-better edited form in the Chicago Reader under the title, It's All Around You.) Read all about it - and see the photos - here.

End of the Road

End of the Road - CHicago's Carson Pirie Scott to Close its Landmark store designed by Louis Sullivan in 2007

Last Friday saw the sudden announcement by its current owners that the century-old Carson Pirie Scott department store on State Street, one of architect Louis Sullivan's greatest masterpieces, will be shut down by March of next year. I'll be writing a lot more about this, and about the journey of Chicago's State Street from one of the world's greatest shopping venues to a a diminished collection of discounters and outlet stores, when Federated rebrands the venerable Marshall Fields store in Macy's colors as its local flagship in September, but for now here's a few initial thoughts - and more pictures - on what's going on and where we might be heading. Read and see it here.

Skyscrapers of the Sea

Today, Wednesday, August 9th, is the last day to see Tall Ships Chicago 2006, 17 different sailing ships docked along the Chicago River and Navy Pier. In their own time, these ships were among the tallest man-made structures, scraping the heavens on water as the spires of churches and cathedrals did on land. Read about how they stack up next to Chicago's tall buildings - and see all the photos - here. .

Form Based Codes - Reform or Legislated Mediocrity? The City of Evanston's Plan Commission is sponsoring a talk tonight, Tuesday, August 8th, by Paul Crawford, chairman of the Form Based Codes Institute, with the title Form Based Codes: An Alternative Approach to Regulating and Shaping Development. To quote from the commission's description, "Often associated with Smart Growth and the rise of “New Urbanist” planning concepts, form-based codes place primary emphasis upon the physical form of development, including building height, bulk, façade treatments, the relationship of the buildings to the street and to one another and the location of parking." Get more information, and read a few cautionary comments, here.

Adler & Sullivan's Last Frame House On Hit List?

What do you give one of history's greatest architects for his 150th birthday? If the city is Chicago and the architect Louis Sullivan, the gift could wind up being one less surviving building. The current owner of the 1888 George B. Harvey House is threatening to apply for a demolition permit. Will the house survive, or be replaced by another stack o' condo's? It's shaping up to be a classic battle between money, clout and culture. See the photographs, and read all about it - including a very hopeful postscript here.

Freedom Tower, New York City, Skidmore, Owings and MerrillFreedom Tower, from Tragedy to Farce

What is a freedom tower made of? Pure spin., Architect David Child's final design for the Freedom Tower on the World Trade Center site may be bringing a long, sad saga limping to a close. Read all about it here.

What Makes Frank Run?

The Sketches of Frank Gehry

Sketches of Frank Gehry, a new documentary from veteran director Sydney Pollack, is less a hard-nosed investigation than an engaging and affectionate portrait of a close friend. Pollack, whose work as a director includes Tootsie, Out of Africa, The Firm,and The Way We Were, made the picture over the course of a five-year period that saw Gehry rise from being merely famous to inescapably ubiquitous. Today, Gehry stands alone. Like Frank Lloyd Wright in the 40's and 50's, Frank Gehry, for many, has become the personification of the word, "architect." Read the full review and see the pictures here.

Before Sandra and Keanu - Building The Lake House

The Lake House, Warner Brothers Pictures

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves may be the stars, but the title character of the new film, The Lake House, was quite a production itself. Read all about it here.

A Lost World - a vanished era finds it voice in the ruins of a movie palace

The era of the movie palace is one of the most incredible - and largely unexamined - periods in American history. A new documentary on Chicago's Uptown Theater, debuting this Thursday, June 8th at the Portage Theater, recaptures the lost optimism of that time. Read the full story and see the pictures here.

A James Turrell Skyspace Comes to a Very Different Maxwell Street in Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago refabricates the neighborhood formerly known as Maxwell Street as a new and very different urban reality. Read all about it and see all the photographs here.

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