Chicagoisms: More Than “Over By Dere” And “Da Bearz”
Apr14

Chicagoisms: More Than “Over By Dere” And “Da Bearz”

The Windy City lays claim to many firsts. Deep dish pizza. The electric dishwasher. The zipper. Architecturally speaking, the list is even longer. A clever take on the architectural thought leadership and approaches Chicago is known for is now on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. A new exhibit—“Chicagoisms”—shows how architectural innovations born here influenced design and construction all over the world. The Art Institute’s...

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Fifield Companies Celebrate A Bridge From K2 To Downtown
Apr11

Fifield Companies Celebrate A Bridge From K2 To Downtown

  Disneyworld is purported to be the happiest place on earth, but for number two on the list I’d like to nominate the West Loop apartment building K2 (365 North Halsted Street). On its one-year anniversary April 10th, I spoke with several residents who said they loved living there. Chelsey, a transplant from Baltimore, moved in shortly after K2 opened. She said her neighbors at K2 are very friendly and nearly everyone there moved to...

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Pizzuti Officially Unveils West Van Buren Residential Tower To Decidedly Mixed Reviews
Apr09

Pizzuti Officially Unveils West Van Buren Residential Tower To Decidedly Mixed Reviews

The West Loop may get a new sleek, tall building. Size, of course, is relative. At 32 stories, the proposed 1061 West Van Buren Street residential apartment building might be considered puny in the South Loop or Streeterville. By West Loop standards, it qualifies as a bona fide skyscraper. The West Loop is a magnet for developers, with construction projects popping up like spring daisies. But West Loop folks like their buildings...

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Blue Buildings Beam (The Bean, Too) On World Autism Awareness Day
Apr08

Blue Buildings Beam (The Bean, Too) On World Autism Awareness Day

If you’ve noticed a bit more blue during the evenings since April 2, it’s not your imagination. World Autism Awareness Day was marked in Chicago and around the world with buildings lit up blue. Nearly 140 buildings in The Loop and downtown were blue. Many of those buildings will remain blue through the week and beyond. At The Bean, a local Autism Awareness group held up signs—blue in color,...

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Chicago Lays Out a Complex Plan for the Future of the Fulton-Randolph Market Area
Apr01

Chicago Lays Out a Complex Plan for the Future of the Fulton-Randolph Market Area

The future of the Fulton-Randolph Market District could well look back on its past. Representatives of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development described an ambitious plan for ongoing development of the district. That plan will pay respect to the feel of the district’s heritage, even down to the exterior building design and streetscapes. There’s more than a little synergy between Chicago’s history as a food distribution hub...

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Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre Turns 125
Mar31

Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre Turns 125

 The Auditorium Theatre By The Numbers Age: 125 years Ranking in height among U.S. buildings when construction was completed in 1889: #1 Ranking among best venues to host rock concerts in 1973: #1 Year the Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuted in the theatre: 1891 Year the Auditorium Theatre was named a National Historic Landmark: 1975 Total available seating: 3,901 Money raised in 1933 (during the Great Depression) to refurbish the...

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10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About The Art Institute of Chicago
Mar24

10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About The Art Institute of Chicago

Thousands of people walk through the Chicago Art Institute every year to see “American Gothic” and “Nighthawks.” Students of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” can check out “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.” But only the true architecture geek will bypass the historic works of art on display at Michigan Avenue and Monroe in favor of the architectural curiosities of the grand old building. How much do you know about the...

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Pilsen Artists Use Old Tech And Current Thoughts to Make Social Statements
Mar17

Pilsen Artists Use Old Tech And Current Thoughts to Make Social Statements

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A musician walks into an old macaroni factory and starts a printing company. The musician is Jamiel Dado. He and his wife Elizabeth Isakson-Dado are creating one-of-a-kind art posters at their six-month-old Tandem Felix Letterpress. The company is located at 2150 South Canalport Avenue at the Lacuna Artist Lofts in Pilsen. Tandem Felix shares space with a number of galleries in the former...

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The Chicago Building That Inspired A Song And A Poem
Mar16

The Chicago Building That Inspired A Song And A Poem

Chicago buildings lay claim to many architectural firsts. Some structures past and present were cultural touchstones as well. One even had a song named after it—“Mecca Flat Blues.” Later, it became the setting for a major poem, “In The Mecca” by Gwendolyn Brooks. The Bronzeville apartment building at 34th and State Streets has been gone for more than 60 years, but it was significant for both its design and sociological reasons. Mecca...

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10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About The Rookery
Mar06

10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About The Rookery

You say you play a pretty mean game of Chicago architecture trivia? We’ll assume you’re a real hoot at cocktail parties. But do you REALLY know all the fun facts about the iconic Loop masterpiece The Rookery? We shall see. Give yourself one point if you know all of the following Rookery facts. A score of 5 or lower requires you to attend weekly Wednesday lectures at the Chicago Architecture Foundation for a month. A perfect 10 score...

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