Merchandise Mart Unveils Tech-Friendly Makeover
Jun10

Merchandise Mart Unveils Tech-Friendly Makeover

It’s been a decade of change over at the Merchandise Mart (222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza).  From bustling hub for the creative classes to even more bustling hub for the new tech class.  It’s 85-year-old bones have seen Chicago make and re-make itself over and over, and now it’s The Mart’s turn. We don’t call it “The Mart” because we’re best friends.  We call it that because...

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Chicago’s Largest Building Getting a Makeover
Oct13

Chicago’s Largest Building Getting a Makeover

The largest building in Chicago is getting a makeover.  The four-million square-foot Merchandise Mart sees tens of thousands of visitors each day to its offices, studios, food court, and train station.  The public spaces of the building are going to be rehabbed in a multi-million dollar renovation.  How many millions?  Well, that’s a secret.  And while we do know that big changes are coming to the food court, whether people will...

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Lost Pieces of Merchandise Mart Found in a Suburban Garden
May22

Lost Pieces of Merchandise Mart Found in a Suburban Garden

A couple of times a month we get e-mails here from people who have found something related to Chicago or architecture or Chicago architecture and they want to know if it’s worth saving, restoring, or selling. These are almost always things like skyline postcards, or matchbooks with the logos of long-gone hotels, or sometimes receipts from stores that are long gone. Since this isn’t Antiques Roadshow and we don’t have...

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Slice of Life: Bughouse in the Fog
Apr12

Slice of Life: Bughouse in the Fog

A foggy early spring morning, looking at the Chicago skyline from the Gold Coast.  In the foreground you can see Bughouse Square, officially known as Washington Square Park (901 North Clark Street). Beyond the Merchandise Mart (222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza) the Loop’s skyscrapers fade into the bright...

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Google Fails Chicago: Part Two in a Series

It seems like every time I try to look something up on Google Maps in Chicago, I find information that is just egregiously wrong.  I know Google has an office in Chicago, but you’d never know it from the map product. Hopefully no one is counting on Google to find the second-largest office building in the world. Prior offenses: Google Thinks Chicago’s Homeless Live in...

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Chicago’s Seven Storefront Studios
Nov19

Chicago’s Seven Storefront Studios

The banners promise that Loyola University’s new $400,000 streetfront television studio in The Clare at Water Tower (55 East Pearson Street) will open in autumn 2009, but I think we can safely say that isn’t going to happen.  Especially considering that Loyola only got its permit to build the studio on October 2nd. Loyola’s will be the seventh streetfront studio in Chicago.  WGN radio was the modern pioneer with this...

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