Slice of Life: Red on the River
Mar21

Slice of Life: Red on the River

The Wrigley Building (400 North Michigan Avenue), the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile (540 North Michigan Avenue), and the InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile (505 North Michigan Avenue) team up to paint the sky red at the junction of Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River on a frosty March night. Did you enjoy this article? Click to give the author a few...

Read More
One Hotel, Two Hotel, No Hotel, New Hotel
Jan27

One Hotel, Two Hotel, No Hotel, New Hotel

Just when you thought another hotel couldn’t be crammed into Chicago’s Near North neighborhood, Crain’s Chicago Business reports that one is coming to Rush Street. In fact, it’s coming to Crain’s old headquarters building at 740 North Rush Street, which sported a legacy “Crain’s” logo in fading paint way up high on the facade until just about a year ago. These days, of course, the...

Read More
Chicago’s War on Pillow Mints Has a New Target
Dec20

Chicago’s War on Pillow Mints Has a New Target

If you work in the hotel industry, you can be forgiven for thinking that 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly hates pillow mints and impossibly small bars of soap.  For the second time in a week, he’s put pen to paper in an attempt to kill or curtail a new hotel project in Chicago. The latest victim is the curious proposal at 403 North Wabash Avenue.  You may remember it as the weird idea to plop an 18-story Hyatt House on top of...

Read More
Walkin’ in Memphis? No, This is Dearborn Street
Oct24

Walkin’ in Memphis? No, This is Dearborn Street

It’s funky. There’s voodoo in the air. The green room isn’t green, but its bathroom bears the autographs of Lady Gaga, Michael J. Fox and countless other celebrities. If you figured out I’m not describing the First United Methodist Church, you’d be correct. This is the Chicago House of Blues. The Bertrand Goldberg-designed concert venue-restaurant-bar inside Marina City.  The venue was erected in 1967. During the CAF’s 2013 Open House...

Read More
Slice of Life: 7:20am – Time for Gum!
Oct11

Slice of Life: 7:20am – Time for Gum!

As the winter sun slides farther south, light is getting harder and harder to come by in the alleys and canyons of downtown Chicago. The magnificent Wrigley Building (400 North Michigan Avenue), is bathed in sunlight just a few minutes each morning, right around 7:20am.  That is, if the clouds will permit it. This article is the result of photos sent in by someone just like you. If you see something interesting in your neighborhood,...

Read More
Slice of Life: Grace Among Philistines
Aug07

Slice of Life: Grace Among Philistines

  A good friend recently introduced me to her peculiar hobby – photographing historic tile foyers.  And ever since then, I can’t help but notice them. On pretty much any block in Chicago where the buildings of yesteryear have been left in peace, you’ll find vestibules with their floors adorned with elaborate mosaics.  Often it’s just the address of the door behind.  Sometimes it’s the name of a...

Read More
Status Update: Making Up AMLI River North
Aug06

Status Update: Making Up AMLI River North

You know how a woman in a hurry will sometimes leave the house before her makeup is done?  That’s what happening now at AMLI River North (71 East Hubbard Street). The 50-story building is open for business, but crews are still clinging to its side, painting its face.  The grey of the concrete is being painted over with a whiteish primer, and then with a final color of beige.  The building is painted beige because that color...

Read More
A Look at a Landmark Skyscraper’s Leading-Edge Past, and Luxurious Future
Jul20

A Look at a Landmark Skyscraper’s Leading-Edge Past, and Luxurious Future

With the recent opening of the Langham, Chicago hotel inside 330 North Wabash Avenue, there’s been a lot of focus on Mies van der Rohe’s 1971 skyscraper. Usually mentioned only briefly on architecture tours, this elegant structure doesn’t always receive the attention it deserves. Perhaps because it is often overshadowed by the popular Marina City “corncobs,” and more recently by the assertive Trump Tower....

Read More
“Missing Tooth in Chicago’s Urban Fabric” Expected to be Quickly Filled by Chicago+LaSalle Skyscraper [updated x2]
Jun20

“Missing Tooth in Chicago’s Urban Fabric” Expected to be Quickly Filled by Chicago+LaSalle Skyscraper [updated x2]

The newest residential tower planned for Chicago’s Near North Side is sailing through the bureaucratic process , and is expected to be approved by the city and break ground before the end of the year. “I’m inclined to approve the project,” said Second Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti at a public meeting at the Moody Bible Institute last night. Of the approximately 150 people in attendance, none spoke in opposition to...

Read More
Chicago’s Riverfront Park Gets Green
Jun17

Chicago’s Riverfront Park Gets Green

  Over the last ten years that this blog has been published, a lot of politicians have made a lot of big promises about the long-proposed, and long-delayed Chicago riverwalk.  Now the city is going to take another step towards completing the project. It was last October when we noted in the Chicago Architecture Forum that the city was seeking federal money to complete the stalled project.  Under Mayor Richard M. Daley, certain...

Read More