Slice of Life: Millennium Park From Above
Oct28

Slice of Life: Millennium Park From Above

After nearly a decade since its opening, Millennium Park has not lost its shine. To the contrary, Millennium Park has secured its status as an icon of Chicago, illustrating the city’s standing as a global and cosmopolitan metropolis. When looked at from above, the 24.5-acre park projects a colossal impression and monumental scale that a pedestrian visit to the park does not capture. In addition, Millennium Park has served as a...

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State Street’s Not “That Great Street” Anymore, but Better Than in the Recent Past
Oct18

State Street’s Not “That Great Street” Anymore, but Better Than in the Recent Past

Walking on State Street today is a pleasant experience where a lively bustle of shoppers, college students and office workers populate the street. The street itself projects a charm upon its users and an urban experience that feels unique to Chicago. However, things weren’t always this way. State Street had to go through numerous physical alterations to become as it is today. Despite the gains already made, State Street’s revival is...

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Will Progressive Architecture Mark the Rebirth of Polonia Triangle?
Oct03

Will Progressive Architecture Mark the Rebirth of Polonia Triangle?

Within a perpetually changing urban landscape, there come new buildings with a fresh architecture that vividly captures their moment in time and set a new standard for design. The recently completed tower at 1611 West Division is one of these buildings. Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects led the design of the 11 story tower.  It imagined the façade as a mass wrapped by fabric with vertical reflective panels and indented glass...

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Remembering Marshall Field’s
Feb22

Remembering Marshall Field’s

Leslie Goddard’s book Remembering Marshall Field’s is a work of historical preservation that conserves the memories and meaning of a special department store within the collective consciousness of Chicago. At a recent lunchtime lecture at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Goddard spoke about the intimately intertwined relationship between Marshall Field’s and the city of Chicago, revealing a rich history of urban...

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Review: Roosevelt University Tower
Feb15

Review: Roosevelt University Tower

Introduction Roosevelt University is in the midst of a campaign to elevate its status as an institution of higher education. The centerpiece of this venture is the newly constructed Roosevelt University Tower (435 South Wabash Avenue) where the educational standard is physically manifested in the architecture and design. Chuck Middleton, Roosevelt University’s President set the stakes high for the quality of both academics and...

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Slice of Life: The Benefits of Looking Up
Feb13

Slice of Life: The Benefits of Looking Up

On gray winter mornings, most people downtown rarely take their eyes off the sidewalk as they trudge to the office. Yet just a simple glance up at the towering skyscrapers can infuse some beauty and inspiration into the day. I captured this photo walking across Federal Plaza. The overcast sky made these buildings look sober and solemn giving them the gravitas of old statesmen. Indeed these noble towers have stood watch over the city...

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New Navy Pier Plans Stir Some, Leave Others Cold
Feb01

New Navy Pier Plans Stir Some, Leave Others Cold

The Navy Pier Redesign Competition brought plenty of excitement to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday night, the first of two evenings of presentations by the design teams articulating new visions for the Chicago landmark. The public was able to inspect models of the proposals and glance at television screens flashing renderings. As the start of the program approached, the 300-seat theater was at capacity, and even the overflow...

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Progress on DePaul’s New Theater Building
Jan27

Progress on DePaul’s New Theater Building

Don’t let the hole in the ground fool you. A real drama is underway at the corner of Racine and Fullerton. Six months after groundbreaking, the opening act of DePaul’s new Theater Building is well underway. Heavy machinery guided by men with orange vests move the earth, pour concrete and lay pipes as they transform a parking lot into a modern arts facility. The architect of this play is Cesar Pelli, the former dean of the...

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A Brutal Cohesion at UIC [Video]
Jan19

A Brutal Cohesion at UIC [Video]

The 1960’s were boom years for campus construction in the United States and Chicago was no exception. Mayor Richard J. Daley decided it was time to construct a quality public university accessible to the children of the city’s working class, something the city still lacked. Daley selected his favorite architecture design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for the project with architect Walter Netsch leading the design...

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Fishing for History in The Loop
Jan09

Fishing for History in The Loop

On days when the sun splashes on its golden terra cotta, the Fisher Building (343 South Dearborn Street) glistens like a gem. The building is one of the finest examples of the Chicago School of architectre, designed by the accomplished architect Charles Atwood, under the direction of the period’s largest figure, Daniel Burnham. Raised in two phases a decade apart around the turn of the twentieth century, the building utilizes...

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