Week Links – March 24-30, 2013
Mar31

Week Links – March 24-30, 2013

There will be a public meeting about the reconstruction of the Circle Interchange (I-90/I-94/I-290) on April 3rd at 4:00pm at the Marriott at 625 South Ashland Avenue.  To find out what’s planned, download this PDF. Howells and Hood, the new restaurant inside the Tribune Tower, has opened. It’s huge, and described as offering “upscale bar food.” WBBM-TV’s report here. The following links may or may not...

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Chicago AIA Program Offers Renovation Tips To Homeowners
Mar27

Chicago AIA Program Offers Renovation Tips To Homeowners

Watch a few episodes of “Property Brothers” on HGTV and you’ll get the impression a massive house renovation project can be completed in five or six weeks. If only it were that easy. The reality is more like six to eight months. Anytime you tear out a wall and start messing around with gas or water pipes, you need the proper permits. In the City of Chicago, that’s neither a fast nor simple process. A qualified...

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Two Loyola-Backed Buildings One Nod Closer to Construction
Mar26

Two Loyola-Backed Buildings One Nod Closer to Construction

It looks like Loyola University’s big new project for the Gold Coast will make the transition from paper to real life.  The Chicago Plan Commission has given its blessing to a 36-story apartment tower and a 10-story classroom building to be built along North State Street between East Chestnut Street and East Pearson Street.  The project still needs full city council approval, but that’s pretty much a rubber stamp process...

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New Downtown Hospital Slims Down To Court Neighbors
Mar26

New Downtown Hospital Slims Down To Court Neighbors

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s new hospital plan has lost some weight, and gained some fans. The RIC is moving from its current tower at 345 East Chicago Avenue to a new building to be erected two blocks away at 630 North McClurg Court, formerly the location of the CBS Building. When the plans were first presented to the public five months ago, there was little opposition. Neighbors expressed the usual concerns about...

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Demolition Permit Issued for Chicago’s Beloved Former Prentice Womens’ Hospital
Mar24

Demolition Permit Issued for Chicago’s Beloved Former Prentice Womens’ Hospital

It’s been a long road for preservationists, and that road looks like it’s finally coming to an end. A dead end. In our weekly scouring of permits issued by the City of Chicago, we found this demolition permit: WRECK AND REMOVE 13 STORY CIP CONCRETE BUILDING INCLUDING SITE RESTORATION. “CIP” means “cast in place.” “Concrete building” means the former Prentice Womens’ Hospital at 320...

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Week Links: March 17-23, 2013
Mar24

Week Links: March 17-23, 2013

What’s weak this week… It turns out that apartments are good for the economy.  A study from the National Multi Housing Council shows that apartment buildings in the Chicago area generated six billion dollars for the local economy and employed 53,000 people.  There’s a companion web site at www.weareapartments.org.  “Apartment buildings are good” won’t come as a surprise to people in Chicago.  But...

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A Look at the Street Art and Artists of Chicago’s Near West Side
Mar19

A Look at the Street Art and Artists of Chicago’s Near West Side

I was walking down Halsted Street between Lake and Randolph when I first saw a work of art by CLS. If you aren’t familiar with Reyes, Roa or Banksy, you might not recognize CLS, either. These guys don’t have their art hanging in the Field Museum or Art Institute. They are street artists. It’s an art form unique to large urban areas. Street art is part of the fabric of cities from New York to Berlin, and of course,...

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Former Ravenswood Xylophone Factory Now Turning Out Glass Art
Mar13

Former Ravenswood Xylophone Factory Now Turning Out Glass Art

Leslie Speicher loves glass. And she’s partial to glass fusing and casting. It’s a technique that lets the artist “glue” pieces of glass together using a high-temperature torch. The result can be a simple bowl or a large-scale architectural element. Novice glass fusers and experts alike now have a comfortable, inviting space to practice their craft at Speicher’s Chicago Glass Collective...

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The University of Chicago’s New Arts Center Joins Solid Architectural Company
Mar12

The University of Chicago’s New Arts Center Joins Solid Architectural Company

The University of Chicago campus, in Chicago’s illustrious Hyde Park, boasts an intriguing collection of architectural gems. Studding the grounds are the SSA (School of Social Service Administration) building, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; several  Law School buildings, designed by Eero Saarinen; and, of course, the Robie Robie House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Now, amidst these historic pieces of architecture, a new...

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How Chicago’s Historic Fisher Building Got Its Fish, and Other Things That Make It Special
Mar12

How Chicago’s Historic Fisher Building Got Its Fish, and Other Things That Make It Special

Sited among an incomparable collection of surviving early Chicago skyscrapers, the Fisher Building (343 South Dearborn Street) doesn’t resemble any of its neighbors. Though technologically modern, its decorative scheme unabashedly hearkens back to the Gothic cathedrals of Europe. South Dearborn Street in the 1890’s was hot real estate. Until the 1880’s, the area was residential, but when Dearborn Station was built at...

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