Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center
Jun02

Three Chicago Architects Reflect on The Thompson Center

When architects get together in their buttery leather chairs and tweed jackets, sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, stuffing pipes, drinking cognac, and doing other fictional things, one of the common topics of conversation is the James R. Thompson Center.  It’s become something of a parlor game to try to come up with ways — practical and impractical — of dealing with the former state office building that seems all but...

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Helmut Jahn 1940 – 2021
May09

Helmut Jahn 1940 – 2021

Helmut Jahn, the legendary architect who used skyscrapers to leave his mark on Chicagoland and the rest of the world, died Saturday afternoon at the age of 81. According to the Kane County Chronicle, a police report indicates that Jahn was riding his bicycle on Old Lafox Road in far west suburban Campton Hills, and didn’t stop for a stop sign at Burlington Road. He was struck by two cars, and died at the scene. Helmut Jahn in...

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Shoptalk: Fulton Market Architecture Firm Moving to The Loop
Mar28

Shoptalk: Fulton Market Architecture Firm Moving to The Loop

If you’ve got some cardboard boxes you don’t need, send them over to Fulton Market.  That’s where the boffins who brought us such Chicago buildings as 3Eleven, 727 West Madison, and The Carlyle are packing up their things and headed eastward. The Fulton Market offices of FitzGerald associates. It used to be a dairy. (File) FitzGerald Associates has been camped out in a self-converted loft building at 912 West Lake...

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Jim Lowenberg 1934-2020
Oct19

Jim Lowenberg 1934-2020

The man who turned a grotty corner of The Loop into an architectural showcase and ushered in an age of downtown Chicago mega-developments has died. Jim Lowenberg was 86 years old. Lowenberg went into the family business after earning a degree in architecture from M.I.T. Building on a successful career designing skyscrapers around downtown Chicago, he helped found Magellan Development in 1996. That enabled him to create his crowning...

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Chicago Architecture Firm Happy to Not Be Needed Today
May06

Chicago Architecture Firm Happy to Not Be Needed Today

While you were sequestered in your micro apartment exchanging accusing stares with your cat (she totally ate the last Yoplait), the boffins down at bKL Architecture have been fighting the good fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. And now their part is done. The Loop designers of glassy things that scrape the sky have completed their mission of banging out protective face shields with a stable of 3D printers.  Face shield production at...

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Chicago Architecture Firm Joins Fight Against COVID-19
Apr14

Chicago Architecture Firm Joins Fight Against COVID-19

3D printers aren’t new, but they aren’t exactly household appliances yet.  The COVID-19 pandemic may change that, as the once-exotic gadgets have finally found their killer application: Filling in when the supply chain falls down.  Face shield production at bKL Architecture (Via GoFundMe) We’ve seen everyone from computer companies to casino moguls venture into the medical merchandise making milieu. And...

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Architecture School Founded by Frank Lloyd Wright to Shutter
Feb03

Architecture School Founded by Frank Lloyd Wright to Shutter

The architecture school started by one of the giants of his discipline will soon be no more.  The School of Architecture at Taliesin, founded by Frank Lloyd Wright, will close at the end of this coming June.   Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin, 1925. More than 1,200 people passed through the school’s programs over the last 88 years at both the Spring Green, Wisconsin and Scottsdale, Arizona locations.  There are currently...

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“My job is done” — Stanley Tigerman: 1930-2019
Jun04

“My job is done” — Stanley Tigerman: 1930-2019

One of the elder statesmen of Chicago architecture has died.  Stanley Tigerman passed away Monday at the age of 88. Stanley Tigerman (Courtesy of Tigerman McCurry Architects) Born in Chicago, and educated at MIT and the Yale School of Architecture, his first job was for modernist architect George Keck, known for the House of Tomorrow, and his tenure at IIT. Tigerman is best known for the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. But he...

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Hancock Highlighted as Google Honors Fazlur Khan
Apr03

Hancock Highlighted as Google Honors Fazlur Khan

Google has honored thousands of events, celebrities, scientists, and others over the years with its “Google Doodles,” the cartoons that often replace its logo when people search for things. Today, Chicago gets a two-fer. The primary beneficiary is Fazlur Khan, the legendary structural engineer who worked at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s Chicago office until his death in 1982. Today would have been his 88th birthday....

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A Photo Tour of Legat Architects’ New Gurnee Studio
Feb21

A Photo Tour of Legat Architects’ New Gurnee Studio

We’ve toured the offices of dozens and dozens of architecture firms in Chicago over the last 14 years.  A few look just like any other office churning out widgets and paperwork. But most are clearly designed to inspire their employees, impress their investors, and demonstrate that architecture is a both a creative art and a science. Legat Architects recently opened a new studio in north suburban Gurnee.  It’s about 15...

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