It’s Chicago Architects Versus Kids in a Battle of LEGOs
Jul18

It’s Chicago Architects Versus Kids in a Battle of LEGOs

There’s a 15-year-old kid in Iowa City named Rasmus who’s better equipped to design buildings than I am. It’s slightly unnerving, but I’m OK with it. As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” Designing a building, evidently, is not my forte. Last night, I joined a handful of architects and some lay folks to try our hand designing stuff at the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s ArcelorMittal Design Studio (224 South...

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Balthazar Korab Architecture Photography Now on Display in Chicago
Jul14

Balthazar Korab Architecture Photography Now on Display in Chicago

Stunning black and white photographs of 20th-century cityscapes comprise the new photography exhibit Inflected Modernism: The Architecture Photography of Balthazar Korab running now through the end of this week at the Cliff Dwellers Club high above Michigan Avenue. Korab (1926-2013) was one of the most prolific and celebrated photographers of architecture practicing during the second half of the last century. Chicago architect Trish...

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Great Neighborhood Walks: Exploring The Turrets Of Armitage
Jul04

Great Neighborhood Walks: Exploring The Turrets Of Armitage

  Take a stroll west along Armitage Avenue from North Halsted Street and squint. Imagine those modern cars you see are horse-drawn carriages and you’re walking on a wooden sidewalk. Then look up at the buildings on either side of the street. You’ve basically taken a mental trip back to 1880. Those homes and businesses look pretty much the same now as they did 134 years ago. There’s something else that makes these structures stand out....

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Crowdsourcing Chicago Landmark Districts
Jun30

Crowdsourcing Chicago Landmark Districts

The map of the city of Chicago is flecked with various landmark districts. From historic Astor Street in the Gold Coast to the city’s newest landmark districts in Rogers Park and Streeterville. But no matter how deserving, not everything that every Chicago citizen thinks is historic ends up on the table in front of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. So one of our readers put together his own list of Chicago places he thinks...

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Chicago to Debut Its First International Architecture Exhibition
Jun30

Chicago to Debut Its First International Architecture Exhibition

The city of Chicago has long been known as forward-thinking on architecture. Many greats like Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe, and recent stars like Jeanne Gang and John Ronan have put their stamp on modern architecture right here in Chicago. And next year, the city will debut a global architecture exhibition in the first Chicago Architecture Biennial. The city is calling this biennial “North America’s biggest...

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How Chicago’s Mayor Used The Power Of Architecture To Influence Politics
Jun23

How Chicago’s Mayor Used The Power Of Architecture To Influence Politics

Richard J. Daley didn’t much care for modernist architecture. But his personal preference for classical design didn’t deter him from championing the development of sleek, steel-and-glass buildings like the Chicago Civic Center, the Sears Tower, the Inland Steel Building, and the Federal Plaza complex.   In fact, during his tenure as the city’s boss, the Loop and downtown Chicago underwent a transformational building boom. Along...

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Critics of Donald’s Trump Stamp Ignore Other Riverfront Affronts. Here’s a List
Jun16

Critics of Donald’s Trump Stamp Ignore Other Riverfront Affronts. Here’s a List

For the last week or so architecture nerds, bloggers, journalists, tourists, and people who just love Chicago have had one word on their lips: “TRUM.” Today it’s spelled “TRUMP,” but for a long while, the “P” was missing on the sign on the Trump International Hotel and Tower (401 North Wabash Avenue) that’s brought Donald Trump more free publicity for his Chicago residential tower than...

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Chicago’s Newest Architectural Attraction: A Five-Letter Sign!
Jun14

Chicago’s Newest Architectural Attraction: A Five-Letter Sign!

The world is watching. Of course, I don’t mean soccer from Brazil. I’m talking about Trump Tower Chicago. I wonder, has a simple sign attached to the side of a building ever received so much attention? Only it’s not exactly a simple sign. It’s 2,891 square feet large. And now its become personal. Rahm is unhappy. He called it “tasteless.” Others say it’s ruined the skyline, it’s a blight, it’s Donald Trump throwing his weight, and...

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New Pictures of the McCormick Place Event Center/DePaul Arena
Jun10

New Pictures of the McCormick Place Event Center/DePaul Arena

As the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority continues acquiring land, getting permits, and doing the things necessary to pull off its latest ambitious expansion plan, one of its partners is touting a new set of drawings of part of the project. DePaul University has released several new pictures of the proposed Events Center portion of the project, often called the “DePaul Arena.”  DePaul is chipping in $70 million...

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Plans Floated For Saving Farnsworth House From the Fox River
Jun02

Plans Floated For Saving Farnsworth House From the Fox River

The Farnsworth House can’t catch a break from Mother Nature. The nearby Fox River repeatedly threatens the historic Mies van der Rohe-designed house. All too frequently, the rising water floods Farnsworth House (14520 River Road, Plano). Only a few years after it was built in 1951, two feet of flood water gave it a quite unintended and unwanted indoor pool. It wouldn’t be the last time.  The most recent time the river entered the...

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