Amid Dirt, Cranes and Bulldozers, Official Groundbreaking for Wolf Point West
Jul18

Amid Dirt, Cranes and Bulldozers, Official Groundbreaking for Wolf Point West

  One of Chicago’s most anticipated building projects of the last 50 years is now officially underway. Formal groundbreaking ceremonies were held today for Wolf Point West, the first of three skyscrapers in the billion-dollar Wolf Point development at the confluence of the Chicago River’s main channel and North Branch. As we’ve documented here over the last few months, construction is already well underway.  But...

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It’s Chicago Architects Versus Kids in a Battle of LEGOs
Jul18

It’s Chicago Architects Versus Kids in a Battle of LEGOs

There’s a 15-year-old kid in Iowa City named Rasmus who’s better equipped to design buildings than I am. It’s slightly unnerving, but I’m OK with it. As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Designing a building, evidently, is not my forte. Last night, I joined a handful of architects and some lay folks to try our hand designing stuff at the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s ArcelorMittal Design Studio (224 South...

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Piecing Together Streeterville’s Newest Skyscraper
Jul16

Piecing Together Streeterville’s Newest Skyscraper

Chicago is not New York.  It can’t be said enough. Chicagoans wear black because we’re modest.  New Yorkers wear black because it’s fashionable.  Chicagoans wring their hands and worry about being a “global city.”  New Yorkers didn’t even know there was a contest. And when a New York real estate developer decides to build a new skyscraper, there’s a big announcement with balloons and dancing...

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Balthazar Korab Architecture Photography Now on Display in Chicago
Jul14

Balthazar Korab Architecture Photography Now on Display in Chicago

Stunning black and white photographs of 20th-century cityscapes comprise the new photography exhibit Inflected Modernism: The Architecture Photography of Balthazar Korab running now through the end of this week at the Cliff Dwellers Club high above Michigan Avenue. Korab (1926-2013) was one of the most prolific and celebrated photographers of architecture practicing during the second half of the last century. Chicago architect Trish...

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10 Crazy Things You Don’t Know About the Wrigley Field Expansion Deal
Jul12

10 Crazy Things You Don’t Know About the Wrigley Field Expansion Deal

  This week the local media went nuts with word that a final deal on the Wrigley Field expansion plan had been approved by the city. That’s almost true. What happened is that the city’s Landmarks Commission voted seven to nothing in favor of the renovation. There’s still lots more paperwork to do before anyone can start moving dirt. On WTTW television Friday night one of the Chicago Tonight panelists astutely...

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Great Neighborhood Walks: Motor Row, Where Anything Can Happen
Jul09

Great Neighborhood Walks: Motor Row, Where Anything Can Happen

The plan was to photograph some grand old buildings. Then things got a little weird. I was in the company of a dozen fellow members of the Chicago Street Photography Group. Our route was one of the city’s great neighborhood walks—Motor Row. We spotted the old Hudson showroom down at 2222 South Michigan Avenue. It was frozen in time, the checkerboard-tiled floor untouched for decades. One by one, we crouched on the grungy sidewalk to...

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Cabrini Getting Less Green: Urban Farm Chopped for Residential Building
Jul07

Cabrini Getting Less Green: Urban Farm Chopped for Residential Building

One of Chicago’s summer blessings are the tiny little urban farms that spring up year after year on disused plots of land across the city. I’m a big fan of urban gardening. When I lived in Cincinnati, I grew corn in long plastic troughs on my balcony, and pumpkins that I was never able to harvest because the vines carried the fruit far into a neighboring tree. When I lived in Houston, my apartment balcony was filled with fruiting lime...

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Ukrainian Village Church One Step Closer to Going Condo

A Chicagoland developer is expected to get a thumb’s up on his plan to turn a Ukrainian Village church building with an attached school into 20 condominiums. Alex Troyanovsky bought the former Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (913 North Hoyne Street) in February of last year. A month later, the city named the Henry Worthmann & John Steinbach-designed buildings a city landmark. Worthmann & Steinbach designed at least 30...

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Great Neighborhood Walks: Exploring The Turrets Of Armitage
Jul04

Great Neighborhood Walks: Exploring The Turrets Of Armitage

  Take a stroll west along Armitage Avenue from North Halsted Street and squint. Imagine those modern cars you see are horse-drawn carriages and you’re walking on a wooden sidewalk. Then look up at the buildings on either side of the street. You’ve basically taken a mental trip back to 1880. Those homes and businesses look pretty much the same now as they did 134 years ago. There’s something else that makes these structures stand out....

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200 North Michigan: The Incredible Shrinking Skyscraper
Jul02

200 North Michigan: The Incredible Shrinking Skyscraper

If you’ve been saving your pennies so that you can live on the 44th floor of the shiny new residential tower going up at 200 North Michigan Avenue… It may be time to re-think that plan. That’s because the 44th floor no longer exists.  Nor does the 43rd or the 42nd.  In fact, the entire skyscraper has been downsized about 9% from 537 feet tall to 488 feet tall. According to papers filed with the city by the developer,...

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