Here’s Why Marina City Is Now Officially a Landmark
Feb12

Here’s Why Marina City Is Now Officially a Landmark

“Beloved,” “Pioneering,” and “Iconic” are all words often used to describe Marina City.  Today you can add another: “Landmark.” As a responsible publication that often writes about actual, official, designated landmarks, we don’t casually throw the word “landmark” around, like the way some Chicago web sites fill your e-mail box with “news alerts” that are...

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Big Grant to Help Conserve Adler & Sullivan’s Charnley-Persky House
Feb08

Big Grant to Help Conserve Adler & Sullivan’s Charnley-Persky House

It’s the ultimate in name-dropping.  The Charnley-Persky House, designed by Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan when Frank Lloyd Wright was still getting them coffee (apprentice… intern… whatever) and formerly owned by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, has a brighter future this morning.  The Society of Architectural Historians, which currently occupies the Gold Coast manse, has received a $123,000 grant to help keep the...

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What Legat Has Learned About the Architecture of Accessibility and Future-Proofing
Feb01

What Legat Has Learned About the Architecture of Accessibility and Future-Proofing

We continue our discussion with Legat Architects.  Last week we introduced you to the suburban firm with the West Loop outpost that’s focused on the education, healthcare, and institutional sectors. Today, Chief Design Officer Ted Haug, Principal Jeff Sronkoski, and President/CEO Patrick Brosnan explain to us how being focused on those markets means accessibility is a high priority.  And an ever-changing one. Jeff Sronkoski: ...

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In Architecture Firms and Economies, Size Matters
Jan04

In Architecture Firms and Economies, Size Matters

With the new year here, a lot of people are making resolutions and thinking about reinventing themselves. Sometimes what you need is to stop working for someone else, and go out on your own.  That’s what Thomas Kerwin did when he left Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and planted the seeds of bKL Architecture.  Today we talk to him about his six-year-old company, where it’s been, and how it’s different. Editor: bKL has...

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A Look At Architecture And Design Trends In Commercial Real Estate For 2016
Jan04

A Look At Architecture And Design Trends In Commercial Real Estate For 2016

What trends in architecture and design for commercial real estate will we see in 2016? Based on the opinion of experts in the field, here are some possibilities: The growing popularity of off-price stores with consumers will change the face of retail. That means more opportunities for developers and designers for stores, but they won’t necessarily be taking the form of the old model—e.g., department stores. In fact, the off-price...

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Shoptalk: Perkins+Will Named Chicago Firm of the Year
Dec28

Shoptalk: Perkins+Will Named Chicago Firm of the Year

We don’t do a lot of awards news here.  Mostly because there are thousands of architecture awards handed out each year, sometimes for minutiae, by organizations big and miniscule.  But the Chicago chapter of the AIA is a big deal, and so is its Firm of the Year award, which this year went to Perkins+Will.  This is the firm’s 80th year for its flagship office here in the Windy City.  Read more about it in the press release...

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About SCB’s Design for its Newest South Loop Tower
Dec03

About SCB’s Design for its Newest South Loop Tower

Venerable Chicago architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz clearly has its designs and designers focused on the South Loop these days.  Its latest creation, a residential tower for 1326 South Michigan Avenue, has been getting high praise.  We sat down with SCB chairman John Lahey to find out more about the building. Editor: SCB’s already conquered Streeterville, and now you’re expanding your empire to the South Loop.  Tell...

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What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 2: FitzGerald Associates
Nov16

What To Do With the Thompson Center? Part 2: FitzGerald Associates

In October Governor Bruce Rauner announced plans for the State of Illinois to sell the Thompson Center (100 West Randolph Street), possibly for demolition and redevelopment.   We spent the last few weeks talking to a dozen Chicago architects and developers about what they think of the building and its predicament. Today we hear from the West Loop architecture firm FitzGerald Associates Architects, which has sympathy for the aging,...

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Second Presbyterian Marks 75 Years of Architecture Tours
Nov12

Second Presbyterian Marks 75 Years of Architecture Tours

Chicago is a city of architecture and architecture tours.  There are dozens to choose from, whether you want to go by boat, bus, taxi, bicycle or by foot.  You can take in a view from a thousand feet up, or go underground.  But when it comes to longevity, few can compete with Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue). It has been offering architecture tours of its sanctuary for 75 years. If you haven’t been, this...

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Talking SCB: Bullish on South Loop, Bearish on Balconies and Wagering on Chicago’s Next Supertall Skyscraper
Nov11

Talking SCB: Bullish on South Loop, Bearish on Balconies and Wagering on Chicago’s Next Supertall Skyscraper

Every year we drop by the Magnificent Mile offices of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, one of Chicago’s most visible and prolific architecture firms, to catch up on what it’s been up to over the last year. Chairman and Design Principal John Lahey once again sat down with us to look both back, and forward, at the firm and the architecture industry. Editor: Things really seem to be cooking in Chicago. Some of the local architecture...

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