Potential New Chicago Architectural Gem Needs More Time To Shine
Jun21

Potential New Chicago Architectural Gem Needs More Time To Shine

While the vast majority of architectural tourists stick to the wonders of downtown Chicago, there are dozens and dozens of wonderful buildings dusted across the city, from Beverly to Bronzeville to Bucktown and beyond.  You can even find great buildings in Racine and Gary without much effort at all. Rendering of the new Giordano Dance Chicago building (via bKL Architecture) Back in 2017, we told you about a new neighborhood...

Read More
Wayback Wednesday: Lord, Snow Down On Me
Jan08

Wayback Wednesday: Lord, Snow Down On Me

It was ten years ago today, January 8, 2010 that we took this photograph of what was then known as the Episcopal Church Center at 65 East Huron Street, just off Michigan Avenue. That’s where a life-sized bronze statue, appearing half man and half angel arched its back, stretched its arms, and welcomed the coming snowstorm. Saint James Commons on January 8, 2010 A year earlier this space was renamed Saint James Commons to go...

Read More
Building Under Construction Already Sending Out Good Vibes
Nov12

Building Under Construction Already Sending Out Good Vibes

For those people who crane their necks at the skyscrapers being built around Chicago, the scene doesn’t really change all that much.  The highlight of an urban construction safari might be a wave from a construction worker way up high, or a crane hoisting a port-a-potty into the sky.  Now there’s something else to look for: affirmation. By now you’ve probably seen artist Matthew Hoffman’s message...

Read More
Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover
Sep12

Art Institute of Chicago Buildings Getting a Makeover

One of the city’s most important buildings is in for a change.  Spanish architecture powerhouse Barozzi/Veiga plans to transform the Art Institute of Chicago’s multi-building campus which sprawls across the Metra tracks in Grant Park. The Art Institute’s good side (file) The company is named for its founders, Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga. We wanted to assess their museum chops, but unfortunately, there’s...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More