Stanley Tigerman on the Chicago Architecture Biennial

One of the legendary names in Chicago architecture has cast his eye over the Chicago Architecture Biennial… and he approves of what he sees.

Stanley Tigerman (Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects)

Stanley Tigerman (Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects)

Architectural rebel-turned-elderstatesman Stanley Tigerman sent us a letter to the editor letting us know what he thinks of the event which opened last weekend.  Here are his thoughts:


To the Editor:

As someone who has actually been to the Venice Bienniale (of both Art and Architecture varieties) I am stunned, if not thrilled, at seeing the premiere Chicago Architecture Biennial. The Cultural Center never looked so good and the variety of scales of objects is nothing short of amazing. In high-ceilinged , large volume spaces, the large scales exhibited there look utterly splendid and in low-ceilinged, small volume spaces the appropriation of scaling down exhibits is equally mesmerizing. This is not to say that everything is wonderful but what is wonderful, is the energy that was apparent, to say nothing of the 3500 people there on a weekday today enjoying the stimuli of the Biennial.

I have never felt so good about being a native of this city and of its mayor’s and commissioner of cultural affairs’ commitment to engage Chicago, once again, to the heart and soul of architectural ideation. I am humbled to witness the work of the youngest generation, whose intellectual zest is only surpassed by their optimism. It is a great thing to wake up knowing that Chicago is once again in the vanguard and I for one will be forever grateful to Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima and in the leadership of the body politic, namely Rahm Emanuel and Michelle Boone, for their bold if not daring support as we make our way through the 21st century.

Some years back, when I first evinced support for the next generation of architects by exploiting the notion of “passing the baton”, I never frankly dreamed just how visionary they would be in actuality. My job is done because it is clear that this group has coalesced into a vital force as a collective change agent.

God Bless.

Stanley Tigerman

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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