The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration
Aug06

The Stunning Before-and-After Pics of Second Presbyterian’s Peace Window Restoration

Some of the most amazing pieces of architecture in Chicago are its churches.  And one of the best churches in town has just been given a significant upgrade. Second Presbyterian Church (1936 South Michigan Avenue) in the South Loop recently had one of its big windows re-installed after a $312,000 restoration. The Peace Window was badly damaged, and encrusted with a hundred years of filth.  If you think the dirt on your office windows...

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One Final Look Inside Noble Square’s Saint Boniface Church
Aug01

One Final Look Inside Noble Square’s Saint Boniface Church

For close to a decade we’ve been telling you about the saga of Saint Boniface Church in Noble Square.  Completed in 1904, shuttered in 1990, since then it’s watched both its convent and school fall to the wrecking ball. Over the years, there has been lots of talk about turning the building into something more than it currently is, and in the last few years that notion gained steam with Stas Development’s plan to turn...

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E2 Makes Downtown Evanston More Colorful
Nov20

E2 Makes Downtown Evanston More Colorful

The E2 apartment building made a splash when it opened in Evanston in 2015, and now it’s adding a splash of color to the suburb’s downtown. E2 developer Fifield Realty has unveiled an expansive new piece of art on the side of the building by Albany Park muralist Thomas Melvin. The painting is called “Eee-tu” (What Redwing called to Drake) 1890 Maple Evanston, Illinois, and is an abstract depiction of its home...

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Chicago As An Urban Quilt
Jun01

Chicago As An Urban Quilt

The internet is an inherently visual medium.  And Chicago provides photographers with endless captivating visuals.  The combination has led to the creation of tens of thousands of web sites promoting Chicago’s beauty. Blogger Angie McMonigal contacted us recently about her new photography project.  She sees the contrast in Chicago’s architectural styles as a kind of urban quilt.  If that doesn’t make sense to you, it...

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2017 Ragdale Ring Winners Announced
Mar28

2017 Ragdale Ring Winners Announced

For more than a century, Chicago architects have had a love affair with the North Shore’s idyllic bedroom communities.  For renowned arts and crafts architect Howard Van Doren Shaw, his private Idaho was Lake Forest, and the estate he built there named Ragdale. These days the estate operates as a retreat for 150 creative types selected yearly to spend time away from their regular lives to get their creative juices flowing.  In...

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bKL’s Exhibit On Superior Gets its First Art
Dec15

bKL’s Exhibit On Superior Gets its First Art

When you call a skyscraper “Exhibit,” it’s natural to expect the building to come with some nice art.  And that’s exactly what happened at bKL’s Exhibit on Superior (165 West Superior Street) this snowy week. When plans for Exhibit (then called 720 LaSalle) were unveiled by Magellan Development, neighbors were excited about the public parklet on the north side of the property.  That space now has a focal...

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More Green Sought To Light Up More Wabash
Nov30

More Green Sought To Light Up More Wabash

So, did you get to see the demo installation of The Wabash Lights yet? If not, here’s a refresher course: The Wabash Lights is an interactive art display hanging below the L tracks that run down Wabash Avenue in downtown Chicago.  The idea is that 600  programmable colored light tubes will illuminate the area darkened by the trains, serve as public art, and also a bit of entertainment.  It’s envisioned that the lights will...

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Chicago Artist Does an Architecture and Video Game Mashup
Aug31

Chicago Artist Does an Architecture and Video Game Mashup

We don’t play a lot of video games here at the Chicago Architecture Blog, and when we do it’s generally on a funky-smelling Atari 2600 hooked up to a 65-inch display just to prove we can still kick ass at Asteroids. But a new game soon to come from Chicago artist William Chyr might make us actually plonk for a PlayBox 9 or whatever the kids are mashing buttons on these days. It’s called Manifold Garden, and throws...

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A Tour of Theaster Gates’ One-Man Urban Renewal
May05

A Tour of Theaster Gates’ One-Man Urban Renewal

Over the years we’ve occasionally covered Theaster Gates, the Chicago change agent and international art star who is persistently turning abandoned South Side buildings into community assets like libraries and low-income housing.  The PBS television show Newshour recently interviewed Mr. Gates, and toured some of the buildings he’s injected with new life. It’s a wonderful piece that gives you hope for the future of...

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A Tour of Glencoe’s New Writers Theatre
Feb16

A Tour of Glencoe’s New Writers Theatre

This past Friday, the Writers Theatre up in Glencoe opened its new $28 million theater building.  The Studio Gang-designed building is a modern marvel that somehow fits in OK with the staid and skeptical landscape of this suburban Chicagoland town.  At 36,000 square feet, it has enough room for two performance spaces, a public gathering space, a gallery, and rehearsal rooms. The building is designed to have an inner glow at night to...

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